Construction on the $28 million dorm Tebeau room is scheduled to it is in finished over time for autumn 2014 classes.

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When bill Tebeau confirmed up in ~ Oregon State in 1943, that couldn’t get a dorm room because of the shade of his skin. That didn’t avoid the African-American from enrolling and graduating with a level in chemical engineering.

Seventy years later, Oregon State university will name its brand-new $28 million dorm Tebeau hall in respect of its an initial African-American male graduate.

Today there are laws against denying world housing, but in the 1940s, the culture on campus to be different.


Bill Tebeau stand out together one of couple of minorities in ~ Oregon State college in the 1947 OSU yearbook.

“The ugly part is part of our own history, too,” claimed Terecita Alvarez-Cortez, associate director of diversity initiatives and programs for university Housing and Dining solutions at OSU. “There’s no a the majority of names the resonate if you’re a college student of color on campus.”Alvarez-Cortez to be on the naming committee that chose Tebeau’s name for the brand-new building. OSU wishes to incorporate facets from Tebeau’s life in ~ the dorm, such as his love the photography and his legacy as a pioneer and also teacher.

“It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come and how much we should keep moving forward,” said Jacqueline Chambers, one more UHDS employee that was likewise on the committee.

At the OSU Archives, yearbooks paper Tebeau’s journey with what was then Oregon State College, through photos that Tebeau’s member in Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society.

Tebeau no the first African-American student to graduate. That distinction goes to Carrie Halsell, who graduated in 1926. Halsell room bears her name.


Students Justin Archield, left, and Queen Dash look at photos of past events in the short-term Lonnie B. Harris Black social Center at Oregon State University. A new center is planned because that the campus.

Queen Dash, a black color student at OSU, stated the formal acknowledgment of Tebeau is a welcome adjust on a campus that is primarily white.

In the previous 10 years, the decimal student population at OSU has actually increased from 13 percent come 20 percent, but the numbers space still lower than the state and national averages. "In the class you only see perhaps one or two black students that look favor you, sometimes even none," stated Dash, a Salem native.

Dash claimed she goes come the Black social Center top top campus to setup events, watch friends and do homework surrounded by people with shared interests.

“If you’re going to discover diversity and get involved, it’s through the social centers,” claimed Dash. “You’re no going to find it on her own.”

OSU employee members indicate that college student shouldn’t have to search for a method to to the right in; they need to feel welcome native the start. And so other locations of campus space working to make students feel less alone.

For orientation, OSU is hold Spanish-language sessions for parents whose first language no English.

The school likewise hosts “Racial Aikido” maintain to assist students resolve “microaggressions” on campus.

There is still occupational to it is in done.Racial epithets were found written in a restroom in Kidder room this spring, prompting hundreds of world to march v campus in protest.

This story was written by student journalists participating in The Oregonian's High institution Journalism Institute, a collaborative initiative with Oregon State college to promote diversity in newsrooms of the future.

The new Lonnie B. Harris Black social Center was supposed to be finished in June, but the site is at this time a gravel pit v no one visibly functioning on it. In the meantime, the short-lived Black cultural Center is operating out that a hard-to-find room ~ above the fourth floor that Snell Hall.

Oscar Humberto Montemayor, assistant manager of academic engagement and also success, claimed the college will continue to work-related to improve.

Miguel Arellano, who acquired his bachelor’s in ~ OSU in 2012 and also his master’s in 2014, said he struggled as soon as he first arrived in Corvallis. Having actually grown up in Woodburn, whereby the majority of inhabitants are Latino, Arellano stated Corvallis didn’t look or sound favor his hometown.

After the acclimated, that said, his experience at OSU opened his mental and changed his life. He even researched bill Tebeau because that a class project.

OSU is reserved to hold a dedication ceremony because that Tebeau hall on Oct. 9. Members of the Tebeau family are intended to attend.

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