January – May


Campbell Hall c. 1910
Oregon State Noral School
Constructed by:
William Glaeser
O.C.E. Art Faculty

Campbell Hall was the first building dedicated solely to the college and the entire campus functions took place in one building. Initially it was the main classroom, dormitory and administration building. Campbell Hall was known by many names – The Brick Building, Administration Building, and Main building until 1936 when it was given its present name. Prior to its construction the college met in a church just south of Campbell Hall’s current location. As new buildings were added on campus Campbell Hall, although still the centerpiece of campus became less important in the day-to-day operation of the college. Functions such as administration, music, science, theater, humanities, and others soon found homes in the new buildings.

Campbell Hall was built in four stages in a Gothic Revival Style. There is no information at this time, about the original architect. With money raised by the 2nd college president, Thomas Franklin Campbell, the first stage of the building was completed with the laying of the cornerstone in September 1871. Very little is known about the builders, though most likely it was built by members of the Disciples of Christ and the school. We do know Stewart Lewis was one of the brick masons during the initial construction, (see photo in the case).

Sometime prior to 1882, Campbell caught fire. No official record exists of the event, but charred timbers and roof sheathing tell the story.

The south wing and bell tower were completed in 1889; again without state money. Ten years later, in 1898, the north wing was built which included the initial library for the college. The final stage of building, (as seen in the model), was in 1917 which extended the south wing by adding a second floor for more auditorium and administrative space.

The collapse of the Bell Tower during the October 12, 1962 Columbus Day Storm was photographed by Wes Luchau and featured on the cover of Life magazine. The south wing also suffered extensive damage and had to be demolished. The Humanities and Social Sciences building replaced the south wing on Campbell.

Campbell Hall is the oldest building in the Oregon public higher education system. In 1993 the State Legislature approved a restoration project for the aging and decaying building. Renovation was completed in 1995 by McBride Architects and several contractors at a cost of $4.3 million and included a retrofit, state-of-the-art earthquake-resistant foundation.

The case contains building materials from the construction of Campbell Hall including square head nails, original bricks from the1871 Campbell Hall foundation; pieces of Douglas fir from the original frame beams.

Campbell Hall – Chronology

1854 – Monmouth founded by members of the Disciples of Christ from Monmouth, Illinois who came to the Willamette Valley to establish a University.
1856 – College chartered as a private institution by the members of the Disciples of Christ named Monmouth University, first of seven names.

1986 – Name changed to Christian College. Thomas Franklin Campbell named the college president spent much of his 1869-1882 tenure fundraising among Church communities throughout Oregon.

1871 – First Stage of Campbell Hall completed and the first grove of maple and fir trees planted in the location of the Natural Science building

1882 – College becomes a publicly-supported institution of higher education devoted to teacher training through an act of State Legislature; name changes to Oregon State Normal School (OSNS).

1887 – Class of 1887 plants sequoia tree still standing near Campbell Hall.

1889 – Prince Lucien Campbell, (son of Thomas Franklin Campbell), named college president serving from 1889-1902; resigned to become president of the University of Oregon, until his death in 1925.

1889 – South wing added; included chapel, model school (training school) and the bell tower.

1898-1899 – North wing added which included a Library.

1909-1911 State Legislature abolishes funding for teacher training schools, thereby closing the five Normal Schools in Oregon.

1911 – Reopens for classes due to a successful citizen’s initiative on November 1910 calling for the Normal School at Monmouth to be reopened and refunded. Fourth name change to Oregon Normal School (ONS).

1920s – Flag pole and bell removed from bell tower of Campbell Hall allegedly to reduce student pranks; students would climb the flag pole (on a dare) and ring the bell at all hours.

1936 – Building formally named in honor of two former presidents, Thomas Franklin Campbell and Prince Lucien Campbell. Science classes and Administrative offices relocated to new Administration Building.

1939/40 – Campbell Hall Bell tower used in the official college seal as name changes for the fifth time to Oregon College of Education (OCE).

1951 – Library relocated from Campbell Hall to a new building across the street; now Academic Programs and Support Center (APS).

1950s – Grove trees (now about 75 ft. high) examined for health; several had fallen threatening pedestrian safety, OSU Forestry Department reported they would stand for another 100 years.

1958 – Music classrooms moved from Campbell Hall to Smith Music Building.

1962 – On October 12, 1962, Columbus Day 100 mph windstorm blew over many of the Grove trees and topples the bell tower of Campbell Hall and caused severe damage to the south wing. A dramatic photo of the falling tower, taken by student Wes Luchau appears in newspapers and magazines worldwide.

1963 – Monolithic Monmouth Macrosaur Gallstone (a giant prehistoric lizard) reported found in the excavations below the South Wing section of the Campbell Hall being razed. Story is an April Fools hoax perpetrated by the campus Director of Information.

1964 – Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Building opens to replace classrooms lost in south wing of Campbell Hall.

1965 – Carillon atop HSS donated by the Alumni Association to commemorate the fallen bell tower of Campbell Hall.

1966 – Art Department and art classes are now sole occupant of the building.

1967 – The Giant Sequoia is lit for the first time and remains one of the tallest living Christmas trees in Oregon. (approx. 127 feet high).

1971 – Original 100 year-old cornerstone of Campbell Hall reopened in a ceremony; coins, newspapers and other materials from 1871 were found inside the metal box.

1972 – New cornerstone replaced with time capsule of items from 1972; next reopening scheduled for 2072.

1981 – College name changes for the sixth time to Western Oregon State College (WOSC) to reflect the diversity of liberal arts programs offered.

1983 – Official college seal redesigned; Campbell Hall without the bell tower.

1997 – Seventh name change to Western Oregon University (WOU).



Items in this exhibit are from the WOU Archives.

LOCATION:  3rd floor galleries
Curators: Bethany Glasscock, Alexandria Westlund, & Elizabeth Salisbury, WOU Exhibits & Archives Students