William Tebeau graduated from then Oregon State College in 1948 with an engineering degree, but was denied a room on campus because of the color of his skin.
He died last year, and OSU is naming its newest dorm after him. The residence hall, William Tebeau Hall, is on Washington Way and will be opening this fall.
“In this situation, we’re able to reflect back on our past,” said Dan Larson, Executive Director of University Housing and Dining Services. “And through naming this new residence hall after William Tebeau, we’re making a statement about who we’re going to be in the future.”
In 1926, Carrie Halsell-Ward, the first African-American woman graduated from OSU before Tebeau. Another residence hall on campus is named after her.
The University says it never had a policy that did not allow African Americans to live in the residence halls, but before Oregon’s first fair housing law in the 1950s, the University did not have a policy that ensured fair housing treatment either.