One hundred years ago, Batcheller Hall was truly a bachelor — a stand-alone building on Oregon State’s lower campus and not yet sandwiched between Dearborn and Covell halls. Built in 1913 under the original moniker of the Mines Building, Batcheller housed some of the college’s earliest engineering disciplines, including mining geology and metallurgy. The college recently celebrated Batcheller’s centennial and its rich history that formed the foundation of many of our programs today.
This spot in history:
- Construction of the School of Mines began in 1912 and finished in time for the new school year in 1913.
- What is now Batcheller Hall originally housed the School of Mines, which was comprised of four departments: Mining & Metallurgical Engineering, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, and Economic & Mining Geology.
- Approximately $600 worth of platinum was stolen from the School of Mines in 1916. While the culprit was never determined, it was suspected that it was an "inside job" committed by a bitter departing faculty member.
- The School of Mines formerly housed the radio tower for KFDJ (which later became known as KOAC) circa 1930.
- During World War I, the School of Mines provided courses for the Student Army Training Corps in handling and use of explosives in mining engineering.
- In the budget squeeze of the early 1930s, the State Board of Higher Education closed the School of Mines on June 30, 1932. Mining engineering classes went to Engineering.
- In 1965, The School of Mines building was renamed Batcheller Hall after beloved former Mines professor and school head James H. Batcheller.
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