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Home Economics at Oregon State


Home Economics majors presenting "Tea Time" program at Shepard Hall TV studios 1961

1960 - A new Core Curriculum was adopted for all students in home economics with areas of concentration suggested to direct students in their professional interests.

Exceeded total of 300 masters degrees awarded.

1961 - Areas of concentration recognized by diploma designations were added for Home Economics Education, and Dietetics and Institution Management .

1963 - Margaret L. Fincke appointed acting dean.  She served from 1963 to 1965 when Betty Hawthorne was appointed.

Additional diploma designations of areas of concentration approved: Clothing and Textiles, Foods and Nutrition, Nursery School Teaching, Communications, Child Development and Family Life.

Graduate student enrollment exceeded 50 for first time.

1963 - The School of Home Economics recognized its 75th anniversary with a series of four conferences on the general theme "Challenges to American Families," which were attended by staff, students, alumnae, and friends.

1964 - The Department of "Family Life and Household Administration" changed to "Family Life and Home Management."

Clara Storvick, Professor of Foods and Nutrition Research, in the laboratory, 19531965 - The Nutrition Research Institute was formed with Dr. Clara Storvick appointed as Director.

Exceeded total of 400 masters degrees awarded.

Betty E. Hawthorne appointed dean of the School of Home Economics. 

A report planning for the future of home economics at Oregon State University for the next ten years, "Aims of the School of Home Economics at Oregon State University," was completed.

1966 - The Department of Family Life and Home Management was divided into two separate departments.

J. Philip O'Neill appointed head of Family Life Department.  

Undergraduate enrollment exceeded 8000.

First PhD. degree in Home Management was awarded to Priscilla Aileen Crabtree with a dissertation entitled "Current financial resources compared with selected characteristics of 60 retired couples."

1966-67 - The School of Home Economics enrolled 836 undergraduate and 70 graduate students.  Undergraduate students completed common core curriculum with choice of graduating in General Home Economics or eight areas of concentration to prepare for professional work:

  • Child Development and Family Life
  • Clothing and Textiles
  • Dietetics and Institution Management
  • Foods and Nutrition
  • Nursery School Teaching
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Management, Family Economics, and Housing

Graduate students: masters degrees were offered in all departments, and doctorate degrees were offered in Foods and Nutrition, Family Life and Home Management.

Current faculty (excluding graduate assistants):

  • 42 in resident instruction, full or part-time (33 FTE) and 13 in research, full or part-time (8.63 FTE).
  • Eleven staff have Ph.D. degrees, 33 have masters degrees, several with additional advanced study, and 4 have bachelors degree.

Active research programs in progress in foods, nutrition, textiles and home management, supported by the Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University Research Council and National Institutes of Health.

Staff provided professional services in multiple ways to the University, community, state, and national and international programs, through government agencies, professional organizations, and industry and business.

Total degrees awarded through June, 1966:

  • Bachelor degrees: 4906
  • Masters degrees: 412
  • Doctorate degrees: 14


Interior merchandising students Teresa Ellison, left; Jane Yoder, center, and Heather Wilson, right; look over interior design plans in preparation for "Human Perspectives" show.1972 - The Women's Center was established.

1976 - The Home Economics Building was renamed Milam Hall in 1976 to honor the contributions of Ava B. Milam, who was a leading feminist of the era and the Dean of the School of Home Economics from 1917 to 1950.  


Oregon State University College of Home Economics Department of Foods and Nutrition.

1982 - The Child Development and Family Life concentration changed to Human Development, and Nursery School Teaching changed to Human Development. A certificate program in Gerontology was added.

1983 - All schools, except Education, changed names to colleges.

From bottom row left to right: Lorraine Miller, James Leklem, Margy Woodburn, Margaret Lewis, Carolyn Raab, Jean Peters, Rosemary Wander, Constance Georgiou, Mary Kelsey, Zoe Ann Holmes, and Florian Cerklewski.


Bates Hall in summer of 1992

1991 -  As a result of Ballot Measure 5, which was approved by Oregon voters in November 1990, state general fund assistance was reduced by $12.5 million. Colleges of Education and Home Economics were merged and several departments were targeted for closure, including Journalism, Religious Studies, and General Science.

New Child Care Center opened on September 30, 1991.

1992 - Mercedes A. Bates Family Study Center opened on October 3.  The center was the only U.S. facility dedicated to lifespan family study.

2000s and beyond!

Oregon Stater, Winter 20122002 - The College of Home Economics and Education merged with the College of Health and Human Performance forming the College of Health and Human Sciences.  The new School of Education again became an independent academic unit.  Programs in the new School of Education included elementary education, secondary education, adult education, community college leadership and counseling education, the College Student Services Administration (CSSA) program and the 4-H Youth Development program. Sam Stern was appointed dean of the newly reorganized school.

2007 -  Shortly before passing away in June, Oregon philanthropist Hallie Ford donated $8 million to OSU to fund the Hallie Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families, part of the College of Health and Human Sciences. The unique center opened on September 8, 2011, to address the needs of rural children and to research childhood and family issues.

2011 - The Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families opened on September 8. The center houses various research projects involving parenting, children, and other family issues.