James Herbert Jensen
President James H. Jensen, 1961.
[OSU Archives P1:87]
An internationally respected scientist, educator, and
administrator, Jensen served as Oregon State University president
from 1961 until 1969 and led the institution's first steps toward
becoming a University in fact as well as name by expanding degree
programs in the liberal arts as well as scientific research
President Jensen examines wheat, 1963. Jensen
(right) and Charles Rohde examine rust resistant Omar wheat during
a field day at the Agricultural Experiment Branch Station in
Pendleton. Photograph by Robert Birdsall. [OSU Archives
A native Nebraskan, Jensen earned bachelor's and master's degrees
from the University of Nebraska and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from
the University of Wisconsin. After 8 years as head of plant
pathology at North Carolina State University, he became provost of
Iowa State University in 1953, a position he held until coming to
Oregon State University.
After retirement, he spent several years in Thailand and Iran as a
scientific advisor. He died in Bellevue, Washington in
Jensen leads centennial celebration, 1969.
President Jensen directed the University's centennial celebration
during the 1968-69 academic year. Jensen's attire for the
centennial parade in downtown Corvallis was "what the well-dressed
gentleman of 1869 would wear." [OSU Archives P82:527, frame
Woodworker Jensen, 1969. Even as a
university president, Jensen looked forward to an occasional change
of pace in his basement woodworking shop and was adept at turning
out cabinets, bowls, toys, and puzzles for his grandchildren.
However, he warned his family and friends, "If someone wants a
chair fixed in a hurry, he'd better call a carpenter. This is one
place that I don't keep a time schedule." [OSU Archives
P57:1333, published in the 1969 Beaver yearbook, p.
Where to Find More Information about James Jensen
President's Office Records
Fred M. Shideler
Roy A. Young Papers
Oral History Collection
Memorabilia Collection - Jensen, James H.
OSU Chronological History for the
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