Commencement Speeches from Yesteryear

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia from the turn of the century, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

One ubiquitous constant that has graced graduation weekend at the University of Oregon for over a century are the sage words of commencement speakers. These speeches offer both a window into a specific period of university history as well as eternal wisdom for present generations of graduates. Several collections in the University Archives house manuscript copies of student orations from the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as those of guest speakers from the 1970s and 1980s. As the 138th commencement weekend approaches we have highlighted some excerpts from various UO graduation addresses of yesteryear whose messages remain relevant in 2015.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, This Week in History, University Archives, University History

Pomp and Circumstance: Zola Grimes, Graduation Attire and 19th Century Student Life

Zola Grimes, University of Oregon Graduation, 1899

Zola Grimes, University of Oregon Graduation, 1899

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia from the 19th century, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

Last year the UO Special Collections and University Archives received a unique donation from the family of Zola Grimes Sorenson. In the collection is the dress and shoes donned by Grimes at her 1899 graduation, the fan she carried on stage during the ceremony, and a portrait of the graduate in her dress from the commencement. The donation offered a rare glimpse of “typical turn-of-the century attire” that would have been worn by students of the late 19th century to graduation. This post highlights the donation of the collection and some background on Grimes while she attended UO.

Read more ›

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, New Collections, This Week in History, University Archives, University History

Paths of Life: How Modern UO Graduation Compares to 19th Century Commencement Ceremonies

Class of 2014 (Tristan Fortsch/KVAL.com)

Class of 2014 (Tristan Fortsch/KVAL.com)

This week we are presenting a three-part series highlighting the history of graduation at the University of Oregon. Part one (Tuesday) takes a look back at commencement ceremonies from the the 19th century, part two (Wednesday) features a recent donation of graduation memorabilia, and part three (Thursday) highlights commencement speeches over the years. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!!

 

On Monday, June 15, the University of Oregon will host the Duck Walk from Johnson Hall to Matthew Knight Arena in the lead-up to the 138th annual university graduation ceremony. From 9:30 to 11:00 am, the ceremony will honor the commencement of studies and the conferment of degrees for over 4000 students. In addition, 41 schools of the university will hold departmental ceremonies across campus throughout Sunday and Monday, affording a more intimate setting to recognize students within their major.

The Class of 2015 continues a tradition of grandiose commencements held at the University of Oregon. Today we will take a look back at the graduation ceremonies of the 19th century, putting in perspective the modern festivities with the earliest classes who celebrated the culmination of their time in Eugene.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Documenting UO History Project, Students, This Week in History, University History

The Origin of Greek Life at the University of Oregon

One out of every six students enrolled at the University of Oregon is a member of a fraternity or sorority, part of a vibrant Greek life culture that has been an integral part of the UO experience for over a century. How, though, did fraternities and sororities become such a focal point of campus life for students? Their introduction to the university resulted from a number of factors, from a shortage of housing to the lack of extracurricular opportunities for students. Today we will examine the early history of campus life and the situation that fostered the rise of these institutions in Eugene.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Documenting UO History Project, University History

James Blue Papers to Permanently Reside at UO Libraries

jamesblueThe University of Oregon Libraries is pleased to announce that the personal papers and collected production materials of renowned filmmaker James Blue have found a permanent home in the Special Collections and University Archives.

The James Blue Papers are a gift of the Blue family. The materials were first placed on deposit in UO Libraries Special Collections in December 2013, and the deed of gift was finalized on April 10, 2015. The collection consists of the filmmaker’s personal papers, production materials, correspondence, photographs, sound recordings, and films, including the award-winning Olive Trees of Justice (1962), The March (1963), and A Few Notes on Our Food Problem (1968).

We’ve previously highlighted the arrival of the collection here and a recent celebration of the collection here.

More information about James Blue and his legacy is available here.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Collection Highlight, Collections, Moving Images, New Collections, News

UO Women’s Softball — Part III: The “Edifice to Title IX”

(photo courtesy Becky Sisley)

(photo courtesy Becky Sisley)

UO Special Collections and University Archives, in collaboration with Oregon Softball and the Women In Flight program, presents a three-part series this week detailing the early history of Oregon women’s softball in celebration of the last regular season games this weekend at Howe Field (1936-2015). Part I  focused on the career of Becky Sisley, former women’s athletic director at the University of Oregon, and her contributions to the growth of women’s athletics on campus; Part II features a look at the rise of softball in the 1970s in the wake of Title IX legislation; and today’s post details the development of UO’s first dedicated softball field in 1979.

 

In its first dozen years of existence under Sisley, the UO women’s softball team was without a home of its own. Until 1969, the team split its practices and its home games between Gerlinger Field and the library field next to Pioneer Cemetery. Games played on Gerlinger Field had special ground rules when fair balls were hit into the cemetery. With the growing interest in the sport among the Oregon colleges, the softball team was forced to seek accommodations off campus. Read more ›

Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, New Collections, University History

UO Women’s Softball — Part II: The Early History of the Program

(photo courtesy Becky Sisley)

(photo courtesy Becky Sisley)

UO Special Collections and University Archives, in collaboration with Oregon Softball and the Women In Flight program, presents a three-part series this week detailing the early history of Oregon women’s softball in celebration of the last regular season games this weekend at Howe Field (1936-2015). Part I  focused on the career of Becky Sisley, former women’s athletic director at the University of Oregon, and her contributions to the growth of women’s athletics on campus; today features a look at the rise of softball in the 1970s in the wake of Title IX legislation; and tomorrow’s post will detail the development of UO’s first dedicated softball field in 1979.

 

During Becky Sisley’s early years at the University of Oregon, softball and other women’s competitive sports and other Women’s Recreation programs received only limited funding from the Incidental Fee Committee. The formation of the Northwest College Women’s Extramural Association (later NCWSA) in 1966 began the process of legitimizing and formalizing policies governing intercollegiate competition for women. The softball interest group’s 1966 budget totaled $37.32 in Sisley’s first season of operation. Women’s sports were beginning to be recognized in the late 1960s as regional competition and championships were initiated for several sports, but not softball. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, New Collections, University History

UO Women’s Softball — Part I: Becky Sisley and Women’s Athletics

(photo courtesy Becky Sisley)

(photo courtesy Becky Sisley)

UO Special Collections and University Archives, in collaboration with Oregon Softball and the Women In Flight program, presents a three-part series this week detailing the early history of Oregon women’s softball in celebration of the last regular season games this weekend at Howe Field (1936-2015). Part I focuses on the career of Becky Sisley, former women’s athletic director at the University of Oregon, and her contributions to the growth of women’s athletics on campus; Wednesday’s post will feature a look at the rise of softball in the 1970s in the wake of Title IX legislation; and Thursday’s post will detail the development of UO’s first dedicated softball field in 1979.

 

Becky Sisley was the driving force behind the development and expansion of women’s varsity sports programs at the University of Oregon. Born on May 10, 1939 in Seattle, Sisley graduated with a B.A. in Physical Education from the University of Washington in 1961. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Sisley worked as a P.E. teacher at Lake Washington High School in Kirkland during the 1961-1962 school year before moving across the country. The next year, Sisley earned her M.S. in Physical Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro while also working as a graduate teaching assistant. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Collection Highlight, Documenting UO History Project, New Collections, University History

Remembering the Tall Firs and Oregon’s First National Championship

Emerald_headline

(University Archives Photographs)

Oregon will not be among the semifinalists this season when March Madness concludes in Indianapolis this weekend, but the Ducks remain an integral part of the tournament’s history. Last week marked the 76th anniversary of the inaugural NCAA men’s basketball championship, which was won by Oregon in a 46-33 victory over Ohio State on March 27, 1939. The “Tall Firs,” the nickname for the team originally coined by Oregonian sports columnist L.H. Gregory in March 1938, used a distinct size advantage to overpower their tournament opposition to claim both the Pacific Coast Conference and NCAA titles. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Documenting UO History Project, University History

UO Says Goodbye to Dave Frohnmayer

_frohnmayer_001Education, when engaged with mind and spirit, is a lifelong journey. The library is an essential partner in this process–feeding our imagination, nurturing our intellect, and helping us realize our aspirations.

–Dave Frohnmayer, 1940-2015

 

The University of Oregon was saddened by the news that Dave Frohnmayer, the university’s 15th president from 1995 to 2009, passed away on March 9 in Eugene after a long battle with prostate cancer. Frohnmayer, who served in various capacities at UO for the better part of four decades, was 74 years old.

To commemorate his distinguished record of academic and political service in his home state,

Dave Frohnmayer, University of Oregon's retiring president, and Richard Lariviere, the University's newly selected president - 2009 USATF National Championships, Hayward Field, University of Oregon.

Dave Frohnmayer, University of Oregon’s retiring president, and Richard Lariviere, the University’s newly selected president – 2009 USATF National Championships, Hayward Field, University of Oregon.

we have aggregated various remembrances of Frohnmayer’s life from the University of Oregon community, state and national media outlets, and some of our own memories from the staff at Knight Library along with pictures selected from the collection of his presidential and personal papers located in the University Archives and Special Collections. A memorial service for Frohnmayer will be held at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday, March 21. Doors open at 1:00 pm, with the celebration of life commencing an hour later at 2:00 pm. A reception will follow the celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in News, University History