CORVALLIS - Oregon State University is naming its newest residence hall for the late William "Bill" Tebeau, a Baker City native who made history in Oregon both as a student and as a professional.
Tebeau died July 5, 2013, in Salem, at age 87.
After graduating from Baker High School in 1943, Tebeau, who wanted to be an engineer, was accepted at Oregon State College.
The school, now Oregon State University, was renowned then, as now, for its engineering program.
Tebeau didn't mention on his application that he was black.
This might seem a trivial matter these days but in 1943 it was rather more significant.
In that year, 75 years after the college was founded in Corvallis, no black men had yet graduated.
Five years later, in 1948, Tebeau became the first.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering.
William Tebeau Hall, just east of the Kerr Administration Building on Washington Way, will open in fall of 2014. A dedication ceremony will be held at the site in October.
See more in Wednesday's issue of the Baker City Herald.