Oregon Tech "Firsts"

  • First Campus: 822 acres – began 1947 – Oregon Vocational School (OVS). Former Marine Barracks – 80 buildings – 3 miles from downtown
  • First day of class: Tuesday, July 15, 1947.Thirty-three students in:Auto mechanics, commercial cooking, & automotive body & fender
  • First Faculty Senate formed: 1965
  • First name: Oregon Vocational School (OVS).Changed 12-21-48 by State Board of Education to Oregon Technical Institute (OTI). “Eliminates an unfortunate connotation with penal institutions”. First use of name Oregon Institute of Technology – 1973.
  • The early curriculum included the classes of gun-smithing, baking and commercial cooking, clock and watch repair, dry cleaning, silk screening, auto mechanics, refrigeration servicing, and many others. A class was established when ten students requested it
  • First basketball team: “The Owls” entered competition Fall, 1947
  • First OVS football team practices – early September 1948- Kiwanis Park in the Mills Addition
  • First Dean of Students: Robert L. Smith1947-61
  • First “periodical newspaper for the campus titled The Owl” – was first printed in November, 1948
  • First annual commencement exercises were held: June 24, 1949. 233 grads.208 were vets; 15 not.Senator. Harry Boivin spoke
  • First catalog issued: 9-3-49; 64 pages; 4,000 copies
  • First approval of OTI as acceptable school for scholarships by Daly Scholarship Fund of Lakeview -June 10, 1950 – meant first college-level designation for OTI
  • First textbook by Oregon Tech Faculty: 1956, authored by Hagen and Jacobi, on X-ray Technology
  • Landmark decision by State Board of Education in 1957:“The Klamath Falls School was to have the same relationship to the Board that State Colleges and Universities had to the Board of Higher Education”
  • First Associate Degree to be granted in Applied Science approved by State Board of Education, December 10-11, 1957
  • First choice and purchase of new campus site, 6-13-60
  • First shovelful of dirt: State Senator Harry Boivin8-19-1961
  • First two buildings to be built: Semon & Owens Hall
  • Regional accreditation: 12-7-1962
  • Landmark: “Formal dedication of the Nation’s newest college campus” by Governor Mark Hatfield, October 26, 1964
  • First BT degree approved 10-12-1966, in Engineering Technologies: Civil, Electrical, Mechanical
  • First Honor Society: Omega Pi, local - 4-29-1968
  • Law changing name to Oregon Institute of Technology first became effective October 5, 1973
  • First President after Dr. Purvine: Dr. Kenneth F. Light,1976
  • First approval for a baccalaureate degree: 1968
  • First summer sessions began in the mid-fifties
  • First Faculty Charter: 2-3-1970
  • First Student Council began8-1947
  • First Homecoming Queen: 1949, Gale Bachman
  • First Bachelor’s Degree: Bachelor of Technology, in Engineering Technology – “BT”1966-1979
  • First computerization of Campus between 1983 and 1992, promoted by President Blake
  • First regional accreditation as “a specialized higher institution” in 1962
  • Oregon Tech’s radio station, KTEC, went on the air for the first time 12-19-1950
  • New swimming pool completed end of 1983 academic year
  • First Master's Degree: In the Fall of 1995, Oregon Tech introduces a Master of Science in Engineering Technology program, with specialization in Computer Engineering Technology.

Resources on Oregon Tech’s history

Oregon Institute of Technology, 1947-1997, The First Fifty Years, vol. 11 of the Journal of the Shaw Historical Library, (1997)

OVS, OTI, Oregon Tech: OREGON TECH’S FIRST 30 YEARS, 1946 – 1976 by Winston D. Purvine

The Owler, OIT’s yearbook from 1950 to 1983.  Copies are available for use at through the University Archives and in the Shaw Historical Library.

 

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For More Information

Library Reference

 541.885.1777
Oregon Institute of Technology Library
Campus History Collection
3201 Campus Dr.
Klamath Falls, OR 97601

Last Updated December 2014

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