With a first incarnation dating back to 1872, SOU is a liberal arts college located in Ashland, around fifteen miles north of the California border.
There are over thirty majors available to undergraduate students, offered between the colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Education. A number of preprofessional programmes at SOU are partnered with institutions in the region, and the dental hygiene course has an established connection with the Oregon Institute of Technology. There are also eleven master’s programmes at SOU, including two education courses and a MA in Spanish language teaching.
The study of Theatre Arts is an umbrella for ten different specialisms, and the course itself is the longest running of its kind in Oregon. At graduate level the school offers a master of theatre studies teacher training programme, and since 1986 has had a dedicated centre for Shakespeare studies, which works in partnership with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival held in Ashland every year. The most famous alumni of the theatre arts at SOU is star of Modern Family Ty Burrell.
Known as the Raiders, athletics teams at SOU have the Red-tailed Hawk as a mascot and compete primarily in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. In total there are eleven sport’s programmes, including men’s and women’s teams of wrestling, basketball and soccer. The American football team play at Raider Stadium, which can seat up to 4,000 spectators.
A fun tradition of SOU is Beak Week, which is a celebration of what makes the community and university special, and usually concludes with an Alumni and Family Weekend. The Winterfest is held in February of every year, and includes a carnival and ice skating at nearby Lithia Park.