Arnold Dining Center was constructed in 1972 and was part of a group of buildings named by the OSU Building Naming Committee after the first three OSU presidents, including Finley Hall and Bloss Hall. It was remodeled in 2010. It is located at 681 S.W. 26th Street.
Photos: Arnold Dining Center (P 092 1259), President's Office Photographs, and Arnold Dining Center, photo by Zbigniew Sikora, Orange Media Network
Benjamin Lee Arnold (1839-1892), born in Virginia, served as the second president of Corvallis College (now OSU) from 1872-1892. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia in 1861 and was an enlisted member in the Confederate Army. Prior to moving to Oregon, Arnold’s teaching career included being a professor of mathematics and natural science at West Tennessee College. In 1872, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South invited Arnold to come to Oregon to become president of Corvallis College. In 1886, Arnold played a role in the transfer of ownership of Corvallis College from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South to the State of Oregon. During Arnold’s 20-year presidency, he began development of the college's agricultural program, introduced the military training program and established the OSU Alumni Association.
Photo: Benjamin Arnold (P1:3), Presidents of Oregon State University Photographic Collection
The primary reason for evaluating the name of Arnold Dining Center is Benjamin Arnold's service in the Confederate Army.
The OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center (SCARC), home to the university’s unique collections of manuscripts, archives, photographs, digital records and books. Included within SCARC collections is documentation of the campus buildings as well as biographical information regarding building namesakes. For more information see the OSU Buildings History - SCARC Archival Resources - Arnold Dining Hall online guide. While some materials are available online, the majority are only accessible by an in-person visit to conduct research in SCARC, located in the Valley Library, room 5069.
A team of scholars, consisting of both OSU faculty and an external scholar, is assessing available primary sources and secondary sources regarding the lives and legacies of Benjamin Arnold, Joseph Avery, Thomas Hart Benton and A.T. "Slats" Gill.
The full historical report on Benjamin Arnold and Arnold Dining Center is available here.
Whether or not renaming is recommended, the historical information gathered will be used to create ongoing community education and engagement opportunities as recommended by the Building and Place Name Evaluation Workgroup and Architectural Naming Committee.