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Portland University Student Organizations records

Identifier: WUA047

Scope and Contents

The Portland University student organizations records contain minutes from various organizations that operated on campus during the university’s years in Portland. Organizations include the Columbian Literary Society, the Hesperus Society, the Y.M.C.A and the Portland University Academy Alumni Association. The literary societies were also debate societies and their minutes are frequently taken up with the motion of the debate and the resulting discussion and vote.


  • 1891-1900


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Biographical / Historical

Portland University was a private, Methodist post-secondary school in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1891 in a split from Willamette University, the school closed in 1900. The campus was located in what is now the University Park neighborhood and later became home of the University of Portland. The original campus building, West Hall, still stands and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Willamette University chancellor Charles Carroll Stratton founded the Methodist school in Portland in 1891. Some faculty members and students from Willamette, including Willamette’s president Thomas Van Scoy, joined the new university, Van Scoy as the first Dean of Portland University. In 1891, the school built the Administration Hall that became West Hall. Portland University opened in September 1891 with an enrollment of 256 students the first year, with courses of study which included Latin, science, art, and literature. The school grew to an enrollment of 500 by 1894 and included a literary department, a school of theology, music and fine arts department, and a college preparatory division.

Following the Panic of 1893, the school suffered a series of financial setbacks. The panic led to decreased enrollment. Internal disputes and financial problems led the school to leave the campus in 1896 and hold classes in East Portland with Van Scoy as president of the institution. Others who served as president of the university were Arthur J. Brown and George Whitaker, the university’s last president.

Portland University finally closed in May 1900 with many of students and faculty reuniting with Willamette University in Salem. Alumni of the Portland school were then recognized as alumni of Willamette, and most of the records of the school were transferred to Willamette University.


1 Linear Feet (1 box)


The Portland University student organizations records contain minutes from various organizations that operated on campus during the university’s years in Portland.


Arrangement is alphabetical by name of organization and chronological.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library
Guide to the Portland University Student Organizations records, 1891-1900
Finding aid processed by Rose Marie Walter.
© 2013
Description rules
Language of description
Finding Aid Written In English

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States