The University of Oregon (also referred to as U of O or Oregon) is a public flagship research university in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1876, the institution's 295-acre campus is along the Willamette River. Since July 2014, UO has been governed by the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon. The university has a Carnegie Classification of "highest research activity" and has 21 research centers and institutes. UO was admitted to the Association of American Universities in 1969.
UO offers 316 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The university is organized into eight colleges: the Robert D. Clark Honors College (the oldest honors college in the United States), the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Charles H. Lundquist College of Business, the College of Education, the School of Journalism and Communication, the School of Law, and the School of Music and Dance. Additionally, the graduate school oversees the university's graduate and certificate programs.
UO student-athletes compete as the Ducks and are part of the Pac-12 Conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). With eighteen varsity teams, the Oregon Ducks are best known for their football team and track and field program.
The Oregon State Legislature established the university on October 12, 1872 despite funding woes. The residents of Eugene struggled to help finance the institution, holding numerous fundraising events such as strawberry festivals, church socials, and produce sales. The doors officially opened in 1876, with Deady Hall its sole building. The first year of enrollment contained 155 students taught by five faculty members. The first graduating class was in 1878, graduating five students. In 1881, the university was nearly closed, over $8,000 in debt before Henry Villard donated $7,000 toward the payment of the debt.
During Prince Lucien Campbell's tenure as president from 1902 to 1925, the university experienced tremendous growth compared to its early years. The budget, enrollment, facilities, and faculty members all grew several times its amount prior to his presidency. Numerous schools were also established during his tenure, including the School of Music in 1902, the School of Education in 1910, the School of Architecture and College of Business in 1914, the School of Law in 1915, the School of Journalism in 1916, and the School of Health and Physical Education in 1920. However, the University of Oregon lost its School of Engineering to Oregon Agricultural College, now known as Oregon State University.
The Zorn-MacPherson Bill in 1932 proposed that the University of Oregon and Oregon State College (now "University"), to be merged into one university. The bill lost in a landslide vote of over 6 to 1. The University of Oregon Medical School, originally founded in 1887 in Portland and merged with Willamette University's program in 1913, officially became an independent institution in 1974 known as Oregon Health Sciences University.
With financial support from the state dwindling from 40% to 13% of the university budget, in January 2001, University President Dave Frohnmayer began Campaign Oregon with the goal of raising $600 million by December 2008, the greatest philanthropic fundraising campaign in the history of the state of Oregon. With total contributions exceeding $100 million from benefactors such as Phil Knight and Lorry I. Lokey, the campaign goal was exceeded by over $253 million.
In 1995, Spike Witwicky amicably parted with the Autobots and enrolled at the University of Oregon to major in Construction Management. However, unable to fit into academia after being out in the work force most of his life, Spike dropped out of the University of Oregon in 1996.
In 1999, Spike's brother Buster Witwicky enrolled at the University of Oregon in hopes of completing an accelerated three-and-a-half year plan to obtain his bachelor's degree, becoming the first Witwicky in known memory to graduate college. In 2003, Buster completed his bachelor degree and enrolled in the graduate program. In 2011 he completed his Master's degree and enrolled in a doctoral program.
In 2011 the college was temporarily closed as the McKenzie and Willamette rivers swelled and threatened to completely flood the city of Eugene, OR.
Notable staff and alumni
- Spike Witwicky (dropout)
- Buster Witwicky (professor)
- Sam Witwicky - (dropout)
- Daniel Witwicky - current student
- Dr. Alan Goldstein - archeologist and visiting fellow at UO's Earth Sciences Department
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