1990 OSU’s Centennial: Gala, capsules, online series

Former presidents joined the current administration, faculty, staff and students in front of Old Central for a “family photo” in recognition of OSU’s first 100 years of progress in 1991.

The centennial celebration got off to a very early start with gala opening ceremonies keynoted by former U.S. President Gerald Ford on December 8, 1989.  A year later, a crowd gathered in the formal gardens on December 14, 1990, days before the actual start of OSU’s anniversary, to dedicate a monument to its alumni and students for the first 100 years. Inside the monument are two time capsules to be opened on OSU’s 150th and 200th birthdays.

A much older copper time capsule (box), was removed that same year from the wall of the Edmon Low Library. The capsule, marked “Secrets of the Century” offered documents and memorabilia of life and progress on campus from 1889 to 1941, from Dr. Berlin B. Chapman and his history class (see 1941).

The most detailed contribution from the 100th celebration was a series of centennial history volumes that were painstakingly researched and published with the help of numerous faculty and staff members, led by our late president emeritus, Dr. Robert Kamm. Covering the first century of campus life and progress, the Centennial History Series is available online from the digital collection at OSU’s Edmon Low Library.  It includes a coffee table book that provides an overview titled, “The First Hundred Years, Oklahoma state University: People, Programs, Places.”

The yearbooks, which were edited by the students from 1910 to 1992, were also essential to the timeline and they too are available online. We are indebted to those who left us these cherished records of our past.