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Chapters

Title Page
1. Preface
2. A Special View
3. A Precarious Beginning
4. Creating A Vision
5. The Grand Opening
6. Setting the Standard
7. A Changing World
8. Postwar Growth
9. Student Life
10. A Maturing University
11. A Generation of Change
12. The University in Transition
13. Continuing Lovett’s Vision
14. Reinforcing Excellence
15. A University Comes of Age
16. A University So Conceived
17. A Second Century Begins
18. A Selected Bibliography on Rice
19. Acknowledgements

 

A University So Conceived

16. A University So Conceived

Rice happily celebrated the centennial of its charter in May 1991. Symposia, lectures, tours, and exhibits marked the occasion. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, gave the commencement address on May 4, 1991, as a thousand graduates prepared to receive their degrees and then march through the Sallyport and symbolically into the world as the faculty symbolically marched back toward the library and into the cloistered halls of academe. Baker made repeated references to his grandfather, Captain James A. Baker, who had rushed to New York City in 1900 to save William M. Rice’s fortune from the conniving lawyer and hence make possible the eventual opening of the university in 1912. As Secretary Baker spoke that warm spring morning, Captain Baker, Mr. Rice, and President Lovett also seemed present in spirit. Their evocation reminded the Rice community of the continued relevance and power of the founding dream that has so shaped the ethos of the university. Dedicated to both teaching and scholarship of the highest order, Rice offers a special kind of education to a special kind of student. In 1991, as at the opening of classes in 1912, Rice University faced the future confident and with a sure sense of its mission. Just as the university had always served its larger community, that larger community had long supported Rice munificently. No American university approached the beginning of the twenty-first century with a brighter future than Rice.