Home Page
History of Rice ButtonEvents Calendar ButtonThe Cornerstone ButtonAbout Us ButtonMembership Button
Timeline | Textual timeline | A university so conceived | presidents of rice | Videos

Explore The Timeline

click each decade to learn more

 

 

 

Timeline 1900Timeline 1910Timeline 1920Timeline 1930Timeline 1940Timeline 1950Timeline 1960Timeline 1970Timeline 1980TImeline 1990

1950's

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 stadiumĄ§Cindoor or outĄ§Cin 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 Jouranl 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.