August LeRoy Strand
President A.L. Strand, ca. 1945.
[OSU Archives P1:70]
A.L. Strand was appointed President of Oregon State College in the
fall of 1942 and led the College through World War II and the post-
war period of extensive growth in students and facilities.
Strand hits opening pitch, 1946. The first
postwar Northern Division conference game between OSC and
Washington State College (WSC) was celebrated with President A.L.
Strand, Beaver coach Ralph O. Coleman, and WSC coach Buck Bailey
opening play as batter, pitcher and catcher. OSC participated in
intercollegiate baseball for the first time since 1943, when
competition was halted due to the war. [OSU Archives
Strand was born in Victoria, Texas, in 1894, but moved to Montana
as a young boy soon after the turn of the century. He earned a
B.S. degree in entomology from Montana State College in 1917 and
M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota in the mid
1920s. He returned to Montana State College in 1931 as Professor
and Head of the Entomology Department and six years later, in 1937,
was appointed the college's President.
Strand arrived at Oregon State College as student and faculty ranks
were dropping, but enrollment swelled to 8,000 students and 25
major buildings were constructed during Strand's 19-year
presidency. As a capstone to Strand's presidency, Oregon State
College was officially renamed Oregon State University on
March 6, 1961.
Strand remained in Corvallis after his retirement in 1961 and later
served a 4-year term on the Benton County Commission. He lived in
Corvallis until his death in 1980.
Student pilot Strand, 1947.
Described by his flight instructor as an apt pupil, President Strand
took his first solo flight on September 19th, 1947, 29 years to the
day after his first solo flight as a US Navy sea plane pilot during
World War I. Dressed for the office, Strand went to the Corvallis Airport
regularly for an hour or so of early morning flying in a 150-horsepower
enclosed 4-passenger Stinson Voyager. [OSU Archives
Strand Union Building at Montana State University,
ca. 1950. The student union building at Montana State University
was named for A.L. Strand in 1972. As student body president in 1917,
he began a long-range student campaign to build the union which became
a reality while he was President of Montana State College.
[PA6.1.SUB Strand Union Building; courtesy of University
Archives, The Libraries, Montana
Where to Find More Information about A.L. Strand
President's Office Records
Fred M. Shideler
Memorabilia Collection - Strand, August L.
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