Voices Web Extra:

A Pacific View of Oregon’s Sesquicentennial

By Alex Toth
Social Sciences/Special Collections Librarian
Pacific University, Oregon

On February 14, 2009, Oregon initiated a year-long celebration of 150 years of statehood. A number of events both large and small have been scheduled throughout the state to celebrate that achievement. The contributions that Pacific University, the state’s first chartered institution of higher education, has made to Oregon over that period of time have been significant:

The contributions that Pacific has made to the State of Oregon do not however reside solely with historical figures. The contributions have in large part been the result of the collective efforts of those of us who have worked at, attend or served the University. It is through our collaborative accomplishments that Pacific has achieved its position as a premier institution of higher education in both the state and the region.

A portion of the material culture that documents our shared history as Pacific University resides in the University Archives, which serves as the institutional memory. The University Archives, as custodian of this memory, seeks to identify, acquire and preserve the significant documentary evidence that connects Pacific’s past to the present and will connect its present to the future.

The occasion of Oregon’s Sesquicentennial represents a unique opportunity for Pacific University to remind itself of the many contributions the University has made to the history of the state. If you have not visited the University Archives, the Sesquicentennial might be an opportune time to do so and to see what those who have preceded us have contributed to our University. Their stories can entertain, educate and inform us. Let’s trust that in 2159 those who stand where we are now will find similar inspiration in our accomplishments.

Alex Toth is Social Sciences/Special Collections Librarian for the Pacific University Library.

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