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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

A black and white image of Shepard Hall.


When Shepard Hall opened in 1909, it was a space for the YMCA and YWCA, as well as other student organizations. Nonetheless, since its original function was to support religious activities the school couldn't fund its construction. The building has also been used for military-related housing and a women’s dorm. In 1919 the second floor was used as a quarantine hospital during the worldwide influenza epidemic. The building was named for Clay Shepard, a 1904 Oregon Agricultural College graduate, who first proposed such a building and raised most of the funds for it before he died in 1906. The university didn’t purchase Shepard until 1940 when the speech and dramatic department moved in, but it was used for vocational education classes as early as 1927.

General Information


2001 SW Campus Way


E.B. MacNaughton

Year Built



Safety deficiencies remediated between 1975 and 1980; mechanical room steam pipe insulation added between 1982 and 1983; attic insulated in 1983; sanitary sewer and sewer line replaced between 1985 and 1988; re-roofed in 1989.

Square Footage

14,890 sq ft.


Originally used by the YMCA and YWCA and other student organizations; was later used as student housing, a quarantine hospital, vocational education classes, and was eventually used for the speech and dramatic department. 

Previous Name(s)



Clay Shepard, a 1904 OAC graduate who first proposed the construction of such a hall and raised most the funds for its construction before he died in 1906

Historic District

Yes; contributing building


Facilities Services Records, 1888-2003


Facilities Services Records, 1888-2003. Series XX:  Campus, Farm, and Property Maps, 1899-1990. Campus and Farm Maps: 3-A

Oregon State University Campus Maps, 1894-1994


Oregon State University Historical Photographs, 1868-1980

Further Archival Information

SCARC: The OSU Memorabilia Collection includes a subject file about Shepard Hall, including a detailed history of it's construction and it's namesake, Claiborn Shepard. In addition, the History of Oregon State University Oral Histories and Sound Recordings, the Edwin T. Reed Papers, the Oregon State University Military Photographs Collection, the James G. Arbuthnot Photograph Collection, the Armond C. Taylor Photograph Collection, the President's Office Photographs, the Henry C. Gilbert Photograph Collection, Harriet's Photograph Collection, the Robert W. Henderson Photographic Slides Collection, the Contract Administration Records include information about the construction and use of Shepard Hall. 

Oregon Digital: A search for "Shepard Hall" yields thousands of results, many of them photographs and mentions of the building in university periodicals.