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1910's

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¡ª48 male and 29 female¡ªto 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¡ª20 men and 15 women¡ªreceiving 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.