Memorial Union (Oregon State University)
North side of the building
|Type||student activity center|
|Location||Corvallis, Oregon, United States|
|Address||2501 SW Jefferson Way, Corvallis, Oregon|
|Current tenants||MU Commons, OSU Bookstore|
|Owner||Oregon State University|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Lee Arden Thomas|
The Memorial Union (MU) is the student activity center at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. It contains a ballroom, cafeteria, bowling alley, shops, and study areas. It was designed by Oregon Agricultural College (a predecessor of OSU) graduate Lee Arden Thomas.
Groundbreaking occurred March 3, 1926 Construction was funded by contributions from past and present students. The building was officially dedicated by Dr. James K. Weatherford. Thomas, the building's architect, was an alumnus based in Portland. Memorial Union opened to the public on June 1, 1928. It is of Neoclassical design, with an exterior built mainly with red-colored bricks with white granite accents including a dome in the center.
The building is one of the few OSU buildings of that era not attributed to John Bennes, and has been described as "one of the finest examples of neoclassic architecture in Oregon." It has been "known to generations of Oregon Staters as simply the MU", and "was built in 1927-28 as a monument to those who have given their lives in defense of the nation, as well as a center for student life on campus."
The building was funded entirely with private donations and gifts at a cost of around $750,000, and a $3 per term assessment Oregon State students implemented beginning in January 1922. It was dedicated on June 1, 1929. The east and west wings (restaurant and commons) are later additions, having been added in 1960 and extensively renovated in the 1990s; the MU was owned by the Memorial Union Corporation until 1965 when it transferred the facility to the State Board of Higher Education.