Phi Kappa Phi, an all-discipline honorary society, established a chapter at Oregon Agricultural College in 1924. Initial inductees included President William Jasper Kerr and long-time Board of Regents member James K. Weatherford. The group is standing in front of the College Library (now Kidder Hall).
The Lady of the Fountain was a gift of the class of 1902 and constructed shortly after graduation. It was the second class gift presented to OSU in school history and was located on Lower Campus, just to the west of the intersection of where Madison Street today crosses 9th Street. On January 21, 1929, the statue was found destroyed.
Eddy Elbridge Wilson graduated in 1889 with a B.S. From 1925-1940, Wilson was president then board member of the First National Bank of Corvallis. Wilson was also deeply involved with the community, working with the State Game Commission from 1935-1949 and the Corvallis Planning Commission from 1931-1941. At Oregon Agricultural College, Wilson served on the Board of Regents from 1906-1915 and 1924-1929. From 1925-1961, Wilson worked with the Memorial Union Board of Governors.
"The Mercury statue was presented to the students of the college, May 29, 1919, by Dr. E. J. Kraus, the first dean of the Service Department. It was imported from Florence, Italy, by a San Francisco art dealer, purchased by Dr. Kraus, and presented to the College. "Because of the feeling that sentiment has as its foundation in the artistic as well as the utilitarian, I am giving to the students of O.A.C. a statue of Mercury, which I trust may find a place in the library. I hope that this may meet with your approval," read a letter to Mrs. Kidder (Library Director) Mercury -- sometimes called flying Mercury -- is the work of Giovanni Bologna, 1524-1608. The artist was Flemish by birth but did most of the work in Florence. The "Fountain of Bologna," and the "Statue of Cosinie I" are other works for which he is noted. Mercury is considered the most spirited, graceful, and animated of Bologna's sculptures. The original statue is in the Musco Nationale, at Florence. O.A.C.'s copy is made in that far distant center. This statue has been placed in the front of the east window in Room 200 [in the Library]."--Barometer September 29, 1923.
The Culture Collection was on the northwest corner of the Library Reading Room. By 1926 the entire space from the large east window to the card catalog (located in the space later used for the reserve desk) was occupied by the Culture Collection.
William Jasper Kerr was the sixth president of Oregon Agricultural College from 1907-1932. Kerr increased the size of the campus with 25 new buildings, including Memorial Union, Milam Hall, and the Women's Building. Kerr also established numerous colleges, including engineering, agriculture, and home economics. After 25 years as president, Kerr became Oregon's first chancellor of higher education.