Southern Oregon University
Southern Oregon University (SOU) is a public liberal arts college located in Ashland, Oregon, United States. Founded in 1926, it was formerly known as Southern Oregon College (SOC) and Southern Oregon State College (SOSC). SOU offers criminology, natural sciences, including environmental science, Shakespearean studies and theatre arts programs. It is headquarters for Jefferson Public Radio and public access station Rogue Valley Television. SOU is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
Southern Oregon University began as Ashland Academy in 1872, founded in part by Reverend Henry Skidmore of Oregon's Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1878, the school was renamed Ashland College, and then renamed Ashland College and Normal School in 1879. In 1887, the State of Oregon proclaimed the school an official state normal school. However, the state did not provide any funding for the school, and in 1890 the school closed. In 1892, the school selected a new site in the city with financial assistance from Methodists in Portland, and construction began on what was named the Ashland Collegiate Institute. The school reopened in 1895 as the Southern Oregon State Normal School (SOSNS), and state funding began in 1899. In 1904, the school became a full state school, but funding was eliminated in 1909, leading to the closing of the campus. In 1926, the state reestablished Southern Oregon State Normal School in Ashland at a new location on land donated by the city, where the university is currently located. The residents of Ashland passed the "Normal School Site Bonds" to build the new facility. The building was later named Churchill Hall after SOSNS' president Churchill who oversaw the relocation project. Churchill now serves as Southern's administrative building, with the president's office on the first level. Churchill Hall closesly resembles Eastern Oregon University's Inlow Hall. Both buildings were built at during the same time from the same architecture semantics. The buildings were designed by architect John Bennes and retain their original Renaissance style. In 1932, the Oregon State Board of Education renamed the institute Southern Oregon Normal School. In 1939, the state board eliminated normal schools in Oregon. The university received full accreditation from the American Association of Teachers Colleges. With the accreditation, Oregon Governor Charles A. Sprague signed into law the bill changing the institution's name to Southern Oregon College of Education. In 1956, the university underwent another name change, to Southern Oregon College (SOC) to reflect the institute's diverse degree options. In 1975, SOC was renamed Southern Oregon State College (SOSC) and finally in 1997, SOSC became Southern Oregon University.
Southern Oregon University is an inclusive campus community dedicated to student success, intellectual growth, and responsible global citizenship.
In 1983, future Academy Award nominated filmmaker Todd Field attended SOU on a music scholarship. SOU Professor Emeritus Lawson Inada was named Oregon Poet Laureate in 2006, a position that had been vacant since poet William Stafford vacated the post in the early 1990s. Actor Ty Burrell, graduated from SOU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1993. Actor Joel Moore, graduated from SOU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2001. Agnes Baker Pilgrim, spiritual elder of the Takelma tribe and chairperson of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers graduated in 1985. Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, former governor of Mexican state of Guanajuato, former director of CONACyT and current Mexican senator.
Rural College Town