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OSU Building Names Assessment (2016-2018) ~ SCARC Archival Resources

Arnold Dining Center - Historical Report

A full historical report on Arnold Dining Hall (published in Fall 2017) is available via the OSU Building and Place Names website: Arnold Dining Center

For more information on the building's history, see the Arnold Dining Center tab within the OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center website.

About the Resources on This Page

The information contained on this page is not comprehensive and is intended only to provide an overview of the building names and namesakes under consideration. The resources are specific to the OSU Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Therefore, other relevant secondary sources, as well as primary sources located in other archival repositories, are not included.

Arnold Dining Hall Building History

About Arnold Dining Hall:
Arnold Dining hall was constructed in 1972 and remodeled in 2010. The building is named for Benjamin L. Arnold, president of Oregon Agricultural College from 1872-1892.

Facilities Services Records, 1888-2010:

The Facilities Services Records document the physical campus of Oregon State University in Corvallis as well as OSU facilities throughout the state of Oregon beginning with construction of the first building on the current campus in 1888. The records consist predominantly of architectural drawings and files for the design, construction, and modification to structures. For facilities information on Arnold Dining Hall, click here.

  • Files relevant to Arnold Hall include:
    • Series II.  Building Project Files, 1938-2002 1974-1998
    • Series III.  Building Specifications and Reports, 1909-2003
    • Series IV.  Capital Construction Project Files, 1962-1997
    • Series XVII.  Renderings (Drawings) of Campus Buildings, 1949-1975

*To quickly access files relevant to Arnold Hall, hold down the 'Ctrl + F' keys and search for "Arnold Hall" in the pop-up search bar*








Zbigniew Sikora, Orange Media Network, March 06, 2017

About Benjamin L. Arnold

Benjamin Lea Arnold was born October 29, 1839 in Mecklenburg, Virginia. He received his B.S. from Randolph Macon College and taught in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. After serving in the Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee, Arnold taught at colleges in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia. Benjamin L. Arnold became the second president of Oregon Agricultural College in 1872 and served in that capacity until his death on January 30, 1892.

Benjamin L. Arnold was a soldier in the Confederate Army: Arnold served in the Confederate Army after receiving his bachelors degree from Randolph Macon College (see Arnold obituary in Arnold the Memorabilia Collection file). A comprehensive and recent accounting of Arnold’s service in the Confederate Army can be found in Randol B. Fletcher’s Hidden History of Civil War Oregon. E526 .F55 2011 Special Collections and Archives History of the Pacific Northwest Collection and Valley Library main stacks.

Collections pertaining to Benjamin L. Arnold: <p><span class='highlight0 bold'>Benjamin</span> L. Arnold. Arnold served as the second president of Oregon Agricultural College from 1872-1892. <span class='highlight1 bold'>Arnold</span> constructed a curriculum structure, dividing studies into two departments, Literary and Scientific. Each</p><p>				department contained specific corresponding schools.</p>

Benjamin L. Arnold Collection:

  • The Benjamin L. Arnold Collection consists of several items pertaining to Arnold, who served as president of Corvallis College from 1872 until 1892. The items include correspondence written by Arnold to his family; newspaper clippings regarding Arnold's death; condolence letters written to Arnold's widow Minnie following his death in 1892; and two Benton County, Oregon land deeds.
  • President’s Office Records: B. L. Arnold
  • Oregon State Monthly article, May 1934: “Former OAC President”
  • Presidents of OSU online exhibit: Benjamin L. Arnold 

Memorabilia Collection:

The Memorabilia Collection is an artificial collection containing items of interest about Oregon State University and to a lesser extent, the city of Corvallis, and the state of Oregon.

  • Box-Folder 11.10 and 182.5 Arnold, Benjamin L.

RG 008 Board of Regents Collection:

The Board of Regents Records document the administration, facilities, and curriculum of the Oregon Agricultural College and include correspondence, minutes, financial records, and contracts.

  • Series 2, meeting minutes

RG 033 Board of Trustees Records:

The Board of Trustees Records document the early years of Corvallis College (now known as Oregon State University) and contain meeting minutes, financial records, and a resolution and circular.

FAQs Pertaining to Arnold's Presidency at OSU

Did Benjamin L. Arnold change school colors from blue and silver to orange?

Corvallis Gazette July 1, 1892 "According to the suggestion of Prof. Bloss, the students of the agricultural college have adopted as their colors orange and black, and all those connected in any way with the institution are easily known by the bow worn on the breast."

Reference to the school color being changed from navy blue to orange by a vote of the faculty on May 2, 1893, fifteen months after Arnold’s death. The student body selected black as a complementary color.

Did Arnold craft the cadet corps uniforms to resemble the Confederate army?

Was Arnold was responsible for the naming of Benton Hall, named after Thomas Hart Benton?

  • What is now Benton Hall was built during Arnold’s administration (in 1887-88), but was called the Administration or College Building. It was renamed Benton Hall in 1947 in honor of the citizens of Benton County that provided the funds to construct the building. See OSC Barometer, May 15, 1947, page 1, column 2 – "Old administration building name changes – now known as Benton Hall." The 1947-48 catalog is the first to use Benton Hall as the name of the building.
  • Benton County is named for Thomas Hart Benton.