Tagged: university history

Progress With Limits: President Olum’s Quest for Change

This is the ninth of a series of blog posts highlighting the ongoing work of the Documenting UO History Project within the University Archives. A major part of this project is researching and documenting the often untold and hidden histories of the university’s diverse and underrepresented communities. This year our focus will continue to highlight Black history on campus, specifically Black student activism from the 1960s to present. Prior posts can be seen here.

The Governor — and others — have complained that President Olum can’ t have it both ways — continue to assert that the University of Oregon is of the quality of some of the best public universities in the United States and argue at the same time that faculty salaries at the University of Oregon are abysmally low compared with other institutions, and that this makes it extremely difficult to compete in the hiring of the best young faculty and in retaining our leading senior faculty against very large offers from various universities. Now, the truth is that it really is both ways. Our salaries are terribly, dangerously low and yet we are surely among the best 20 public universities in the United States and, in a number of areas, significantly better even than that.                            -President Olum, State of the university Address, 1987

Wartime ID badge photo of Paul Olum, courtesy  Los Alamos National Laboratory

Paul Olum stepped into the role of university president at Oregon with decades of academic experience. Having just served as provost at the University of Oregon, Olum had been groomed to take over for President Boyd (see previous post on Boyd).  Olum started his illustrious academic career in mathematics, even working on the Manhattan Project at one point.  He earned his bachelors in physics from Princeton in 1940, an M.A in physics from Princeton in 1942, and a PhD in mathematics from Harvard in 1947. Olum later served as a very popular and distinguished professor of mathematics at Cornell, and had a short stint at the University of Texas before beginning his tenure at Oregon.

Olum quickly developed a positive repoire with both students and staff.  Politically progressive, Olum publically called for nuclear disarmament and fought to make the University of Oregon more inclusive for all students. Although Olum’s tenure avoided the contention that filled the 1960s and 1970s, Olum faced recurring budget restraints and struggled to recruit more minority students to the Eugene campus.

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Drama at the Museum!

Mrs. Leslie Carter as Jeanne in “Du Barry.” Image from “A Portrait History of American Acting” an exhibit from the Hoblitzelle Theatre Arts Library, The Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas.

This is the second of a series of blog posts that will explore exhibits during the 1960s at the Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, known today as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Part of the Documenting UO History Project, this series will investigate two major types of exhibits: the Statewide Services Program and national exhibits that traveled to the Museum. The University Archives collection of the Museum’s records, cross referenced with the Jordan Schnitzer’s current holdings, reveal a unique institutional history of the Museum, its exhibits, and its employees. Though the Jordan Schnitzer’s current focus is on Asian art, and the Museum of Art also worked to complement its Asian collection, this project will focus on a variety of other kinds of exhibit subjects. See previous posts here.

Have you ever worked on a group project where no one’s role was completely clear? Institutions often have this challenge too; similar kinds of collaboration and communication needs to happen between all parties. For example, the American Educational Theatre Association (AETA) decided to hold its annual conference on the UO campus in August of 1962, and they coordinated the conference themes with art exhibits. AETA program managers worked with the Museum of Art’s employees to display theatrical art during the conference. They encountered many ups and downs along the way. The Museum of Art hosted several exhibitions for the AETA in their galleries. One of these was a large exhibit called “A Portrait History of American Acting,” and this post will explain some of the challenges involved in displaying it at the Museum of Art.

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“One for the Gallery; Two for the Show:” The Statewide Services Program at the Museum of Art

A circulating exhibit from the University of Oregon Museum of Art is prepared to be transported by truck. “Survey of the Arts in Oregon, 1967”. Governors Planning Council on the Arts and Humanities, page 10, box 37, folder 64, JSMA records, UA 120, UO Special Collections and University Archives.

This is the first of a series of blog posts that will explore exhibits during the 1960s at the Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, known today as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.  As part of the Documenting UO History Project, this series will investigate three major types of exhibits: the Statewide Services Program, national exhibits that traveled to the Museum, and international exhibits that the Museum displayed. The University Archives collection of the Museum’s records, cross referenced with the Jordan Schnitzer’s current holdings, reveal a unique institutional history of the Museum, its exhibits, and its employees. Though the Jordan Schnitzer’s current focus is on Asian art, this project will focus on a variety of other kinds of exhibit subjects.

Did you know that art doesn’t sit still? Museums are always on the move. Pieces of art and large exhibits often travel around to different regions so that large numbers of people can see them. Because art means different things to each viewer, it is important to make art freely available to the public. The Museum of Art at the University of Oregon began to circulate exhibitions free of charge through its Statewide Services program in 1965. It could do so through the Friends of the Museum, which helped with the financial backing of the program. Statewide Services coordinator Dennis Gould and Museum employees organized the distribution of traveling exhibits. They also taught community organizations how best to use the exhibits in their regions. This blog post will highlight the methods the Museum used to circulate their art in the state of Oregon.

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A Pillar of Hope: Dr. Ed Coleman’s Legacy

Ed Coleman, University Archives photograph collection, UA Ref 3

This is the third of a series of blog posts highlighting the ongoing work of the Documenting UO History Project within the University Archives. A major part of this project is researching and documenting the often untold and hidden histories of the university’s diverse and underrepresented communities. This year our focus will continue to focus on Black history on campus, specifically Black student activism from the 1960s to present. In this specially released post we are celebrating the life of Professor Ed Coleman. Prior posts can be seen here.

“I’ve had urine thrown on me, I’ve been through the fire… I grew up living Jim Crow — I didn’t think about it then, it was just part of life, I know life shouldn’t be that way, but I don’t look back in anger.” –Dr. Coleman, Register-Guard Interview, June, 2016

Dr. Edwin Leon Coleman II left an enduring legacy at the University of Oregon and in the Eugene community as an educator, musician, civil rights activist, writer, community and campus organizer, and perhaps most importantly, a friend and advocate of students, faculty and community members of color. His passing on Friday, January 20, shocked circles across the state of Oregon. When it comes to civil rights and activism on the University of Oregon campus and in Eugene, Professor Coleman stands out as one of the most impactful Oregon faculty members of the late 20th century.

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The Sub 4 Reunion: Honoring UO Track and Field Athletes

The second hour included a Q & A session led by current OTC Elite runners Andrew Wheating and Tom Farrell.
The Sub 4 Mile Reunion included a Q & A session led by current OTC Elite runners Andrew Wheating and Tom Farrell. Photo by Lauren Goss.

On May 27th, a select group of University of Oregon runners were honored at the Sub Four Reunion, hosted by the Oregon Track Club.  The sold out event at the John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes was filled with UO alumni, past and current UO coaches, and running enthusiasts.  The event honored the 10 surviving runners who ran a mile in less than 4 minutes under coach Bill Bowerman.  Coinciding with The Prefontaine Classic, the reunion duly recognized Steve Prefontaine as the 11th UO runner to break the 4-minute barrier in 1970.

As the Thomas Intern Film Archives Assistant for the University of Oregon Special Collection and University Archives, I’ve been working on the identification, preservation and digitization of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Films collection.  When I heard about this reunion a few months ago, I became curious about track and field films in this collection. With nearly 4,000 films, over 2.5 million feet of film, and 8 decades of University of Oregon athletic heritage, I hoped to locate some suitable material.  To my surprise and joy, I successfully discovered footage of two of the sub-four minute mile moments.  First, the unabridged film of Jim Bailey running the first sub-four minute mile in the United Stated in 1956, and second, clips of Dyrol Burleson breaking the four minute barrier at Hayward Field in 1960.

 

 

The clip reel captivated both attendees and honorees during the first hour of the event.
The clip reel captivated both attendees and honorees during the first hour of the event. Photo by Lauren Goss.

 

With the help of my colleagues, Elizabeth Peterson (Humanities Librarian and Curator of Moving Images) and Jennifer O’Neal (Corrigan Solari University Historian and Archivist), we were able to digitize the footage and offer a clip reel to the reunion organizer, Todd Bosworth.  In addition to the films, the clip reel includes photographs of the runners located by University of Oregon graduate research assistant, Zach Bigalke.  Many thanks to University of Oregon undergraduate student, Joe Hughes, for producing such a captivating clip reel.  As a third generation UO alumni, it was an honor to attend the event to celebrate fellow Ducks and their accomplishments.

 

 

List of reunion honorees and the time and date of their first sub-4 minute mile:

Jim Bailey 3:58:6 (May 5, 1956)
Dyrol Burleson 3:58:6 (April 23, 1960)
Jim Grelle 3:59:9 (April 28, 1962)
Keith Forman 3:58:3 (May 26, 1962)
Archie San Romani 3:57:6 (June 5, 1964)
Wade Bell 3:59:8 (June 2, 1966)
Roscoe Divine 3:59:1 (June 2, 1966)
Arne Kvalheim 3:59:4 (May 6, 1967)
Dave Wilborn 3:56:2 (June 23, 1967)
Steve Savage 3:59:2 (June 5, 1970)

Event media coverage:

Register Guard

KEZI

KMTR

Around the O

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–Lauren Goss, Thomas Intern Film Archives Assistant