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History of the Department

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionThe Department of Physics at Oregon Agricultural College was started in 1908 with the appointment of Dr. Willibald Weniger as Assistant Professor of Physics by President William Jasper Kerr. Prior to that time two courses in elementary physics were given by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Weniger received his B.A. degree in 1905, his M.A. in 1906, and his Ph.D. in 1908, all from the university of Wisconsin, and then came directly to Oregon Agricultural College. He was at that time the only Ph.D. on the staff of the College.

The courses in physics offered in 1908-09 were: 1 and 2. Physics. Three credits per term. Required for students in Mechanic Arts. 3 and 4. Physics. Four credits per semester. Prerequisite: plane geometry. Required for students in Engineering, Commerce, Pharmacy, and Forestry.

The Physics offices and laboratories were located in Mechanical Hall (now Apperson Hall) where they remained until 1928 when the new Physics building (now Covell Hall) was completed.

This is the way our history begins. For more information,see links below. Some pictures need to be rotated in the adobe reader, the scanner does not always agree with what physics tells is up or down.

Historical facts covering 1908 through 1966, compiled by Prof. Edwin Yunker
Historical facts covering 1967 through 1971, compiled by Prof. James Brady
Historical facts covering 1970 through 1979, compiled by Ms. Carole Holmquist
Pictures from 1923 to 1934
Pictures from 1936
Start of the KOAC radio station
The first OSU seismograph
Start of the OSU cyclotron
Move to Weniger Hall
Dedication of Weniger Hall
Pictures taken in 1969
Program of the 100th meeting of the NW AAPT section in Corvallis
Dedication of the Yunker Reading Room, 1972
Local AAPT meeting in Corvallis, 1971
Alumnus in the news, Dr. Kenneth Evenson, 1972
Local OAS meeting in Corvallis, 1973
First Physics Fellowship, 1973
James Brady's retirement party, 1973