Looking back at the scarf that made Oregon State famous
Scarf that Coach Craig Robinson wore to Obama's inauguration was given to him earlier by Morton Whitney
Published: Thursday, February 5, 2009
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
On Jan. 20, 2009, the world watched a landmark inauguration as President Obama was sworn into office. This day can now also be seen as the day when Oregon State University was put on the map.President Barack Obama's brother-in-law, Oregon State's men's basketball coach Craig Robinson, whose sister is first lady Michelle Obama, joined millions in Washington, D.C. to welcome President Obama to the White House.
Robinson had front row seating to the inauguration, as he sat three seats behind Obama. He was there to support his sister and brother-in-law, all the while giving a shout out to Beaver Nation. Of all the choices Robinson had that day, he chose to wear that now "famous" orange and black scarf.
There was much speculation as to which school that scarf was actually representing. Robinson is an alumnus of Princeton, who also sports orange and black as their school colors, and news anchors and reporters alike, including Tom Brokaw and Charles Gibson confused the scarf for a Princeton one.
Some even went as far as to say his scarf was representing "the school in Oregon" he worked at.
The scarf Robinson was wearing actually came directly from an Oregon State fan just weeks before the inauguration.
On Jan. 5, Mark Whitney, Oregon State alumni of '73, with his father Morton Whitney by his side, attended an all access radio show taping at 101, a restaurant/bar located on the waterfront. Craig Robinson was there doing the taping and Whitney had never met him before this. It was at this taping that Whitney gave Robinson the scarf. He thought it would be a nice gesture as a way of welcoming Coach Robinson to Beaver Nation and the state of Oregon.
The scarf itself comes from to the Eola Hills Winery in Rickreal, Ore. and was made for the Emerald Bowl trip in 2007. The owners of the winery are Tom and Debbie Huggins. Debbie coordinated to get the design put on for the 2007 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. Anyone who was attending the bowl game with the winery received a scarf. The scarf was among many others made by T-Line out of Canby, Ore.
Whitney bought additional scarves to give away as gifts. This was not the first scarf that Whitney has given away, nor did he think that it would cause the media frenzy that it did. He has previously had given scarves to his mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and father. Coach LoVonda Wagner and Coach Ken Mounton also received a scarf last season.
When asked what his reaction was to this scarf being talked about nationwide he replied, "I thought it was fantastic, although I couldn't absolutely guarantee that it was the same scarf."
It was later confirmed that this was indeed the same scarf that Whitney had given him, and goes to show how a small gesture can go a long way.
Katie Powell, staff writer