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Textual Timeline

1816
William Marsh Rice is born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 14, 1816, to David and Patty Rice. In addition to working as an inspector in the Springfield Armory, David also serves in local and state political positions and helps establish a local school in which William is later enrolled. By age 15, William has gone to work in the Family Grocery Store, owned by retired whaling captain Henry L. Bunker. He stays with Bunker for about five years, then buys his own store. In less than two years, he clears $2,000 on this first business venture.
1838
Spurred by economic depression in Springfield and by the promise of cheap land and untapped wealth in the new Republic of Texas, Rice decides to seek his fortune in Texas. He sends all his goods by ship to Galveston and travels there himself down the Mississippi and by rail. When he arrives in October, he discovers that the ship carrying his goods has been lost at sea and that he is penniless.
1839
Rice is in business by April 22, 1839, as a wholesaler of wine and spirits.
1865
By the end of the Civil War, Rice's many business enterprises, including groceries, cotton, land, railroads, and supplying Civil War materials, among others, have made him one of the wealthiest men in Texas.
1880
In the 1880s, Rice considers the establishment of a philanthropic enterprise in the city where he gained his wealth.
1890
Cesar M. Lombardi, president of the Houston School Board, convinces him to found an educational institution.
1891
The charter for the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, Art, Philosophy, and Letters is signed on May 13 and is registered on May 19. Rice appoints six trustees—Captain James Addison Baker, Jr., Cesar M. Lombardi, Everett McAshan, Emanuel Raphael, Frederick Rice, and Alfred S. Richardson. The institute, which is not to be begun until after Rice's death, will be tuition free.
1900
William Marsh Rice is found dead in New York City on September 23. The next day, lawyer Albert T. Patrick presents a will purportedly signed by Rice that bequeaths the bulk of Rice's estate to Patrick. Suspecting foul play, Captain Baker initiates an investigation that finds that Rice was chloroformed to death by Patrick and Rice's valet, Charles Jones, in a conspiracy to claim Rice's estate. Jones turns state's evidence, and Patrick spends 10 years in Sing Sing prison, his sentence is commuted.
1904
Thanks to the efforts of Captain Baker, legal challenges to Rice's genuine will are resolved, and the Rice Institute receives a $4.6 million founding endowment. A large part of the estate consists of timberland in Louisiana. Proceeds from the sale of timber from this land fund the construction of the Administration Building (later to be renamed Lovett Hall) and other early buildings on campus.
1907
In January, the trustees begin searching for the first president of the Rice Institute. They receive 39 recommendations from around the country. As the trustees consider the options and narrow the field, one individual stands out—mathematician and astronomer Edgar Odell Lovett, who has been recommended by Woodrow Wilson, president of Princeton University. On November 20, the trustees formally offer Lovett the post. During the hiring negotiations, Lovett visits Houston and recommends that the institute be build on a 300-acre site at the end of Main Street—an area he feels will never become industrialized.
1908
On January 18, Lovett formally agrees to become the first president of the Rice Institute, and he arrives in Houston in March. One of his first acts is to depart, in July, on a worldwide journey to great universities and centers of learning in England, across the Continent, and all the way to Japan. His goals are to understand what makes an exceptional institution of higher education and to organize a distinguished first faculty. Equally important, with this journey, Lovett establishes two of Rice's enduring principles: A great university must be international in scope and must have an eminent faculty firmly grounded in research as well as in superior teaching.
1909
Lovett returns to Houston on May 7, an he and the trustees begin making decisions that will set the tone and scope of the institute. They believe that a university should be useful to society by bringing various services to the community and by offering a utilitarian education for its students that will provide them with an occupation for life. They do not envision that the institute will become a trade school, but rather that it will aspire to university standing of the highest level, seeking "to attain that high place through the research work of its early professors, setting no upper limit to its educational endeavor."
1909
Just as significant is the decision to build and maintain the institute on annual income alone, keeping endowment funds intact. Because of the prohibition on debts, this means that growth will be slow.
1909
Finally, the institute becomes more of a reality with the purchase of the 300 acres at the end of Main Street that Lovett recommended as the site of the campus. Lovett selects Ralph Adams Cram of the Boston architecture firm Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson to design the campus plan and the earliest Rice buildings. Cram's design for the Administration Building (later to be renamed Lovett Hall) lays the foundation for the look of the "traditional" Rice building—a Mediterranean/Byzantine blend of cloisters, whimsical details, and facades of marble, concrete, and St. Joe brick.
1910
In August, William Ward Watkin comes to Houston as a representative of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson to oversee construction of the Rice Institute buildings. He remains to join the Rice Faculty and to found the architecture program.
1911
The cornerstone for Rice's first building, the Administration Building, is laid on March 2, Texas Independence Day. The stone is of Ozark marble and contains a sealed copper box containing a copy of the King James version of the Bible, the charter of the institute, brief biographies of William Marsh Rice and the trustees, a photograph of the general campus plan, a copy of the January 12 Houston Chronicle and a copy of the January 18 Houston Daily Post.
1911
Construction of the Mechanical Laboratory and the Campanile take place.
1912
Rice's first matriculation is on September 23, with 59 students. Students admitted later bring the first class to 77 students—48 male and 29 female—to be taught by 10 faculty members.
1912
A football team is organized, and it adopts the owl from the Rice seal as its mascot.
1912
Lovett chooses as the school colors "a blue still deeper then the Oxford blue…and the Confederate gray, enlivened by a tinge of lavender." It has been suggested that blue and gray were chosen because William Marsh Rice amassed much of his fortune by trading with both the North and South during the Civil War.
1912
Rice holds formal opening ceremonies on October 12. In addition to the trustees, faculty, and students, attendees include local and state officials and dignitaries from governments and universities around the world. In his address, Lovett announces that Rice will "aspire to university standing of the highest grade," and he proposes " to assign no upper limit to its educational endeavor." He also states that "the residential college idea…is prominent…in the plans of the new institution." Buildings completed for the ceremonies are the Administration Building (later to be renamed Lovett Hall), the Mechanical Laboratory, South Hall (later to be renamed Will Rice College), and the commons dining room (later to be renamed Baker Commons).
1913
Lovett establishes the University Extension Lectures, the precursor to the School of Continuing Studies.
1913
Rice organizes a baseball team.
1914
The Physics Building (later to be renamed Herzstein Hall) and East Hall (later to be renamed Baker College) are built.
1914
The men's track team is organized.
1914
The Engineering Society is formed.
1914
In an August 14 letter, Julian Huxley (biology) and Arthur Hughes (physics) petition President Lovett for four improvements in faculty conditions: better food, better living accommodations, a high table for faculty in the Commons, and a common room for faculty.
1914
In May, a committee is appointed to establish an official curriculum.
1914
Until now, the faculty members have been only loosely organized due to their small numbers, but because of additions, there is a growing need for more formal faculty organization. The earliest minutes existing for the faculty sitting as a formal body are dated March 27.
1914
Rice qualifies for admission to the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is certified as a Class A college by the Texas Department of Education.
1914
Rice becomes a charter member of the Southwest Conference.
1915
The men's basketball team is organized.
1916
West Hall (now Hanszen College) is built.
1916
Rice's first commencement is held with 35 graduates—20 men and 15 women—receiving 27 B.A. degrees and eight B.S. degrees. The first master of arts degree is awarded. The diploma is designed by President Lovett.
1916
Requirements are established for graduate degrees.
1916
To challenge the mind, students establish three "literary societies": the Owls Literary Society and the Riceonian Literary and Debating Society for men and the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society for women.
1916
The Rice band is formed.
1916
The Owl football team defeats Southern Methodist University 146-3, the largest winning margin in Rice history.
1916
Biology professor Julian Huxley stirs up public controversy by advocating equal rights for women and by advancing the idea of human evolution from a tailless ape.
1916
The student newspaper, the Thresher, begins publication on January 15, and the first issue of the yearbook, the Campanile, is published.
1916
The Honor System is adopted by a vote of the student body. Each student has to sign the pledge, "On my honor, I have neither given nor received any aid on this examination," at the end of each test. The honor Council is formed to decide on cases of infraction of the Honor Code.
1916
The first nonacademic clubs begin (YMCA, YWCA, Menorah Society).
1917
World War I brings military regulations to campus, including reveille at 5:45 A.M. and taps at 11:00 P.M. All classes previously segregated according to gender are opened to men and women alike.
1917
The owl mascot gets a formal name in an informal manner. When the owl is kidnapped by students at Texas A&M, Rice students hire a private detective to find out where he has been taken. After location the owl, the detective sends a telegram saying, "Sammy is fairly well and would like to see his parents at eleven o'clock."
1918
Rice's first Ph.D., in mathematics, is awarded to Hubert Bray. This event signifies that Rice is, from the beginning, not just an undergraduate school but also a center for graduate study and research. Bray becomes a professor at Rice and later, chair of the mathematics department.
1918
The Student Association and Student Council are formed.
1918
Captain and Mrs. Baker endow the first Rice scholarship for high academic standing, named in honor of their eldest son, the late Frank Graham Baker. It is open to both female and male undergraduates, and the recipient will receive a stipend of $360 for one year. (Even through Rice is tuition free, there are a registration fee and room-and-board costs.)
1918
The Owl basketball team wins the Southwest Conference title, and football continues. Due to World War I, however, other student activities dwindle, and the publication of the Thresher is halted.
1918
Students' Army Training Corps replaces ROTC; both are eliminated at war's end.
1919
The Pallas Athene Literary Society for women forms.
1919
The Thresher and Student Council resume operations.
1919
To help ensure that student life maintains a democratic tenor, President Lovett bans sororities and fraternities.
1919
By this year, the institute has conferred 144 undergraduate and 18 graduate and professional degrees. In November, at Thanksgiving homecoming activities, the former students organize into the Association of Rice Alumni. Their first president is Ervin Kalb '17.
1919
Administration first comes to Rice with the appointment of Robert G. Caldwell as first dean of students, Samuel G. McCann as first registrar, and John T. McCants as first bursar. Prior to this, the administration consisted of Edgar Odell Lovett and McCants, who served as President Lovett's secretary.
1919
A student-run Hall Committee is formed to establish rules by which the residence halls are regulated.
1920
The first Rice Engineering Show, an exhibition of the work of student engineers, is held. Exhibits include a "bucking bronco," magnetic stunts, nitroglycerin explosions, X-ray demonstrations, and a radio-controlled car. Despite President Lovett's belief that the show will not attract much attention, it draws 10,000 visitors.
1921
Intramurals begin, featuring football, basketball, and track.
1921
The first May Fete is held. This spring celebration includes the crowning of a May Fete queen, Rosalie Hemphill, and king, Parks Williams.
1921
Physical education classes are made mandatory for freshmen men.
1921
The Dramatic Club is formed. (It will become the Rice Players in 1951.)
1921
The Field House is opened to provide facilities for physical training classes and for intramural and intercollegiate sports.
1921
Autry House is built under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Located on Main Street, it is built with a donation from Mrs. James Autry in honor of her husband, Judge James L. Autry. It quickly becomes the "fireside of Rice" by serving as Rice's first cultural, religious, and recreational student center.
1922
After a Thresher campaign for a school song, "For Rice's Honor," written by Ben Mitchell '24, is chosen.
1922
The Rice Owl literary magazine is formed.
1922
Radio station 5YG begins.
1922
The Owl Debating Club and Riceonian are resurrected.
1922
On June 28, after many years of sustaining a reputation as the second-worst hazing school in Texas (after Texas A&M), Rice announces a complete ban on hazing. Rice also bans social clubs that resemble fraternities and sororities. Both hazing and social clubs, say the administration and faculty, violate the university's democratic principles.
1923
Undergraduate enrollment passes the 1,000 mark, and there are 20 graduate students. The biology department turns away students for lack of space. Admission requirements are raised, and entering freshmen enrollment is limited to 400 per year.
1924
John W. Heisman, for whom the Heisman Trophy will eventually be named, becomes Rice's first full-time head football coach. Although Heisman has a reputation for coaching championship teams, his record at Rice is less than stellar. His first season ends in a tie with Texas A&M for third place in the Southwest Conference, his second in seventh place, and his third in the cellar. Following an even more dismal fourth season, Heisman resigns on December 1, 1927.
1924
The Owen Wister Literary Society (OWLS) is formed.
1925
The Chemistry Building (later to be renamed Keck Hall in honor of the W.M. Keck Foundation) is built.
1925
The Rally Club is formed to help usher at events on campus, to cheer for the teams, and to raise school spirit.
1927
Cohen House, the faculty club, is built. Funds for the building are donated by George S. Cohen, and it is named in honor of his parents, Robert and Agnes Cohen.
1928
A faculty committee recommends that Rice begin charging tuition.
1928
Rice is awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
1929
The Department of Physical Education is created.
1929
Building plans for the campus are frustrated by the onset of the Great Depression.
1930
The statue of William Marsh Rice, containing his ashes in its base, is unveiled on June 8.
1932
Due to the Great Depression, faculty salaries are cut 5-10 percent. Students pay a price, too. The registration fee is raised from $10 to $25, and students are required to live one year in the residence halls and pay $18 per year to support the Student Association, the Honor Council, and student publications.
1933
In a show of solidarity with the administration, the student body adopts a resolution favoring compulsory membership in the Student Association and levies a blanket tax of $8.40 per student.
1934
Coach Jimmy Kitts leads Rice to their First Southwest Conference football championship.
1937
The English department requires students to pass a spelling test before they can graduate.
1937
Rice physicists begin building a 2.5 million-volt atom bombardment machine to study the nucleus of the atom.
1937
Jimmy Kitts’ football team captured another Southwest Conference football championship after going scoreless the first three games of the season.
1938
Rice football plays its first Cotton Bowl, beating Colorado 28-14.
1938
Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, is formed.
1939
The Rice Owl student literary magazine merges with Rice Alumni News, a combination that lasts until 1946.
1940
Louis Girard writes the "Rice Fight Song."
1941
In April, troubled by the institute's financial position, Captain Baker recommends to the trustees that the charter be amended to allow Rice to charge tuition. The board agrees, but a sequence of events prevents the filing of the necessary suit to alter the charter. First, on April 23, the board has to file a renewal of the charter. Second, on May 14, Edgar Odell Lovett resigns as president, although he agrees to stay on until a successor can be found. And third, on August 1, Captain Baker, the only chair the Rice Board of Trustees has known, dies. But tuition becomes, for the time being, a moot point when oil is discovered on the Rice lands in Louisiana that were part of the original endowment.
1941
Due to World War II, campus life is disrupted academically and socially in July 1943. Naval ROTC is established, and approximately 200 naval trainees are quartered on campus, outnumbering civilian men two to one; no civilian men live on campus. (Civilians lived on campus through May of 1943) Rice goes on the navy's schedule, holding classes year-round and adhering to navy-prescribed curricula and campus routines.
1941
The May Fete is held for the last time.
1941
The Engineering Society is disbanded after its hazing practices get out of control. Sometime between March 1944 and June 1946 the Engineering Society was abolished and was later revived in 1946 under strict faculty regulations and guidance only to expire again after the Spring of 1947.
1942
Rice announces its plan to permit male seniors to graduate early if they enter the armed forces. Classes are accelerated, senior men attend summer school, and the 1942-43 academic year ends early, allowing the students to complete their degree requirements in February 1943.
1942
Rice buys into the Rincon Oil field in Starr Country, Texas. The investment of $1 million (50 percent supplied by the institute and 50 percent by friends of Rice) will make Rice $35 million richer by 1978.
1943
In January, George R. Brown '20, partner in Brown & Root, becomes the first Rice alumnus elected to the Board of Trustees.
1945
The trustees devise a 10-year plan to meet new goals for Rice. In preparing this plan, the trustees analyze the institute's past developments, present status, and future outlook. This analysis shows that Rice is not simply the engineering school many think it is. Between 1929 and 1943, 49 percent of students had been registered in the liberal arts school (which included the pure sciences and mathematics), 33.7 percent in engineering and architecture, and remaining 17 percent in physical education, premedical, and graduate programs. The foremost objective of the trustees' plan follows Lovett's original intentions to provide especially good training for a limited number of students through a sound basic program that sets a high standard of scholarship and provides leadership in higher education. Faculty will be increased, and the curriculum will be further developed, with expansion in the arts and letters, through the emphasis will remain on science and research. The trustees also call for a substantial building program, including plans for a library, classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, and a house for the president.
1945
Sallyport, the alumni and university magazine, begins life as a four-page newsprint tabloid.
1946
After 25 years of all-male cheerleading, or "yell leading," Betty Jean "Foxie" Fox is elected the first female yell leader.
1946
RI replaces the Rice Owl as the university literary magazine.
1946
Under Jess Neely, Owls ties with Arkansas for Southwest Conference title.
1947
Rondelet, a spring festival, replaces May Fete.
1947
"Freshman Guidance," a semihazing program, begins. Freshmen must, for example, wear beanies and red suspenders, and they are not allowed to cut their hair until Thanksgiving.
1947
The Sarah Lane Literary Society is established.
1947
The Administration Building is renamed Lovett Hall in honor of Rice's first president, Edgar Odell Lovett.
1947
The admission process also receives attention with the establishment of requirements beyond an excellent high school academic record. Personal and mental qualifications will now be considered, and applicants have to take an entrance examination, provide letters of recommendation, and have personal interviews with a member of the Admission Committee.
1947
With Houston come many changes, not the least of which is a revamping of the curriculum, which has remained virtually untouched since its original formulation and still does not provide for the modern concept of the "major." To keep in step with developments at other major universities, to broaden the curriculum, and to give students more experiences that will prepare them for the outside world and for graduate school, formal academic programs are established. These are broken into two main areas, academics and science/engineering, each having its own required core courses. Students take courses that, for the first two years, are designed to emphasize basic skills in English, mathematics, history, and science. At that time, they will declare a major and will begin taking courses in their specialization.
1947
William Vermillion Houston, former professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, is inaugurated as the second president of Rice on April 10.
1947
Anderson Hall is the first building completed in the postwar building program. It is named for M. D. Anderson, whose foundation had helped Rice purchase the Rincon Oil Field.
1947
Additional graduate student enrollment is encouraged, in part using stipends as incentive, but entry requirements are becoming more stringent. For the first time, candidates are advised to take the Graduate Record Exam, with high scoring candidates given preference. There is also a plan to increase the number of faculty, but President Houston insists that candidates possess two characteristics that echo a tradition set by President Lovett: They must be outstanding scholars who publish or who are involved in research, and they must be inspiring teachers.
1948
The Honor System, weakened during the war years and their disruptive effect on campus life in general, is reinstituted–proctoring is banned, alternate seats are used for exams, and students are allowed to leave the room solely for personal reasons. The Honor Code pledge and student signature are still required.
1948
Abercrombie Engineering Lab is completed. It is named in honor of donor James S. Abercrombie and his wife, Lillie, and their daughter, Josephine.
1948
A job placement service for students is established.
1949
Rice wins its first Southwest Conference football championship with a season record of 10-1, defeating North Carolina in the Cotton Bowl.
1949
Hazing returns with Hell Week, a rivalry between freshmen and sophomores that occupies the seven days leading up to the sophomore dance.
1949
Fondren Library, named for oilman W. W. Fondren and his wife, Ella, opens, as does Wiess Hall, named in honor of oilman and Rice trustee Harry C. Wiess.
1949
The President's House (later to be renamed O'Connor House for trustee Ralph S. O'Connor) is built.
1950
The trustees announce that most of the 10-year goals adopted in 1945 have been completed five years ahead of schedule. The Board of Trustees itself undergoes changes. To the seven trustees, who still hold legal ownership of the institute, are added eight nonvoting term governors to help shoulder the responsibilities of the developing institute.
1950
Rice Stadium is designed and built in little more then nine months. Seating 70,000, it is still the largest stadium–indoor or out–in Houston.
1951
The administration announces that the aim of the university is "to raise the liberal arts and humanities to the level of excellence and breadth of coverage now enjoyed by the sciences." Graduate programs will also be enhanced university- wide.
1951
A new gymnasium is built.
1952
Enrollment reaches 1,500: 1,304 undergraduates and 204 graduate students.
1952
Clyde M. Williams is awarded a Rhodes Scholarship
1953
Although many significant financial contributions have come to the institute since its inception, the board, for the first time, seriously considers soliciting contributions as part of a vigorous fund-raising effort, and the Development Committee begins activities.
1953
A lab for nuclear experimentation opens. Housing a six-million-volt Van de Graaff particle accelerator, it will be name Bonner Laboratory in 1963 in honor of Professor Tom Bonner.
1954
On January 1, one of the most famous plays in college football occurs during the Cotton Bowl, when an Alabama player jumps off the bench to tackle Rice player Dicky Moegle, who was heading for a touchdown. Officials award Rice the points, and Rice goes on to defeat Alabama 26-6.
1955
Rice begins using standardized College Entrance Examination Board scores instead of its own entrance examination.
1955
The faculty drops the spelling test required for graduation.
1957
Rice is Southwest Conference champion in football again.
1957
The first computer on campus, a Litton LGP-30, starts chugging out calculations.
1957
Hell Week is abolished.
1957
The first Beer-Bike race is held.
1957
Lovett does live long enough, however, to see one of his dreams come to fruition with the establishment of the residential college system. The first colleges are Baker (formerly East Hall, named for Captain James A. Baker, Jr.), Will Rice (formerly South Hall, named for trustee William Marsh Rice, Jr.), Hanszen (formerly West Hall, named for trustee Harry Clay Hanszen), and Wiess, all for men, and Mary Gibbs Jones (named for the wife of businessman and Houston Endowment founder Jesse H. Jones) for women.
1957
Edgar Odell Lovett dies on August 13 at age 86.
1957
Roy M. Hofheinz, Jr., is awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.
1958
The first Rondelet Song Fest musical competition is held; it remains an annual event through the mid-'70s.
1958
Rice Memorial Center opens, as does Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratories (built with a gift from the daughters of trustee Harry C. Wiess and his wife, Olga Keith Wiess), Anderson Biological Laboratories (built with a gift from the M.D. Anderson Foundation), and Hamman Hall (built with a gift from the George and Josephine Hamman Foundation).
1958
The Journal of Southern History moves to Rice.
1959
The college system begins to have a dramatic effect on student politics. The Student Council, which primarily had consisted of generally elected students, changes to the Student Senate, a body composed of executive officers elected campus wide, the freshman class president, the five college presidents, and two other representatives from each college.
1959
Rice starts to honor graduates with designations of cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude.
1959
The R1 Rice Institute computer is constructed. It occupies an entire room and has 3,000 tubes and hard disks three feet in diameter. By 1999, its calculation power will be matched by a programmable calculator about the size of a cellular phone.
1960
President Houston resigns following a heart attack. Carey Croneis, provost and chair of the geology department, becomes acting president until the post can be filled.
1960
The Board of Governors, echoing President Lovett's long-held belief the that word "institute" no longer conveys the the scope of Rice's educational program or its status in the academic world, proposes that the Rice Institute change its name to William Marsh Rice University. In the face of only minor opposition, the new name becomes effective on July 1.
1960
President Dwight D. Eisenhower visits the campus to give a non-political address.
1960
The English department starts a new quarterly academic journal, Studies in English Literature: 1500-1900.
1960
The dreaded "Math 100" course is split into a section for scientists and engineers and a section for nonscience majors.
1961
Kenneth Pitzer, who had been a professor of chemistry at Berkeley, is inaugurated as the third Rice president. Although Pitzer wants Rice to remain modest in size, he proposes enlarging undergraduate enrollment and encourages growth in the graduate school from 400 to 800 students. In an effort to attract the best graduate students, he increases the number of graduate fellowships. Pitzer also believes that a faculty of great distinction, consisting of outstanding teachers who also are eminent in research, is the key to a university's reputation. He predicts that an upgraded faculty will benefit the undergraduate as well as the graduate programs, helping to attract good students. In addition, he wants to see several new buildings–one for architecture, one for fine arts, and two for new colleges. And last, he proposes a professional school for business administration.
1962
Rayzor Hall is built to house humanities and is named in honor of trustee J. Newton Rayzor.
1962
James R. Doty is awarded a Rhodes Scholoarship.
1962
A semi centennial celebration similar to the opening celebration of 1912 is held on October 10-12. Hundreds of scholars and distinguished representatives from universities worldwide visit the campus to hear special speakers, to attend lectures, and to participate in ceremonies commemorating the university. The highlight of the event is the formal installation of Kenneth Pitzer as Rice's third president. The low point is a football game against the University of Oregon that the Owls lose 31-12.
1962
The colleges develop their own internal judicial systems and create the Inter-College Court to handle disputes between colleges.
1962
On September 12, President John F. Kennedy delivers his space exploration address in Rice Stadium, promising that the U.S. will send a man to the moon by the end of the decade: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy but because they are hard…. And I am delighted that this university is playing a part in putting a man on the moon as part of a great national effort of the United States of America."
1963
Rice becomes the first university to establish a space science department.
1963
A new committee on educational policy begins running official course evaluations.
1963
The Dean's List is renamed the President's Honor Roll.
1963
Robert E. Johnston is awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.
1963
In January, the board approves, for the first time, a formal tenure policy and, by March, has assigned all faculty tenure or one-to three-year appointments. The board also addresses several connected issues of vital concern: rising costs, a need for increased capital expenditures, and a difficulty in securing grants because the university is perceived as not using all its possible financial resources to the fullest. A unanimous board files a lawsuit to alter the university's charter to permit Rice to charge tuition. The suit, filed on February 21, also contains a second important provision allowing Rice to admit qualified students without regard to race or color.
1964
The university issues a 10-year plan that outlines improvements and enhancements that will be required for Rice to meet its own needs and expectation. These include increased fund raising, new academic buildings, new residential college, major purchases of laboratory equipment, and library acquisitions. Even more than in the past, students are to be selected for their high intellectual abilities, motivation, and personal qualifications, while professors are the ablest that Rice can attract. New departments are created and others strengthened, and the foreign language curriculum is expanded.
1964
Fred Hansen '63 wins an Olympic gold medal in the pole vault at the 1964 Games in Tokyo for a vault of 16' 8.75".
1964
In February, the court finds in favor of the petition filed the year before to allow Rice to modify its charter to charge tuition and to admit students of all races. Although tuition will now be charged, the university places strong emphasis on providing scholarship aid for all qualified students who need financial help.
1964
Rice and the Jefferson Davis Association begin a major historical study of Davis, expected to result in some 15 volumes of reference works. This project will be ongoing.
1965
Ryon Engineering Lab is built with funds from the estate of Professor and Mrs. L. B. Ryon.
1965
The Department of Architecture is renamed the School of Architecture.
1965
Jacqueline McCauley and Charles Edward Freeman III are the first African American undergraduate students to attend classes at Rice.
1965
Tuition ($1,200) is charged for the first time.
1965
A $33 million fund-raising campaign is launched.
1965
Brown College opens as the second residential college for women.
1966
Rice's G.E. College Bowl team (Gordon Braden, Don des Jarlais, Bill Kennedy, Harriet Mauzy, and Lawson Taitte), coached by Ferdinand Levi, is crowned undefeated champion on national television.
1966
The Space Science and Technology Building is completed.
1966
The first Tea-Trike race for women is held.
1967
The Brown Foundation establishes the George R. Brown Program for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Rice University. The program will recognize faculty members whose teaching has been rated best by alumni and will make possible seminars and experimental programs to promote superior teaching.
1967
A new campus social spot opens in Hanszen College, its name–Corner for the Dreaming Monkey–reflecting the tenor of the late '60s. It lasts until 1975, when Willy's Pub opens.
1967
KHCR (which will become KTRU) broadcasts to Hanszen residents from the basement of the college.
1967
Allen Center for Business Activities is built. Housing the university's business offices, it is named after donor and Rice governor Herbert Allen and his wife, Helen.
1968
The pass/fail option is approved.
1968
Hanszen College students start KOWL student radio, replacing KHCR, in the Rice Memorial Center basement.
1968
Lovett College, named in honor of Edgar Odell Lovett, opens; Herman Brown Hall, named for the cofounder of Brown and Root, is built; and Fondren Library gets a major addition.
1968
Kenneth Pitzer resigns as president of Rice to become president of Stanford University. The trustees announce on February 20 their choice for the new president, William H. Masterson, historian and former dean of humanities, but most faculty and students protest because they were not consulted in the decision. The "Masterson Crisis" ends five days later as Masterson resigns. History professor Frank E. Vandiver is appointed interim president until the post can be filled officially.
1968
The Office of Continuing Studies opens. Its first class, held in June, is on the low-temperature processing of petroleum products. Thomas W. Leland of Rice's Department of Chemical Engineering is class coordinator, and other instructors include Riki Kobayashi and Gary Fisher from Rice's chemical engineering department and two faculty members from other universities.
1969
Rice radio KOWL changes its call letters to KTRU.
1969
The Institute for the Arts is founded. Intended to open the Rice community to artistic and media courses, lectures, and exhibitions, the institute is backed by the resources of the Ménil Foundation art collection.
1969
The MOB (Marching Owl Band) forms.
1969
By the end of the decade, Rice's total enrollment exceeds 3,000, yet the student-teacher ratio improves 10 to 1.
1969
The first Graduate Student Associate Council meets.
1970
The Rice University Fund Council is established to seek continuing financial support for the university.
1970
Charles R. Engles and Charles A. Shanor are awarded Rhodes Scholarships.
1970
Changes are made to the Rice curriculum. Students must now take classes from humanities, social sciences, and science/math, following what is referred to as "unrestricted distribution."
1970
The first performance of Baker Shakespere is produced.
1970
Valhalla, the Graduate Student Association pub, opens.
1970
Jake Hess Tennis Stadium, named in honor of a Rice tennis champion, is built.
1970
Chemist Norman Hackerman, former president of the University of Texas at Austin, is inaugurated as the fourth president of Rice. He comes to a university that has just completed its most expansive 25 years, and he sees as his main obligation the need to balance programs with means. He is most concerned with restructuring the administration to address the needs of a larger, more complex, more research oriented university. The Development Office begins its work in earnest.
1970
The last official Rondelet queen is elected.
1971
President Lyndon B Johnson speaks at the dedication of Sid Richardson College, and Sewall Hall is completed.
1971
The Institute for the Arts and the Rice Media Center occupy two large temporary buildings.
1972
Enrollment tops 3,000: 2,655 undergraduates and 624 graduate students.
1972
The Rice Center for Community Design and Reasearch opens.
1972
The Office of Advanced Studies and Research is organized to coordinate the graduate division, research administration, major research proposals, and continuing studies.
1972
The English department begins giving a freshman competency exam.
1973
Baker and Hanszen become the first colleges to go coed; within 15 years, all others will follow suit.
1974
The Superbowl is played in Rice Stadium on January 13. Miami is victorious over Minnesota, 24-7.
1974
Baker 13, an anonymous Rice "social" club in which streakers garbed only in shaving cream run around campus, makes its first appearance.
1974
The Shepherd School of Music is founded. The establishing donation comes from Sallie Shepherd Perkins, and the school is named for her grandfather, Benjamin A. Shepherd, a prominent Houston banker who passed his love of music on to his grandchildren.
1974
The Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration (later Jones School of Management) is founded with a gift from Houston Endowment Inc. and is named in honor of the founder of Houston Endowment, Inc.
1975
Willy's Pub opens.
1975
The Science and Engineering division is divided into the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the School of Natural Science (to be renamed Wiess School of Natural Sciences in 1979).
1975
The Shepherd School of Music holds an inaugural festival in September.
1976
The U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office names Fondren Library an official patent depository, the first in Texas and one of only 25 in the country.
1976
Dave Roberts '73 wins an Olympic bronze medal in the pole vault in Montreal by vaulting 18'.5".
1976
The Brown Challenge, a fund-raising program designed to encourage annual gifts, is launched . It is one of the most significant decisions ever made on behalf of the university, and by the time it ends in 1995, it will have brought the total of Brown Foundation gifts during the period to more then $50 million. At the same time, the Brown Foundation matching money attracts additional tens of millions of dollars from individual donors.
1978
The Rice Engineering Design and Development Institute opens.
1978
Physicist Robert W. Wilson '57, who helped prove the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins by discovering the background radiation in the universe, becomes the first alumnus to win a Novel Prize.
1979
Fondren Library catalogues its one millionth volume.
1979
The Rice Quantum Institute, composed of chemists, physicists, and engineers, is founded. It is Rice's first interdisciplinary research center, a concept that will become integral to Rice University in the decades to come. Transcending traditional boundaries between disciplines, departments, and even divisions, interdisciplinary programs bring research and ideas from widely divergent fields to bear on scientific, technical, social, and cultural problems that cannot easily be solved by single approach.
1979
The Student Senate Association urges Rice to drop requirements that two-thirds of entering classes must be from Texas. Although the policy derives from Rice's charter, the policy is slowly and quietly abandoned. By the mid-1980s, more than half of the students will be from outside Texas.
1980
Jones and Lovett Colleges go coed.
1980
Rice holds a campus forum on "Energy and Our Present Generation," featuring Charles Duncan '47, energy secretary to President Jimmy Carter, as speaker. (Duncan later serves as chair of the Rice Board of Governors for 14 years.)
1981
The Rice Institute for Policy Analysis is formed to study public policy. It becomes part of the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy in 1993.
1981
Rice is made a repository of NASA's Johnson Space Center archives. They are housed in Woodson Research Center in Fondren Library and will be returned to Johnson Space Center in early 2000.
1982
The Houston Area (later change to Advanced) Research Center, a four-university consortium, opens in The Woodlands. Participating universities are Rice, University of Houston, University of Texas, and Texas A&M University.
1983
The Graduate Student House opens in the former Tidelands Motor Inn building at the corner of Main Street and University Boulevard, giving graduate students, for the first time, a residence hall of their own.
1983
Wiess College goes coed.
1983
The Seeley G. Mudd Computer Science building is constructed with a major grant from the Los Angeles-based Seeley G. Mudd Fund.
1984
The Materials Science building opens, thus completing the engineering quad.
1984
Herring Hall, for the Jesse H. Jones School of Administration, is completed and named for Robert J. Herring, Houston business leader and former chair of the Rice board.
1984
President Norman Hackerman announces his retirement.
1985
George E. Rupp is named the fifth president of Rice. Former dean of Harvard Divinity School and a professor of religious studies, he is the first nonscientist president of Rice. He reemphasizes the ideals set forth by President Lovett: Rice will offer outstanding education to the most capable students; it will intensify its efforts in research, scholarship, and professional accomplishment; and it will uphold and extend the very concept of education that animated the founder—service to the community. His plans include improving the curriculum to maintain Rice's excellent undergraduate education; strengthening graduate programs by building on areas of existing excellence; adding new faculty with interdisciplinary interests and either great distinction or promise; fostering research; and initiating a new wave of building.
1985
Professors Robert Curl and Richard Smalley of Rice and Professor Harold Kroto of the University of Sussez discover the third-known molecular form of carbon, buckminsterfullerene, affectionately known as the "buckyball."
1986
The Ley Student Center, named for Wendel and Audrey Ley, opens next to the Rice Memorial Center. The Student Association Senate, Rice Program Council, Graduate Student Association, Thresher, Campanile, and KTRU move in.
1986
Alumnus Larry McMurtry wins the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Lonesome Dove, which was published the year before.
1987
Sid Richardson and Brown Colleges become the last colleges to go coed.
1987
Changes are made again to the Rice curriculum. The new "foundation course curriculum" states that science, engineering, architecture, and music students must take a year-long humanities course and a social science course, and humanities and social science students must take a year-long natural science course.
1987
Rice announces the first scholarships for minority students.
1988
Wiess College pulls off the biggest student prank in Rice history—using only a hand-built A-frame, students rotate Willy's Statue 180 degrees so that he faces the library.
1990
In July, Rice hosts the leaders of the seven largest industrialized democracies and the representative of the European Economic Community during the annual Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations. Leaders in attendance are Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, United States president George Bush, Economic Community president Jacques Delors, Japanese prime minister Toshiki Kaifu, West German chancellor Helmut Kohl, French president François Mitterand, Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, and British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
1991
Rice again wins the College Bowl. Team members are Raymund Eich '93, Paul Holser '92, Brian Moore '92, Timothy Pulju '94, and John Skelton '93.
1991
On May 19, Rice celebrates the centennial of the filling of its charter with the state of Texas. Symposia, lectures, tours, and exhibits mark the occasion.
1991
A building for biosciences and bioengineering—George R. Brown Hall, named for the longtime chair of the Rice board—and a building for the Shepherd School of Music—Alice Pratt Brown Hall, named for Brown's wife—are completed.
1991
Rice is named the best buy in American higher education by Money magazine in the September issue.
1992
Rice holds a "Summit of the Minds," featuring speakers such as Robert Wilson, Rice's Nobel laureate in physics.
1992
George Rupp announces his resignation as president of Rice to pursue other opportunities, though he remains in office until June 30, 1993. He later becomes president of Columbia University.
1993
The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy is founded in the name of the 61st U.S. secretary of state and grandson of Captain James A. Baker.
1993
Economist S. Malcolm Gillis is inaugurated as the sixth president of Rice on October 30. He comes to Rice from Duke University, where he served as dean of the graduate school, vice provost for academic affairs, and then dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He pays homage to Rice's traditions and academic excellence, but he also emphasizes the diverse ways Rice needs to respond to a changing world. These changes include investing in efforts to internationalize Rice, concentrating on new undertakings in science and engineering, providing greater responsiveness to the community, enhancing the quality and value of education and scholarship at Rice, strengthening the faculty, and enlarging Fondren Library. To achieve these aims, he vigorously pushes ahead a number of initiatives, such as the creation of new interdisciplinary institutes and centers and the construction of buildings to house them and renewal of fund-raising efforts.
1993
Former president Jimmy Carter delivers the commencement address.
1994
Groundbreaking for the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy takes place. Four United States presidents deliver remarks: Gerald Ford and George Bush, speaking in person, and Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, speaking via videotaped messages.
1994
Rice defeats Texas in football after 29 straight years of losing to the Longhorns. The score is 19-17.
1994
The women's cross-country team wins the Southwest Conference title.
1995
The Baker Institute Inaugural Annual Conference draws dignitaries from across the nation and the world to explore foreign policy challenges. Distinguished national and international statesmen, scholars, and journalists, including General Colin Powell, participate November 13-14.
1995
An angry student sets fire to Willy's Pub, largely destroying the pub but not causing major damage to the Student Center.
1995
The baseball team advances to its first-ever NCAA regional tournament with a school record of 43-19 and ends in a runner-up finish at the NCAA South Regional behind Cal State—Fullerton.
1996
The Southwest Conference disbands; Rice joins the Western Athletic Conference.
1996
Professors Robert Curl and Richard Smalley win the Novel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of buckminsterfullerene in 1985.
1996
Ike Sanders, the last surviving member of Rice's first class of students, dies.
1996
Maryana Iskander is awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.
1996
The baseball team ends the season with a 42-23 record, winning the final SWC title and taking second to Wichita State in the NCAA Midwest Regionals.
1996
Anne and Charles Duncan Hall is dedicated in the names of a longtime chair of the Rice board and his wife. It will house interdisciplinary programs in computational engineering and the Departments of Computer Science, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Statistics.
1996
Two hundred students, alumni, faculty, and staff attend the first Rice Woman's Conference since 1963.
1996
U.S. attorney general Janet Reno and Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp speak at the second annual conference of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, November 12-13.
1997
Shepherd School of Music cello professor Paul Katz wins two Grammy Awards—Best Chamber Music Recording and Best Recorded Contemporary Composition—for his work with the Cleveland Quartet.
1997
James A. Baker III Hall, the new home of the Baker Institute, the School of Social Sciences, and the Departments of Political Science and Economics, is dedicated. Former president George Bush, current U.S. Secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who delivered her remarks in a videotaped message, and former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev speak to more than 6,000 conference attendees. Joining in the program are former U.S. secretaries of state James A. Baker, III; Warren Christopher; and Henry Kissinger and CNN news anchor Bernard Shaw, who moderated a panel discussion.
1997
Edythe Bates Old Grand Organ and Recital Hall, named for a musician, musical director, and friend of Rice, is dedicated in Alice Pratt Brown Hall. Its 75-stop, manual-tracker Fisk—Rosales Opus 109-21 organ has 4,493 piles.
1997
Fund-raising campaigns for computational engineering and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy successfully complete their goals by raising a total of $92 million.
1997
Rice wins the WAC baseball championship and the NCAA regional, compiling a 47-14 record, and advances to the College World Series. Although the team loses its second fame, fans are elated, and hopes are high for next year's team.
1997
The District Court of Harris Country approves Rice's request to expand the Board of Governors and to grant all members voting privileges. The new board, which will be allowed up to 25 members, will henceforth be called the Board of Trustees.
1997
Lisa McCormick is awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.
1998
Dell Butcher Hall, named in honor of a former chair of the Rice board, is dedicated in April. It is the new home of the Center for Nanoscale Technology and the Department of Chemistry.
1998
Rice announces plans to rebuild Wiess College and to build a ninth college, Marian and Speros P. Martel College, named for a Houston businessman and his wife, whose foundation has a tradition of philanthropy to the university. The renovated and new college will allow 83 percent of undergraduate students to live on campus.
1998
Groundbreaking ceremonies are held in December for the new Humanities Building. The building will house the offices of the dean of humanities; the Departments of History, Religious studies, and Philosophy; and the offices of the Center for the Study of Cultures and the Study of Women and Gender program.
1998
The new practice gymnasium is completed adjacent to the old gym.
1998
Fondren Library becomes the first library in the nation to enter into a partnership with the United States Patent Office and Trademark Office, allowing it to function as a virtual patent office.
1998
Bobak Robert Azamian is awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.
1998
Rice establishes a scholarship in honor of James Byrd Jr., a hate-crime victim murdered in Jasper, Texas, to recognize students who demonstrate an ability to build bridges across cultural and racial divides.
1998
Rice is cited in the September U.S. News & World Report as having the least debt per graduate of private universities. Rice is also voted among the best college values in the nation. Rice begins to cap undergraduate student loan debt to ensure that students do not incur onerous debt in getting an education.
1998
The Jesse H. Jones School of Management's (formerly Jones School of Administration) finance and quantitative skills programs are ranked in the top 10 by the 1998 Time Magazine/Princeton Review.
1998
Rice undergraduates win 27 National Science Foundation Fellowships—the most in the university's history—placing Rice first in the nation in the percentage of students who received this honor.
1998
The faculty approve a new foreign language requirement—for the first time, competency in a foreign language is required for graduation.
1998
Rice enters into a memorandum of understanding with the free Hanseatic City of Bremen to collaborate in the establishment of a new private research university in Germany.
1998
Rice initiates a new undergraduate degree program in bioengineering.
1999
In October, former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, speaks in Autry Court before a packed crowd.
1999
Rice enrollment stands at approximately 2,750 undergraduate students and 1,550 graduate and professional students. As of this year, Rice has conferred 30,627 undergraduate and 13,580 graduate and professional degrees.
1999
For the last 10 straight years, Rice has had the highest percentage of National Merit Scholars in its entering class of any American university—this year, 27%.
1999
In March, Hispanic magazine rates Rice fourth in the nation among schools that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity. In August, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine names Rice the best value among the nation's 1,600 private universities.
1999
Rice creates the Center for Neuroscience, a broad-based program that draws on the resources of five schools at Rice as well as the Neuroscience Division of Baylor College of Medicine, to establish a new, interdisciplinary graduate program in the neurosciences. The Rice Graduate Council approves 10 course in neuroscience to being in fall 1999.
1999
Rice Owls baseball ranks #1 in the nation during more than eight weeks of regular season play. Following a dozen winds in a row and a best-ever season record of 59-15,the team makes its second trip to the College World Series, where it plays three games.
1999
Construction of Reckling Park, Rice's new baseball stadium, begins in May. It is named for donors T. R. And Isla C. Reckling.
1999
The groundbreaking of the new Wiess College is on October 5.
1999
The new graduate student housing complex in unveiled. The 112-unit complex sits on 2.7 acres and is within walking distance of campus.