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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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