Oregon State is one of 73 land-grant universities currently operating throughout the world. The school is also recognized as a sea-grant, space-grant and sun-grant institution, making it one of only two US institutions to retain all four designations and the only public university to do so (Cornell is the only other with similar designations). In addition to Oregon State's many federally designated areas of research, the university receives more funding for research, annually, than all the state's other public higher educational institutions combined.
As a top tier forestry school, OSU is widely considered the nation's leader in the subject. Of the 53 forestry programs at North American universities; Oregon State University College of Forestry was ranked first by a 2006 survey, "…in the total number of professional publications, first in the number of 'citations' to those publications, and is perceived by academic colleagues as the leading forestry program in North America.
The 2005 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education categorizes Oregon State as a, "Comprehensive Doctoral with Medical/Veterinary" university. This is one of only three such universities in the Pacific Northwest to be given this categorization. In 2006, Carnegie also categorized the university as having "Very High Research Activity," which makes OSU the only university in Oregon to attain these combined recognitions.
The National Sea Grant College Program was founded in the 1960s. OSU is one of the original four Sea Grant Colleges selected in 1971.
In 1967 the Radiation Center was constructed at the edge of campus, housing a 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark II Research Reactor. The reactor is equipped to utilize Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) for fuel. Rankings published by U.S. News & World Report in 2005 placed Oregon State ninth in the nation in graduate nuclear engineering.
OSU was one of the early members of the federal Space Grant program. Designated in 1991, the additional grant program made Oregon State one of only 13 schools in the United States to serve as a combined Land Grant, Sea Grant, and Space Grant university. Most recently, OSU was designated as a federal Sun Grant institution. The designation, made in 2003, now makes Oregon State one of only two such universities (the other being Cornell University), and the only public institution with all four designations.
In 1999 OSU finished a $40 million remodel to the campus library. Known as the 'Valley Library', the totally remodeled building was selected by The Library Journal as their 1999 Library of the Year, the first academic library so named.
In 2001, the university's Wave Research Laboratory was designated by the National Science Foundation as a site for tsunami research under the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation. The O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory is located on the edge of the campus and is one of the largest and most sophisticated laboratories for education, research, and testing in coastal, ocean and related areas in the world.
On August 22, 1868, official Articles of Incorporation were filed for Corvallis College. October 27, 1868, is known as OSU Charter Day, the day that the Oregon Legislative Assembly designated Corvallis College as the Agricultural College of the state of Oregon and the recipient of Land Grant fund income. As part of this designation, the college was required to comply with the requirements set forth in the First Morrill Act. The name was changed to Corvallis State Agricultural College and was then authorized to grant the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts degrees. The first graduating class was in 1870, granting Bachelor of Arts degrees.
The Division of College Extension was organized in 1911 with Ralph Dorn Hetzel as director and, in 1912, the first off-campus faculty were placed in Marion and Wallowa counties. The Army ROTC became active in 1917, replacing the original Cadet Corps formed by students studying Military Science. In 1919, OAC began a horticultural products processing program, the first of its kind in the United States. Accreditation was granted in 1924 by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools.
In 2007, Scott Reed was named the Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement as the Extension Service and Extended Campus were aligned under this new division.
The 400-acre (1.62 km²) main campus is located in Corvallis, in the Willamette Valley. Although its surroundings are rural, the city is rapidly becoming more metropolitan and has seen recent periods of infrastructural and economic growth. This recent expansion is helping to provide the city with one of the highest standards of living in the state. Corvallis, a city of 53,000 permanent residents, was recognized in 1996 as one of the most livable cities in America.
Corvallis was most recently ranked as the 5th-smartest university town in the United States. The 2008 ranking, by Forbes.com, was based on the percent of educational degrees residents living in America's cities have earned. Researchers found 47.65% of Corvallis residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher, 5.62% achieved a Ph.D while 1.95% have earned other educational degrees. Over 93% of the city's residents have graduated high school, which is an unusually high statistic for any city nationwide. In 1994 OSU was also rated the safest campus in the Pac-10 in a study of universities.
Oregon State has a large alumni base over a broad range of professions. Out of over 200,000 alumni in the history of the university, OSU considers scientist and peace activist Linus Pauling, the world's only recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes, its most famous alumnus. Other notable academics include United States National Academy of Sciences members Paul H. Emmett, Milton Harris, and Wayne L. Hubbell, National Academy of Engineering member Octave Levenspiel, and inventor Douglas Engelbart, who invented the computer mouse and came up with the concept of E-mail.
In the business world, OSU alumni hold or have held several prominent positions in various industries. This includes Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA, Leonard Shoen, founder of U-Haul, Bernie Newcomb, co-founder of E*TRADE, John A. Young, former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Mercedes Alison Bates, first female officer of General Mills and former vice president of its Betty Crocker Cooking division, Thomas J. Autzen, Plywood manufacturing pioneer and namesake of Autzen Stadium, Mike and Brian McMenamin, co-founders of the McMenamins chain, and Timothy S. Leatherman, inventor of the Leatherman tool and founder of the Leatherman Tool Group.
In politics, alumni include former Governor of Idaho and United States Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrus, former Governor of Oregon and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay, former Governor of Oregon John Hubert Hall, U.S. Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, former U.S. Representatives Rod Chandler, Julia Butler Hansen, Norris Poulson, Lowell Stockman, and Jolene Unsoeld, former U.S. Senator Frederick Steiwer, and current U.S. Senator John Ensign. Several OSU alumni have military ties, including Medal of Honor recipients Edward Allworth and John Noble Holcomb, commander of Marine forces at Henderson Hall and USMC Colonel Anthony E. Van Dyke, and World War II flying ace & USMC Major General Marion Eugene Carl.
In arts and entertainment, alumni include Pulitzer Prize winners Chris Anderson, George Oppen, and Roger Werth, Academy Award winner Harley Jessup, actor Michael Lowry, country music singer Travis Rush, and screenwriter Mike Rich.
Oregon State athletes have a had a significant showing in professional sports, including more than 15 MLB players, more than 20 NBA players, and more than 130 NFL players. Some of the more prominent athletes include Boston Red Sox player and 2007 World Series champion Jacoby Ellsbury, NFL Pro Bowlers Chad Ocho Cinco, T. J. Houshmandzadeh, Steven Jackson, and Derek Anderson, Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker, San Antonio Spurs player Brent Barry, former NBA player "Iron Man" A.C. Green, and 9-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton. OSU alumni have earned more than 15 Olympic medals, including Fosbury Flop creator Dick Fosbury and undefeated amateur wrestler Robin Reed.
OSU baseball coach Pat Casey was named Coach of the Year by several publications in both 2006 and 2007 when he led the baseball team to back-to-back national championships, and former OSU basketball coaches Slats Gill and Ralph Miller are both members of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Current OSU head basketball coach Craig Robinson is the brother-in-law of the presumptive 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama.
Located in the middle of campus, Weatherford Hall is one of the school's original dormitory buildings. The building is now home to the Austin Entrepreneurship Program (AEP TICK). The program is designed to incubate a multitude of student businesses participating as members of the OSU Society of Entrepreneurs.
The city that Oregon State University calls home is the seventh largest city in the state. Still, Corvallis is a relatively small community and many of the local events have a strong connection to the university. Oregon State has over 300 active student organizations and groups, the most of any university in the Oregon University System. The campus is located only a few hours driving distance from any number of outdoor recreation opportunities. Several federal and state natural forests and parks make up popular student destinations. These include the Cascade Range, a rugged coastline, several large forests, a desert, and many rivers. Portland, Oregon's largest city, is north of the campus.
The majority of older students at Oregon State University live off-campus, but on-campus housing is available and typically home to incoming freshmen. There are 12 residence halls (dormitories) on campus, which are organized into individual Residence Hall Associations (RHA). Residents make-up the membership and each association holds their own elections to select management over the hall government.
The LaSells Stewart Center is the conference and performing arts center for the campus. Many famous speakers have graced the stage of the campus' main auditorium, Austin Auditorium, while the Corvallis/OSU Symphony plays their frequently. The OSU Office of Conferences and Special Events is located within the auditorium.
Two Oregon State students are members of the Oregon Student Association Board of Directors.
In a 2008 national ranking based on academics, athletic opportunity and overall performance; Oregon State was chosen as one of the "premier" universities in America. This ranking, performed by Stack Magazine, places Oregon State 29th in the nation's "Elite 50" universities and uncontested within the state.
The history of Oregon State athletics dates back to 1893, when "Jimmie the Coyote" was chosen as the college's mascot. This was replaced by the beaver in 1910 (the beaver remains the school's mascot today). In 1915, the college became one of the four charter members of the Pacific Coast (Athletic) Conference.
Football is played in Reser Stadium. The current costumed mascot Benny the Beaver made his first appearance in 1952. The next year, 1953, saw the opening of the football facility, Parker Stadium (now named Reser Stadium). The Raising Reser campaign expanded the stadium from 35,000 seats to 46,200 throughout 2006—2007. You can watch a time lapse webcam of the expansion.
1962 saw OSU's (and the west coast's) first Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Terry Baker. The University of Oregon is often seen as the school's key athletic rival, with the annual Civil War football game between the two teams being one of the nation's longest-lived rivalries.
Trysting Tree is the name of Oregon State's golf course, dedicated in 1988, the tournament level course has been recognized by Golfweek magazine as one of the top five collegiate golf courses on the West Coast. Its name is traced to a tree near Benton Hall where student couples would meet and make dates.
Oregon State has a total of three NCAA championships. In addition to the two baseball titles, the Beavers won the 1961 NCAA Men's Cross Country Championship. In 1975, the men's rowing Varsity-4 with coxswain team won the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Collegiate Rowing Championships in Syracuse, New York, establishing a course record which stood for 15 years. In 2006, the Oregon State racquetball team won the USA Racquetball intercollegiate championship.
Oregon State University is also home to the oldest Marching Band in the PAC-10. The Oregon State University Marching Band was started in 1890 and has become a staple at Beaver Football games. OSU football coach Mike Riley credits the marching band with 10 points at each home game and 6 at each away game.
In accordance with the University’s mission for diversity, many organizations, clubs, and departments have been formed, including the Office Of Community and Diversity and several cultural and resource centers.
Oregon State University has several cultural centers aimed at promoting diversity and supporting students of color, including the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, Native American Longhouse, Asian & Pacific Cultural Center, and the Centro Cultural César Chávez.
In addition to its mission of ethnic diversity, Oregon State University supports its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population with a Pride Center.