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Guide to Oregon State University History

From the collections of the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Greek Life - General

Greek Life Office Records, 1918-2015 (RG 223)

The Greek Life Office Records document the administration of this office, which regulates and provides support services to  the fraternity and sorority community at Oregon State University. These materials were primarily generated by the Greek Life Office and reflect administrative activities such as the development of training workshops/classes, the compilation of membership statistics, collaboration with law enforcement agencies in educational programming, and the evaluation of annual rush activities. The Greek Life Office was established in 1998.

Interfraternity Council Records, 1927-1998 (RG 088)
The Interfraternity Council Records consist of a Constitution, by-laws and other materials generated by the IFC and documenting Greek activities on the OSU campus. Other materials include: meeting minutes and agendas, scrapbooks, a partial list of OSU Greek alumni, risk management policy information, and IFC Judicial Committee files documenting fraternity conduct violations.The scrapbooks contain photographs and newspaper clippings.

Panhellenic Council Records, 1922-2001 (RG 056)
The Panhellenic Council Records document the origins, administration, and activities of sororities at Oregon State University.  A portion of the Sorority Rush Handbooks from the mid-1930s through early 1990s are available in Oregon Digital.

Fraternities and Sororites Photograph Colleciton, 1915-1989 (P 034)
The Fraternities and Sororities Photograph Collection documents activities and events sponsored by Greek organizations at Oregon State University as well as various fraternity and sorority houses.  Included are several images of Greek houses including Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Xi, Si Delta Mu, Alpha Rho, Gamma Phi Beta, Gamma Iota, Alpha Chi Omega and Sigma Kappa. The collection also includes photographs of fraternity members participating in community outreach, alumni, Interfraternity Council, dances, and philanthropy events. The bulk of this collection has been digitized and made available online.

Oregon Multicultural Communities Research Collection, 1873-2017 (MSS OMCRC)
This collection pertains to multicultural communities both at Oregon State University and across Oregon. The collection contains, but is not limited to, information on the following: campus cultural centers, student solidarity movements, offices and committees dedicated to diversity on campus, building information, protests and unrest pertaining to multicultural communities, and student groups and associations. Also included is the film "Black Greeks at OSU," an 18-minute undated documentary, likely circa 1990s or 2000s, featuring interviews with African American students and staff associated with Greek life at OSU. The film is available online.

Smith-Western Company Photographs of Oregon State College, circa 1955-1956 (P 164) 
The Smith-Western Company Photographs of Oregon State College consist of images of campus buildings and sorority and fraternity houses. These images were produced around 1955. The Collection contains images of 44 different fraternity and sorority houses (Box 1, Folder 1).

Richard W. Gilkey Photographs, 1947-2005 (P 252)
The Richard W. Gilkey Photographs consist of images made by Gilkey during his student years at Oregon State College. The photographs provide extensive documentation of student life and campus activities and include images of athletic facilities, events, athletes, and coaches; clubs, student organizations, fraternities, and sororities; dances and special events; drama productions; and student outings. Series VIII includes various images, including several images taken for the Phi Delta Theta fraternity (Box 1, Folder 1). Series IX consists primarily of group photographs of attendees at the dances and includes a few images of couples dancing at the Theta Xi dance, and the Pi Beta Phi house dance (Box 2, Folder 1)

Office of Multicultural Affairs Records, 1986-2009 (RG 225)
The Office of Multicultural Affairs Records document the administration and functioning of the Office, which was established in 1991, and the variety of multicultural programs and activities for students and faculty at Oregon State University. Primarily made up of correspondence, Series 1 also contains a sub-series, Event Planning, that includes a folder on fraternity and sorority events (Box 2, Folder 18). 

Elmo R. and Doris Mardis Tibbetts Collection, 1923-1930 (MSS Tibbetts)
The collection includes images of Elmo and Doris Mardis Tibbetts and documents their student activities while at OSC, including the activities of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the cadet band and the practice house. The collection also includes portraits of other students.

Vera Garrison Collection, 1935-1939 (MSS Garrison)
The Vera Garrison Collection consists of student memorabilia assembled by Garrison and John Olsen during their student years at Oregon State College in 1935-1939. The collection includes correspondence and greetings cards, concert and game programs, dance cards, student handbooks, newsletters, newspaper clippings, broadsides, ticket stubs and ephemera, commencement programs, and a map with locations of fraternity and sorority houses (Box 01).

Sororities

Gamma Phi Beta Sorority Photographs, 1918-1963 (P 277)
The Gamma Phi Beta Sorority Photographs consist of images of the sorority's members and houses in Corvallis, Oregon. The Oregon State chapter of Gamma Phi Beta was established in 1915 as a local club and became a chapter of the national sorority in 1918.

Alpha Chi Omega Chi Chapter Minutes, 1918 (MSS AlphaChiOmega)
The Alpha Chi Omega Chi Chapter Minutes document weekly chapter meetings during the winter and spring of 1918. The Chi Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega was established as a women's sorority at Oregon Agricultural College in 1915. The minutes address chapter business including roll calls, invitations to the sorority house for dinner, treasurer reports, discussion of new pledges, ordering badges, scheduling initiation ceremonies, organizing social events, and practice for the annual stunt show.

Virginia Marion Photographs, 1944-1945 (P 318)
The Virginia Marion Photographs consist of ten black and white images of Sigma Kappa sorority (Box 01) members, various sorority activities, and the Sigma Kappa house. Included in the photographs are scenes from a house dance, students wearing costumes for Sadie Hawkins Day, sorority pledges in formal dress on Initiation Day, and candid images of Sigma Kappa sisters riding bicycles, studying, and styling their hair.

*Grace Gramms Scrapbook, 1937-1941 (MSS Gramms)
The Grace Gramms Scrapbook consists of materials documenting her activities as a student at Oregon State College in the late 1930s. Included among the publications found with this scrapbook are Delta Delta Delta sorority newsletters, OSC student "Progressive Party" newspapers, and university guides such as the rush handbook and co-ed code (Box 01).

*Dona Dinsdale Papers, 1943-2013 (MSS Dinsdale)
The Dona Dinsdale Papers document Dinsdale's student years at Oregon State College from 1943 to 1947. The collection includes course materials, correspondence, publications, ephemera and photographs. The correspondence consists of letters written by Dinsdale to her parents from 1943 to 1947, and describes daily life at Oregon State, including sorority pledging and events (Box 02). The photographs include a group photograph of the senior graduating class of the Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority (Box 02), taken in front of the chapter house on graduation day, June 8, 1947.

Jayne Walters Scrapbook, 1934-1940 (MSS Walters)
The Jayne Walters Scrapbook consists of materials assembled by Walters during her student years at Oregon State College in the late 1930s. The scrapbook, and loose materials that are housed separately, include clippings, publications, ephemera, correspondence, and a few photographs. The scrapbook documents student life during this period, as well as Walters' membership in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority (Boxes 01 and 02).

*Jay William Blair Photographic Collection, circa 1939-1942 (P 234)
This collection consists primarily of photographic negatives made by Jay W. Blair documenting campus buildings and grounds and student activities during Blair's years at Oregon State College. The collection includes images of Blair and other students; panoramic views of campus and of a military review; and views of campus buildings, construction of the homecoming bonfire, the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority (Box 01) house, damage to campus trees by the 1941 ice storm, and the Mary's River dam.

Student Affairs Moving Images, 1963-1992 (FV 182)
The Student Affairs Moving Images consist of film and video productions prepared by student affairs units at Oregon State University and include Rush, depicting sorority rush for women students at Oregon State University. The film describes the process for sorority rush and the costs of being a sorority member. It includes interviews with two women students and footage of women participating in rush events, the interior and exterior of sorority houses, and fraternity men. The film is 6:29 minutes, and is available online.

Fraternities

*Alpha Phi Omega - OSU Chapter Records, 1945-1984 (MSS AlphaPhiOmega)
The Oregon State University Alpha Phi Omega - OSU Chapter Records consist of records generated and collected by the OSU chapter of the national service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. The records primarily document activities sponsored by the organization as well as materials related to the National Eagle Scout Honor Society.

Fred Henshaw Photograph Album, 1916-1925 (P 305)
The Fred Henshaw Photograph Album consists of images documenting campus life, social activities and the built environment at Oregon Agricultural College from 1916 to 1918. The membership and activities of Phi Delta Theta fraternity (Box 01) (formerly Kappa Sigma Nu) are particularly well chronicled by the photo album, which includes two images of the fraternity's installation ceremony, held in March 1918.

Clifford L. Smith Photograph Collection, 1916-1919 (P 037)
The Clifford L. Smith Photograph Collection consists of images assembled by Smith that document student life at Oregon Agricultural College in the late 1910s. Several photos are pictures of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity (Box 01) house and members. This collection has been digitized and made available online.

Walter E. Morris Photograph Collection, 1909-1911 (P 122)
The Walter E. Morris Collection consists of four photographic postcards of Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) students collected by Morris during his student years at OAC. The images include the bandstand dedication in 1910; the OAC football squad in 1911; the sophomore football team for 1909; and members of the Delta Omega fraternity (Box 01) on the front steps of the fraternity's first house at 1353 Monroe Street.

Herbert A. Schell Photograph Collection, 1949-1951 (P 282)
The Herbert A. Schell Photograph Collection consists of images assembled by Schell during his student years at Oregon State College. The photographs depict Schell and other students at dances, parties, and dinners and include group photographs of the Kappa Sigma fraternity (Box 01) members, and the Interfraternity Sing. Several images include the fraternity's pet dog, George.

Virgil L. Choate Collection, 1953-1957 (MSS Choate)
The Virgil L. Choate Collection consists of ephemera and photographs assembled by Choate during his student years at Oregon State College in the mid-1950s. The bulk of the images depict activities at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity (Box 01), including house dances. Images of the interior and exterior of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house and of fraternity members are also included.

James T. Gaither Photograph Collection, 1917-1922 (P 275)
The James T. Gaither Photograph Collection consists of images taken and assembled by Gaither during his student years at Oregon Agricultural College from 1917 to 1922, when he earned a BS degree in Commerce. Of special note is an oversize photographic print of the members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity (Box 02) that includes Gaither and Linus Pauling, also a member of the fraternity. 

Francis and Lois Wilson Neer Photograph Album, 1910-1914 (P 206)
This photograph album consists of photographic prints probably collected and assembled by Francis E. Neer or Lois Katherine Wilson. Especially notable are images of the Gamma Delta Phi (later Kappa Sigma) fraternity (Box 01) house at 239 N. 8th Street, including its construction in 1911. Neer and Wilson graduated from OAC in 1914 and were later married and lived in Salem.

W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection, 1913-1956 (P 192)
The W. Lester Powell Photograph Collection consists of images taken and assembled by Powell documenting Powell's student years at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC). Series I consists of snapshots, photographic postcards, and a few professional photographs. The photographs depict Oregon Agricultural College students participating in student activities and attending athletic events; Powell's Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers (Box 1, Folder 1); forestry students and faculty, including George W. Peavy, in forest camps; and Marys Peak and forest scenes.

Frederick V. Betts Scrapbook, 1926-1964 (MSS Betts)
The Frederick V. Betts Scrapbook consists of photographs and ephemera created and assembled by Betts during his student years at Oregon Agricultural College in 1926-1928. Interior and exterior views of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity (Box 01) house are included as well as images of fraternity activities and rituals, such as "bowing before the ghost".

Sigurd D. Medhus Papers, 1947-1949 (MSS Medhus)
The Sigurd D. Medhus Papers consist of materials generated and assembled by Dewey Medhus during his student years at Oregon State College documenting his membership in the Delta Upsilon fraternity (Box 01); his activities as a yell leader and yell king; and his attendance at the Air Force ROTC summer camp at Hamilton Air Force Base in 1949. The collection includes scrapbook pages with photographs and newspaper clippings; loose photographs; a yearbook from the 1949 ROTC summer camp; and a felt Oregon State pennant. 

Vane G. Gibson Collection, 1908-1961 (MSS Gibson )
The Vane G. Gibson Collection consists of two photograph albums, a clippings scrapbook, and related materials documenting the student years of Gibson and his wife, Fern Loughridge Gibson, at Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) and their activities during the 1920s and 1930s. The second photograph album (1909-1913), an OAC Stunt Book, was apparently assembled by Fern Loughridge and includes images of Oregon Agricultural College (OAC) students. This album also includes several images of campus views and buildings, the Kappa Sigma Nu (Box 01) fraternity house in 1913, and homes in Corvallis.

*Access to Collections

*All collections listed in this guide are open for research. Some collections, however, are not yet fully processed, arranged, or described; the titles of these collections have been marked with an asterisk, i.e., *Avery Lodge Records, 1966-2014.