We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Rice University, based at Houston, Texas, is one of the leading research universities in the United States.It was the first university in the world to establish a department of space science. The Johnson Space Center of NASA is located on the land donated by the university. Rice University also is a member of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical facility in the world.Rice University was formed from an institute conceptualized by a wealthy citizen named William Marsh Rice. In 1891, he along with his friends and lawyer had chartered the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art.However, the institute was to be established after his death. Following his death in 1900, and some legal hurdles, work for the establishment of the institute began.Rice Institute received an endowment of $4.6 million from William Rice's estate, in 1904. Edgar Odell Lovett, a highly qualified mathematician and astronomer from Princeton University, was appointed as president.In order to establish an institution of the highest standards, Lovett visited 78 institutions of higher learning located in various countries. This institute later became William Marsh Rice University in 1960.Today, Rice University occupies a campus measuring 285 acres, and housing 70 major buildings. The campus encompasses the schools of architecture, engineering, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and music.Additionally, the campus features state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, an institute for computer services, an institute for the arts, and a nuclear research laboratory.The university library, the Fondren Library, features more than two million books, three million microforms, and 16,000 current serials and periodicals.Nearly one-fourth of Rice University’s undergraduates are National Merit Scholars. The university was ranked first for the percentage of students receiving National Science Fellowships.The university boasts an endowment of $3 billion, one of the top five in the world. Incidentally, the university had no tuition fees until 1965.Rice University has been ranked first among 1,600 private universities for "Best College Value" in Kiplinger's Personal Finance and first for "least amount of debt per graduate" by U.S. News & World Report.Rice University being a leading research university, houses several interdisciplinary research institutes on campus. They include the Rice Quantum Institute, the Rice Engineering Design and Development Institute, the Computer and Information Technology Institute, the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and the Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology.Much of the initial research and development of artificial hearts was carried out by Rice faculty.In 1996, Professors Richard Smalley and Robert Curl from Rice University won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and application of carbon 60 molecules (buckminsterfullerenes). Currently, many path-breaking research works are being carried out in the hot new field of nanotechnology.
Rice University - History
To a remarkable extent Rice University was shaped by the intentions of its founders -- William Marsh Rice and the small group of men who came to share his plans for an institution of higher learning. In the spring of 1891, Rice, a native of Massachusetts who had prospered as a merchant in mid-nineteenth century Houston, decided to endow an institute for the advancement of literature, science, and art for the instruction of the white men and women of Houston and Texas. Except for that clear exclusion of students of African descent, Rice was inspired by the examples of Stephen Girard of Philadelphia and Peter Cooper of New York City to create an institute, bearing his name, that would conduct research and provide tuition-free instruction in a nonpartisan and nonsectarian atmosphere. He created a board of seven trustees to oversee the construction and management of his institute after his death. But when in 1900 he was murdered, it took his board of trustees, led by Captain James A. Baker, years to overcome challenges to Rice's will, secure his endowment (initially, 4.6 million dollars), and see that his institute was properly launched. By late 1907, Captain Baker and his fellow trustees had completed a study of other universities and had chosen Edgar Odell Lovett, a classically educated mathematician who was head of astronomy at Princeton University, to be the first president of the William Marsh Rice Institute.
President Lovett, supported by the trustees, gradually refined the character of the new institute. He began by embarking on a nine-month tour of leading universities in Europe and Asia to reflect on higher education and to recruit distinguished scholars for Rice. He returned to plan a university that would not merely provide an excellent education for undergraduates -- an education that included high academic standards, a residential college system, and an honor code -- but also conduct advanced research and train a small number of doctoral students. These were lofty and expensive aspirations. Although the endowment had grown significantly since 1904, Lovett knew that he could not at once have the comprehensive university that he envisioned. He therefore had to emphasize initially only science and engineering. By September 1912, when fifty-nine students assembled for classes on the new campus -- on a flat expanse of prairie just beyond the streets of Houston -- Rice had four buildings and an international faculty of remarkable distinction, a faculty that included Julian Huxley from Oxford in biology, Harold A. Wilson from Cambridge in physics, and Griffith C. Evans of Harvard in mathematics.
Although Rice grew rapidly for nearly two decades after 1912, a lack of funds during the Depression forced retrenchments and kept Rice a small provincial college that emphasized science and engineering until World War II. Then, new leaders with far greater resources were able to initiate nearly three decades of sustained growth, approaching by 1970 the better-balanced university that President Lovett had envisioned in 1912. Thanks to income from oil fields acquired in 1942 and supported by an ambitious board of trustees, Lovett's successors, William V. Houston and Kenneth S. Pitzer, were able to increase the size of the faculty (from 58 in 1938 to 350 in 1970), recruit many prominent scholars (with higher salaries and, after 1962, tenured appointments), create new academic departments, and construct a variety of buildings not just for classrooms and laboratories but also for the residential college system that began at last in 1957. These changes made it possible for Rice -- Rice University from 1960 -- to admit more students, broaden its curriculum, and put a greater emphasis on research and graduate programs. But to sustain the changes -- to become competitive as a national university -- Rice sought changes in its charter that allowed it from 1966 to charge relatively modest tuition and to admit African-American students (Rice had previously admitted as "white" students of other races and national origins).
Even so, when Norman Hackerman became president in 1970 new programs were stretching Rice's resources to their limit. Hackerman balanced his budgets, reorganized Rice into seven schools (administration, architecture, engineering, humanities, music, natural sciences, and social sciences), and helped increase the endowment from 131 to 680 million dollars by 1985. His successors, George Rupp and Malcolm Gillis, were able to pursue further ambitious plans for enhancing Rice: core courses for undergraduate students, more faculty members to support interdisciplinary research (through institutes and centers), additional graduate programs, and seven new buildings between 1985 and 1997. By the mid-1990s Rice had become a university of more than 4,000 students and 450 full-time faculty members, and its alumni and faculty were distinguishing themselves in a variety of fields (winning, since 1978, Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry and a Pulitzer Prize in fiction). But Rice has remained much as it was conceived by its founders: a relatively small and affordable university pursuing excellence in undergraduate education, in scholarly research, and in a limited number of graduate programs.
Under Rice's current president, David Leebron, the university has experienced a 30 percent growth in undergraduate enrollment, increased its international profile, expanded its research enterprise, and deepened its engagement with Houston. The Rice campus has been transformed with two new residential colleges, a new physics building, a new recreation center, the BioScience Research Collaborative, and a public art program, among other enhancements. These developments reflect the priorities articulated in the Vision for the Second Century, which emerged from extensive, town-hall style meetings with faculty during President Leebron's first year at Rice.
For more details about Rice University's history and architecture, see John Boles's A University So Conceived: A Brief History of Rice and James Morehead's A Walking Tour of Rice University. Each of these books is available in the Rice University Bookstore.
Rice University - History
The Department of History
Students who love history and who want the freedom to explore the past widely should consider majoring in history.
Associate Professor Research Areas: South Asia, Eastern Islamic World, Early Islamic History, Ottoman Middle East
George and Nancy Rupp Professor of Humanities Research Areas: Modern Chinese Intellectual History, Feminist Theory, Gender and Social Science
Katherine Tsanoff Brown Professor in Humanities Research Areas: U.S. foreign policy, U.S. Political History, Environmental history, Civil Rights
Associate Professor Research Areas: Atlantic World, African Diaspora, U.S. African American
Samuel G. McCann Professor of History Research Areas: Modern Germany, Modern Europe, Politics, Law and Social Thought, Political Economy and Thought, Modern European Intellectual History
Dean of Humanities, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History
Barbara Kirkland Chiles Professor of History Research Areas: United States and the World, Middle East, Modernization and Development, Modern U.S.
Samuel W. & Goldye Marian Spain Associate Professor Areas of Research: Modern France, Modern Europe, Human rights and migration studies
Associate Professor Research Areas: Early Africa, Atlantic Africa, Modern Africa, African Diaspora, Slavery & Abolition
William P. Hobby Professor of American History Editor, Journal of Southern History Research Areas: Southern history, Economic history, U.S. Environmental History
Associate Professor Director, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program Research Areas: Medieval Europe, Medieval Iberia, Medieval Borderlands
Assistant Professor Research Areas: Medical Humanities, East Asian Science Technology and Society Studies (STS), History of Medicine, History of Science
Associate Professor Adjunct Associate Professor of Economics Research Areas: History of Mexico and Latin America, Economic History, History of Public Health
William Gaines Twyman Professor of History Research Areas: Ancient Greece and Rome, Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium
Arab-American Education Foundation Professor in Arabic Studies Research Areas: Modern Arab History, U.S.-Arab Relations, Ottoman History, Sectarianism
Department Chair Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of Humanities Professor of History Research Areas: Nineteenth-Century U.S., Slavery and Emancipation, American Civil War Era, Transatlantic Activism and Abolitionism Social, Cultural, and Intellectual History, Transnational History
Harris Masterson, Jr., Professor of History Research Areas: Rio de Janeiro, Colonial Brazil, Atlantic World
Associate Professor Research Areas: Computer Technology, Use of Technology, Disability, Civil Rights
Associate Professor Co-Director Politics, Law and Social Thought Research Areas: Early Modern Europe, Intellectual and Cultural History, Political and Religious Thought, History of Education
Joseph and Joanna Nazro Mullen Professor in Humanities Director of Undergraduate Studies Research Areas: Islamic history and culture, 7th-15th centuries History of architectural preservation in the Middle East Jews in the lands of Islam, Cairo Geniza
Professor Dunlevie Family Chair Research Areas: US and the World, History of Modern International Relations, International Political Economy, Pacific World, Global History of Sports
Professor Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Humanities Research Areas: Early American history, Atlantic history, Southern history, History of race and slavery, Native American history
Associate Professor Research Areas: Legal History, Labor History, History of Capitalism, Latin American History, Mexican History, Borderlands and Immigration History
Associate Professor Research Areas: Slavery, Bondage, Emancipation, and Diaspora Global South Civil Rights, Human Rights and International Law and Women, Gender, and Sexuality
John Antony Weir Professor Research Areas: Modern Germany, European women and gender, Human rights, Modern colonialism
Associate Professor Research Areas: American Indian History, African American History, Southern History
Baker College Chair for History of Science, Technology and Innovation Research Areas: European history from 1450-1815, European intellectual history from the scientific revolution to the French Revolution, German Idealism and Romanticism, History of Science, Copernicus to Darwin
Rice University, a private, independent, coeducational university in Houston, opened in 1912 as the William Marsh Rice Institute. It was chartered in 1891 by former Houston merchant William Marsh Rice with a $200,000 interest-bearing note payable to the Rice Institute upon his death. Subsequently Rice made other gifts to the institute, all payable after his death. However, when he died in 1900 in New York City, his probated will directed that his fortune should go to his lawyer. After an extensive investigation and sensational trial it was determined that Rice's butler, in league with the lawyer, had chloroformed Rice to death in order to collect upon a forged will. When the estate was settled in 1904, approximately $3 million was given to the institute as a separate capital fund added to the original endowment, which had grown to almost $3.3 million. At the time the university opened in 1912, the endowment stood at approximately $9 million, a sum that enabled all students to attend the university without paying tuition-a privilege that did not end until 1965. The original charter very generally prescribed an institution "dedicated to the advancement of literature, science, and art." The board of trustees in Houston determined that it would be a university and in 1907 appointed mathematician and astronomer Edgar Odell Lovett of Princeton University as president with directions to plan the new institution. After worldwide traveling, discussion, and faculty recruitment, Lovett oversaw the opening in 1912, marked by an elaborate international convocation of scholars. From the beginning Lovett intended Rice to be a university "of the highest grade," and despite several decades of financial stringency following the early 1920s, the institution has striven to maintain that vision. The entering class of seventy-seven students had an international faculty of ten (Julian Huxley, for example, was the first professor of biology, and Harold Wilson from the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge was the professor of physics) and two major academic buildings (with an elaborate plan for additional buildings) by the renowned Boston architectural firm of Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson. The Thresher, an independent student newspaper, began in 1916, and that same year the Honor Code, a cherished Rice tradition, was adopted by the student body. By 1924 the entering freshman class was limited to about 450, and the undergraduate enrollment has been carefully controlled ever since. In 1987 it was approximately 2,600. The graduate enrollment has grown gradually to about 1,300.
Under Lovett's direction Rice Institute first developed major strength in the sciences and engineering, though distinguished instruction was offered from the beginning in the humanities and architecture. The curriculum broadened, and the faculty increased greatly in size after World War II under the administration (1946–60) of physicist William V. Houston, as the name change in 1960 to Rice University acknowledged. A number of new buildings were constructed in two periods of growth, the late 1940s and the late 1950s. Graduate work, present from the beginning, was enlarged. In 1987 advanced degrees were offered in more than thirty fields. Moral, social, and economic imperatives drove the university successfully to seek legal authority in 1964 to break the founder's charter in two regards: permission to admit students without regard to race and to charge a modest tuition. Further expansion, especially in the humanities and social sciences, came in the 1960s and 1970s during the administrations of chemists Kenneth S. Pitzer (1961–68) and Norman Hackerman (1970–85). In 1961 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration located the Manned Space Flight Center (now the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center) on land made available by Rice, and in 1962 the university established the nation's first department of space science. The Journal of Southern History has been published at Rice since 1959 Studies in English Literature was founded at Rice in 1961 and the Papers of Jefferson Davis project has been headquartered at Rice since 1963. In July 1985 Rice University Studies (formerly Rice Institute Pamphlet, begun in 1915) became Rice University Press. The Shepherd School of Music and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Administration were added in 1973 and 1976 respectively.
In July 1985 theologian George E. Rupp of Harvard Divinity School became Rice's fifth president. As he took over the university, the faculty numbered approximately 420, with slightly fewer than 4,000 students. The campus has forty architecturally consistent buildings grouped in quadrangles under graceful live oak trees on a campus of 300 acres in the heart of Houston. The endowment in 1987 stood at more than $750 million, the largest of any private university in the South. The small undergraduate student body is among the nation's most select, with average SAT scores of over 1,300 and one of the highest percentages of National Merit Scholarship winners. The student body, formerly mostly from Texas, now is predominantly non-Texan, and the relatively low tuition makes possible an economically diverse student population yet what most shapes the character of Rice is the unusual academic talent of its students. Almost paradoxically, Rice, with its 73,000-seat stadium, continued as a charter member of the Southwest Conference until this athletic union ended. No fraternities or sororities are allowed all undergraduates are assigned to one of eight residential colleges (the system was established in 1957) around whose recreational, cultural, educational, and governmental activities student life revolves. In 1993 Malcolm Gillis, an economist and dean from Duke University, became the sixth president.
Rice University maintains a variety of research facilities and laboratories. The Fondren Library contains more than 1.3 million volumes and 1.6 million microforms and subscribes to approximately 11,000 serial titles. It is a depository for United States government documents and patents, and is a university affiliate for census data. Rare books, manuscripts, and the university archives are housed in the library's Woodson Research Center. The library is particularly strong in Texas materials, Confederate imprints, and eighteenth-century English drama, and holds the papers and library of Sir Julian Huxley. Two major scientific collections are the Anderson Collection on the History of Aeronautics and the Johnson Space Center History Archives. The university's central computing facility is the Institute for Computer Services and Applications. There are a number of other computing facilities located elsewhere across the campus. Rice is also associated with the Houston Area Research Center, a consortium supported by Rice, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, and the University of Houston. A number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centers are located on the Rice campus, including the Rice Quantum Institute, the Rice Engineering Design and Development Institute, and the Computer and Information Technology Institute. The Rice Center for Community Design and Research, housed off campus, is involved with urban planning. The Office of Continuing Studies offers a wide variety of noncredit enrichment and technical short courses to thousands of Houstonians annually. In 1990 Rice hosted the annual G-7 economic conference of the United States, Canada, Japan, and Western European countries. Rice's goal has been to combine the teaching emphasis of a liberal arts college with the scholarship of a research university. In 1991 Rice was ranked first among the nation's top 100 schools as a "best buy" in education. Rice University had 462 faculty members and 4,268 students for the 1992–93 regular term and 723 in the 1992 summer session.
Rice University - History
John O'Neil's Invitation to Rice: Spring 1965
In the spring of 1965, I received, in my office at the School of Art of the University of Oklahoma in Norman, a telephone call from Elinor Evans, a recently arrived teacher in the Department of Architecture at Rice University. Elinor, of basic visual design, an artist with a master’s degree from Yale where she had studied with Josef Albers, was calling to tell me that Rice wanted to establish a Fine Arts Department as part of the Humanities area, and she had been asked to recommend an artist or art historian to be chairman. Would I be interested?
Having just completed fourteen years as a tenured professor and director of the School of Art at Norman, a school with a faculty of fourteen, a graduate program dating from 1934, two hundred art majors, and a respected art museum, my interest in change was mild. However, I did send a note to Philip Wadsworth, then Dean of Humanities at Rice, asking for information. An exchange of letters followed, then a telephone call from Wadsworth asking me to come to Houston in order to meet several members of the architecture faculty and others from related disciplines. The meeting was low keyed, conducted for the greater part over and after lunch in the Faculty Club at Cohen House. There had been difficulty in finding a room for my Houston stay, since festivities attendant to the opening of the Astrodome were then in progress. I was given room in a Holcombe Street motel where the air conditioner immediately failed, so my evaluation of Houston at this point was quite low.
First Trip to Rice
During the visit, I found that there had been some art instruction on the Rice campus in past years, all within the Department of Architecture: James Chillman, Jr., retired director of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Katherine Tsanoff Brown, a graduate of Rice and Cornell, taught a few fundamental art history courses as did Jasper Rose, a visitor from England holding a one-year appointment at Rice. Jasper departed in 1965 to accept an appointment to the instructional staff of the University of California at Santa Cruz, but not before he had surprised the Rice campus by wearing academic regalia to his classes. Once striding across the quadrangle in his vivid and flowing robes, he encountered the then president, Kenneth Pitzer, who asked him what the festive occasion was. Jasper replied, “Oh, I’m pretending that this is a university!”
Jasper had also taught a painting course at Rice, and at the end of the 1964 academic year, staged the first-ever art students’ exhibition. In the studio area he also had a colleague, David Parsons, who had been recommended by Jimmy Chillman, director emeritus of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to teach beginning drawing as well as sculpture to architecture students.
If Jasper Rose didn’t think highly of Rice as a university, it may have been because it had changed to that designation only in 1962, having previously been Rice Institute. The new concept took root slowly. Interest on campus in the establishment of a Department of Fine Arts (later to be given the more accurate name: Art and Art History) seemed unenthusiastic. Some older faculty members were actually hostile. However, an effort had been made to find a suitable space to house the department, at least temporarily. Under consideration was the basement of the food services building (an idea eventually abandoned: cooking odors merging with that of oil paint!) the rent or purchase of a house on the campus periphery was examined, as was the erection of a temporary steel structure. The latter option was taken for a location in the shadow of the track stadium: this was to serve for studio courses. In art history, a position had already been advertised and was accepted by William Kane.
During my campus tour, I found lecture rooms and studio rooms, all located in Anderson Hall, to be chaotic: a tumble of old, sometimes broken furniture, trash, wadded paper, and abandoned student paintings. The entire Rice campus seemed almost aggressively anti-visual. A Jacques Lipshitz bronze of Gertrude Stein, poorly shown in Fondren Library, bore the burden of the single work of art in this pocket of academia. I returned to Oklahoma realizing that even though Rice enjoyed a fine reputation in science and engineering, any distinction in art would be hard won.
Appointment Offer as Professor and Chairman of Fine Arts
Soon after my return to Norman, there was a telephone call, followed by a letter from Dean Wadsworth: he offered me an appointment as professor and chairman of the Department of Fine Arts. I delayed a decision until I could discuss the offer with my dean, Dr. Donald Clark. I thought Rice needed the help I felt qualified to give, and a plan was formed for me to take a year’s leave from Oklahoma and go to Rice as a visitor and acting chairman, stepping away from these posts when the department had been prodded into existence. Rice agreed to the plan.
Arrival as the First Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts
In the fall semester of 1965, the Department of Fine Arts appeared and a major curriculum was approved. The instructional staff was Katherine Brown, David Parsons, William Kane, James Chillman, and myself. Those three rather gloomy departmental offices, one with a window and two without, were assigned to us in the basement of Fondren Library. Studio courses in drawing and painting began in a temporary steel building situated in what proved to be a quagmire. One brave student, Paul Pfeiffer, Jr., decided to risk becoming an art major.
The Search for Faculty Begins
A search began for a full-time studio instructor, as well as a replacement for Bill Kane, who had resigned from being appalled by the primitive working conditions, poverty of resources, damp, hot climate, and the deluges that year that prompted one student to dub the campus William Rice’s marsh. Boots, umbrellas, and raincoats became necessary student paraphernalia.
Applications arrived for both the art history and studio positions. We invited portfolios of their work from fourteen artists, and narrowed the art history search to Martha Caldwell, who was eventually appointed. During the search, a new wing for Fondren Library was under construction. During the spring semester of 1966, a violent storm sent fourteen inches of water into our basement offices, inundating and ruining work in the artists’ portfolios—we had little furniture and storage space at the time the floor served as a convenient table. Slides and books belonging to Kane, Brown, and Chillman were also water soaked. When the waters subsided, we also discovered that a group of Henry Miller watercolors, given to us just a week before by the architecture department, had been washed bone clean.
Insurance covered the losses, but paying claims spread over an entire year. All the studio applicants had to be informed, and asked to state the value of their destroyed work—some, it seemed, hadn’t sold much and thought the event to be a personal bonanza!
Professor Havens Joins the Department of Fine Arts
When something resembling normalcy appeared, Neil Havens, the director of Rice Players, came in to inform us that the English Department was releasing him so that he could join the Fine Arts faculty.
The Department's First Move
President Pitzer, taking on our recent soggy state, said we would be moved to the second floor of Allen Center, the business office, as soon as that building was complete. I asked for the space there to include a departmental art gallery, together with a small budget to purchase works of art to form a teaching collection both requests were approved.
The Second Annual Student Art Exhibition
The second annual art students’ exhibition was staged at the Rice Memorial Center (RMC) it seemed to signal a change in the visual atmosphere of the campus. However, at the end of the spring 1966 semester, the department was still struggling to develop I therefore petitioned Oklahoma for a one-year extension of my leave, since I couldn’t face leaving so many loose ends at Rice. This, too, was approved.
Arrival to Allen Center
In the fall of 1967, we moved to new quarters in Allen Center a set of small offices, but the gallery was a clean, luminous space. The initial exhibition was attended by Houston notables, including Oveta Culp Hobby. Six exhibitions were staged for the first season, including those of the California painter John Tomas, ink drawings by Dorothy Hood (one of which, later stolen, had been given to the department by Meredith Long) photography by Geoff Winningham selected form his masters’ exhibition at the School of Design in Chicago, and concluding with the third annual student show, which caused some campus ripples. Jim Simmons, head of Buildings and Grounds, objected fiercely to an overflow of student work being shown in the halls of Allen Center, which forced us to stay within the gallery limits.
The contract for Martha Caldwell was not renewed we searched for a replacement. Earl Staley, a recent MFA graduate of the University of Arkansas, was appointed to teach printmaking and drawing, the printmaking equipment having already been purchased. The slide collection was begun with Juwil Topazio as curator. In the past, only large class lantern slides in black-and-white were used for lectures. Winningham, then teaching at the University of St. Thomas, was employed to photograph the glass slides and reduce them to a 35mm format.
A decision had to be made about my pending return to Oklahoma. Dr. Pitzer was very persuasive in encouraging me to remain permanently at Rice, and after a difficult time of indecision, I agreed to do so. He had assured me that future building plans included a new structure to house Art and Architecture. Such a plan was actually drawn, but rejected because of the then excessive cost of seven million dollars. An alternative, but temporary, space for Art was then included in the planning of Sewall Hall, a gift of Blanche Sewall. At this stage, Dr. Pitzer was offered the presidency of Stanford University, which he accepted. Fine Arts was thus abandoned to its fate by a powerful friend.
Although I found Rice University a sterile, even bleak environment, Houston itself showed stirrings of a vigorous cultural life: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, under James Johnson Sweeney staged superb exhibitions in the grand space of Cullinan Hall the University of St. Thomas history of art program and its extraordinary fine exhibitions directed by Dominique de Menil with the support of her husband John gave a unique and blazing life to the intellectual and cultural milieu. Rice could only dream of achieving a parallel art order. There was also the courageous Contemporary Arts Museum, housed in a small building on the Prudential Insurance grounds. Sebastian “Lefty” Adler arrived in 1966 to direct it in a series of spirited exhibitions. The Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera, and the Alley Theater were well established and supported. Commercial galleries such as Kiko and Louisiana & Bute were appearing. There was a very heady feeling in Houston that almost anything of worth in the arts could be accomplished, and with enthusiasm.
Art in the Department of Fine Arts
A few gifts to the department appeared, the first from the estate of the portrait painter Tamera de Kuffner, mostly decorative objects—furniture, silverware, and crystal—that went to enhance Cohen House interior.
In 1967-68, the departmental gallery began its second season. Sometime that year, there were rumors that the de Menils were dissatisfied with certain aspects of their role at the University of St. Thomas. Shortly thereafter, Dean Tapazio came to me with the startling news that John and Dominique de Menil had proposed that the entire spectrum of art activity at St. Thomas be shifted to Rice University, a wedding without precedent. The shift would include the group of four art historians, as well as the art library, the slide collection and curator, the exhibition program with its technical staff, the photography and film program (designated not very happily “media”) with two instructors, plus generous funds to fuel the various activities. We were enthusiastic, but some Rice administrators observed that the de Menils “had a poor track record” in educational support and that the proposed merger was “unprecedented,” as indeed it was.
Jean and Dominique de Menil Arrive on Campus
Thus began months of negotiation, sometimes on campus, but frequently at the de Menil residence on San Felipe, at dinner parties, at the faculty club, and at the then Criterion Club. There were many sticking points: there was no room at Rice for such a large group of people with attendant equipment, Sewall Hall, with one portion planned to house a small art department and a departmental gallery, would be inadequate. Many of the de Menil proposals were extraordinary: at one point John de Menil asked me to go to the president and ask him to stop the Sewall Hall construction, a structure which at that time was rising above ground! The request was, of course, refused by me, but John nonetheless offered to erect another building, a true art center, to be designed by a distinguished architect. For the immediate solution, however, he wanted to build a temporary structure, brick faced, to be situated near Fondren Library. The Board rejected this because the architectural style was in conflict with the Rice tradition. The longer-term plan was then followed, and a de Menil invitation to Louis Kahn, brought back a second time by Rice, produced a few preliminary sketches by him. A short time later, Kahn, dead of a heart attack in New York, brought a great dream to an end.
To help solve the space problem, we decided to close the gallery temporarily in order to create office space for the St. Thomas group, and the de Menils finally decided to build two temporary structures, of neutral design, at a point distant from the main campus. One in time was referred to as The Barn, which housed exhibitions, work space, and some studio space next door, but not quite a clone, was the Media Center. Dominique de Menil, who had been art chair at St. Thomas, became at Rice the director of the Institute for the Arts, created especially for her.
A frenzy of activity ensued. Moved to the Rice campus were art historians William Camfield, Mino Badner, Philip Oliver-Smith, and Walter Widrig. Juwil Topazio graciously resigned her slide curator post which was then given to Pat Toomey. John de Menil wanted Gerald O’Grady and Geoff Winningham to teach in the Media program, but strong objections by the Rice English faculty blocked the appointment of O’Grady, a Chaucerian scholar who had been given three teaching awards at Rice, but had been denied tenure for reasons unclear. O’Grady did not go down to defeat quietly. After one of several conferences with Dean Topazio, he was described as being “a windmill of words.” I had enrolled in a film course at St. Thomas with O’Grady and thought him an unusually fine instructor, the flow of language put to good use.
1969 was a year of upheaval on campus, as on other campuses. A new president to replace Pitzer, Dr. William H. Masterson—a former Rice faculty member—faced a protest to the appointment by a united student and faculty group. Masterson sensibly decided to forfeit the appointment. National protests also against the war in Vietnam resulted here in a brief occupation by students of Allen Center.
Earl Staley’s appointment at the termination of his three-year contract was not renewed. Earl had been hired as a printmaker, but decided he wanted to teach painting instead, and since he was a young artist without many credentials, the department decided to look for a replacement. Before his departure, I had asked Earl to have a solo show on campus—this was before the gallery opened. The exhibition was staged in the Hamman Hall lobby the work was vigorous and somewhat erotic, and accompanied the Rice Players presentation of Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice. A poster commemorated both events.
The Institute for the Arts
The Institute for the Arts held its first exhibition, a marvelous one titled, “The Machine,” co-sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art. Shortly thereafter, the Media Center (actually part of the Fine Arts Department) began giving courses in film with James Blue as instructor. In order to inaugurate the center, John de Menil had proposed that a new film by Andy Warhol be previewed by the faculty, students, administrators, and staff in the Grand Hall of the Rice Memorial Center. This was done. The film was “Lonesome Cowboys,” which in the atmosphere of 1969 might have been considered titillating. Warhol and attendant “family” members, Ultra Violent and others, paraded in front of the audience before the film began. The following day, several members of the administration called on me in my office. The usual reaction to the film event ranged from dislike to distaste. These opinions also applied to the notion of any art activity at all on campus, expressed in such questions as “Mr. O’Neil, just what do you have in mind for the future of the Fine Arts Department?” My answer to that was: “A vital and vigorous creative and scholarly discipline, open to the examination of all ideas in the visual arts, and the study and interpretation of the history of art.” The then dean of the graduate area, however, rather stubbornly insisted that “art doesn’t belong at Rice because student accomplishment cannot be accurately graded.” (!)
Dominique de Menil, Dan Tapazio, and myself were appointed as a trio to make decisions about how that future of the arts could be realized. At my request, Dominique and I met in order to prepare a budget proposal for the coming year, and then submit it to Tapazio. Dominique seemed genuinely surprised when I asked her to put together a budget for the Institute for the Arts major exhibition program. She replied, “we always just pay for whatever expenses there are.” I realized then that the future, at least for several years, was going to be a wild ride.
Plans for a Move to New Facilities in Sewall Hall
Plans for Sewall Hall had to be revised in order to make room for the increased number of faculty and staff. Space needed to be found for the arriving Art Library and the de Menil teaching collection. Even though a small, but pleasant, departmental gallery was provided, together with an adjacent loading dock, storage areas, and both a freight elevator and a passenger elevator, none of the dozens of people who pored over the blue-prints ever realized that there was no connection above ground between the two wings of the building, nor was this critical fact mentioned by the architects. Thus the Fine Arts area, with the exception of sculpture and gallery, emerged elevatorless.
Rice Media Center
The Rice University Media Center, an integral part of the arts at Rice University, was founded in 1969 by international art patrons Jean and Dominique de Menil, with scholar Gerald O'Grady as a consultant. The founders' intent was, essentially, that the Rice Media Center building provide a channel through which different peoples of the world could communicate. The legendary vision of the de Menil family was fulfilled by the creation of the Rice Media Center building, the Department of Art and Art History and Institute for the Arts which today exists as the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts , Department of Art History and the Rice Cinema Program.
The Rice Media Center and the Institute of the Arts buildings were designed by Houston architect Eugene Aubrey who, at the time, was partnered with architect Howard Barnstone (Barnstone and Aubrey). During the early design stages, Rice scholar Gerald O'Grady met and consulted with Aubrey on the design of the Rice Media Center building. The de Menil's vision for the center was to use the media of film and photography and art as an educational tool in both research and teaching, and to unite different branches of education. The official opening of the Media Center was held in February 1970. Andy Warhol, during a visit that same year, planted a tree with Dominique de Menil's assistance in front of the Institute for the Arts. The Institute building is now the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies and the Rice Media Center building is now occupied by the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. Both buildings and the Warhol tree remain on the Rice Campus to this day, another tremendous gift to the City of Houston and University, from the de Menils.
Film at the Rice Media Center--the Early Years
The ideas surrounding the creation of a space like the Rice Media Center attracted filmmakers who were interested in observational cinema, or cinéma vérité, (the Direct Cinema movement) which is an important impetus to the development of Visual Anthropology today. Among those who engaged the Rice community were Colin Young, then Dean of Arts at UCLA, and renowned filmmaker and director of the Italian School, Roberto Rossellini, along with Frantizek Daniel, renowned director of the Prauge Film School, who each visited the Media Center to conduct meetings and workshops periodically in order to engage and introduce students, faculty and community to this new wave of filmmaking.
In 1970-1971 David MacDougall, who had studied under Colin Young, came to Rice as an ethnographic filmmaker from UCLA. Additionally, the de Menils also brought a young documentary filmmaker to Houston to co-direct the center, Academy Award nominee James Blue. Blue and MacDougal encouraged students of all disciplines to see themselves as filmmakers, and they brought a regular flow of visiting directors to campus. Under the co-directorship of Blue and MacDougall, along with Menil support, the Rice Media Center received federal grants to purchase 8mm film and editing equipment with the intent for it to be made available to use by the public.
During this period, MacDougall and Blue received a Guggenheim fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make one of the most well-known ethnographic documentary films entitled Kenya Boran at the Rice Media Center . Both MacDougall and Blue were Co-Directors of the Media Center until 1975 when MacDougal left to become Director of the Film Unit at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies .
Teaching and fiscal operations of the Media Center became part of the Art and Art History Department soon after this period. Brian Huberman, Associate Professor, was recruited by James Blue from the National Film and Television School, U.K. in 1975. Together Huberman and Blue taught courses in production and collaboratively and independently produced several documentary films until Blue's departure in the late 1970's. Brian Huberman's film work includes To Put Away the Gods (1983), The Making of John Wayne's THE ALAMO (1992) and most recent film The De la Peña Diary (2003) . Huberman's filmmaking and teaching continues to this day for the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts.
Photography at Rice Media Center-Early Years
As a part of the strong interest in an observational style, a documentary image -language, Geoff Winningham was recruited by Gerald O'Grady from the University of St. Thomas in 1969, to come to Rice University to teach photography. During the early years of the Rice Media Center opening (1969-70) brought some very important photographers such as Robert Frank, John Szarkowski, Aaron Siskind, Frederick Sommer, and others to the Rice Media Center for a lecture series. The series included an exhibition of over 60 photographs, on loan just for this show from the Museum of Modern Art, New York (where Jean de Menil was a trustee at the time). Over the years, Professor Geoff Winningham has produced several films and authored many books including Friday Night in the Coliseum (1971), Going Texan (1972) and Rites of the Fall (1978) and his most recent book, Along the Forgotten River (2003). He continues his photography work and teaching for the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts to this day.
For more than 35 years , the Rice Cinema has continued to screen films from around the world—foreign features, shorts, documentaries, and animation. Rice Cinema reaches beyond the university's hedges to the diverse communities of Houston. We offer a living alternative to the monolithic commercial cinema of Hollywood and have screened films from every continent. Among the internationally known filmmakers who have appeared on our campus over the years include Werner Herzog, Rakhshan Banietemad, Atom Egoyan, Shirin Neshat, Martin Scorsese, Andy Warhol, George Lucas, Fernando E. Solanas, Albert Maysles and Dennis Hopper.
Rice Cinema works in concert with our academic programs to enrich our students' undergraduate experience. Our film students are provided state-of-the-art screening facilities to examine and study the historical and methodological aspects of movies from around the world in 16, 35, or 70 millimeter with Dolby Digital Sound. Film production students can showcase their work during the academic year on our new silver screen in recently renovated projection facilities.
Come experience art at 24 frames per second at the Rice Cinema. Rice Cinema operates during the academic year screening films almost every weekend. To find out what is playing, call the informational telephone line at 713-348-4853
Rice Cinema: Celebrating Almost 50 Years of Notable Guests
(Excerpts from these passages below have been taken from an article by Lia Unrau of Rice News on 9/14/95)
In the early '70s,' Andy Warhol premiered his violent Lonesome Cowboys to the largest Media Center audience in history. Italian neo-realist director Michelangelo Antonioni, known for Blow Up screened his work, as did Martin Scorcese and Milos Forman. A promising young director named George Lucas showed his original version of THX 1138.
Also in the '70s, The Big Parade director King Vidor, a Galveston native, told students and audiences about the silver screen, and George Stevens (Giant) and Frank Capra (It's a Wonderful Life) passed on insight from their experiences during some 30 years in the business.
Audiences leaned back and looked to the ceiling as two avant-garde experimenters, Ed Emschwiller and Stan Vanderbeek, projected psychedelic images over head it was, after all, the '70s.
The early '80s brought a strange Dennis Hopper. Following his"performance," in which he refused to come out on stage and the audience watched on video monitors as he spoke from behind stage, (witnesses aren't sure what he spoke about), he invited the sell-out crowd to watch as he blew himself up in the Russian Dynamite Death Chair Act.
Sam Peckinpah, well-known for his westerns, like The Wild Bunch, made the last public appearance of his career at Rice. At the time, his films were controversial in terms of violence, but they might seem mild by today's standards.
British director Richard Lester visited campus to reflect about the Beatles during filming of A Hard Day's Night and Help, and ended up running the camera for George Rupp's presidential inauguration in 1985.
In 1987 Isabella Rossellini participated in a retrospective of her father's work. While Roberto Rossellini was at Rice he set to work on a film for television called Science, based on the work of Rice scientists, scheduled to be 10 hours long. Although frames exist, the project was never completed.
In 1991, Spike Lee and his whole family rolled up in a limousine to sneak preview Do the Right Thing. Lee led an emotionally charged discussion with the sell-out crowd following the film.
Rayzor Hall was designed by Staub, Rather & Howze. Named for lawyer, towing company executive and alumnus trustee J. Newton Rayzor '17 and his wife Eugenia Porter Rayzor, the building housed School of Humanities until the Humanities Building was built in 2000. The building now houses the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication.
Brown College - “The Tower”
With Jones College being the only all women's college on campus, there was a severe housing shortage for Rice women in the 60's. Through the generous donation of George R. Brown and his wife Alice Pratt Brown, a new women's residential college was established in the memory of their sister-in-law, Margarett Root Brown. The original building became known as “The Tower” after Brown College was expanded in 2002.
Rice Health Center (Formerly Brown College Commons)
The original building of the Brown College Commons, located next to the dormitory tower, served as the College’s dining hall for nearly 50 years. However, when Brown College expanded in 2002, a new commons was built and the original commons became the building for the Rice Health Center.
Ryon Engineering Laboratory
Designed by architects Wirtz, Calhoun, Tungate & Jackson, Ryon Engineering Laboratory was built with a gift from Lewis B. Ryon, Jr., professor emeritus of civil engineering, and his wife Mae E. Ryon. When it comes to concrete batching and curing, strength testing, welding and machining, Ryon Lab has been the go-to place for Rice’s civil, environmental and mechanical engineering faculty and students.
Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (Formerly Hicks Kitchen)
Hicks Kitchen was originally the central food-service kitchen on campus, but then became storage space after North and South Kitchen Serveries were built in 2002. In 2009, Hicks Kitchen was completely renovated with a generous gift from Rice University alumnus and trustee M. Kenneth Oshman ’62 and his wife Barbara to established the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). The OEDK includes conference rooms, a classroom, a wet lab, rapid prototyping equipment, large-format printers, a designated woodworking area, a machine shop and access to a welding shop, providing engineering students with the space and resources to complete their design projects. The OEDK is the first renovated building on campus to be LEED Gold-Certified.
Space Science and Technology Building
Immediately following former President John F. Kennedy space exploration address in Rice Stadium in 1662, Rice became the first university to establish a space science department. The Space Science and Technology building was built a few years later to house the department.
Designed by architects Lloyd, Morgan & Jones, the Allen Business Center honors Rice donor and governor Herbert Allen and his wife Helen Allen. In 1987, Trustees authorized a 4th-floor expansion. The Allen Business Center houses the President’s Office.
Herman Brown Hall for Mathematical Sciences
Funds by the Brown Foundation and from a National Science Foundation Systems Grant, the Herman Brown Hall for Mathematical Sciences is named for Trustee George R. Brown's elder brother and business partner. Architects George Pierce and Abel B. Pierce designed the building.
Named after Rice's first president, Edgar Odell Lovett College is a six-story residential dorm with distinctive brutalist architecture. The concrete grating that surrounds the third, fourth, and fifth floors is a design feature intended to make Lovett riot-proof in reaction to the student riots of the late 1960’s. This grating now protects Lovett students from hurricanes, allowing the students of Lovett College to remain in their rooms through both Hurricane Rita and the most recent Hurricane Ike.
MOB History and Traditions
The Rice Owl Band was formed by 12 students in 1916 and was built upon interest in band activities and the reading of band literature. The band increased to about 50 members when Lee Chatham became director in 1922. During this period, however, there were few high school bands, and so the main body of membership was supplied through civic or municipal bands and private teachers.
The Rice Band in 1916
Following Mr. Chatham’s retirement in 1938, Mr. Kit Reid became director. During the period of World War II, the supply of band personnel was very unstable, so toward the end of the war, Hugh Saye and Dick Kincheloe formed a band of Navy cadets under the V-12 program. This group was supplemented by civilians from the student body. After the war, the band was reorganized and the first women, four majorettes, were added to the previously all-male organization. Neel Cotton completed the academic year as director following Mr. Reid’s retirement in 1950.
In 1951, Holmes McNeely became director and instituted a building program of both equipment and personnel. Mr. McNeely was the first to offer a number of band scholarships to students involved with the Rice Owl Band. At this time, women musicians were added to the band for the first time. Upon the retirement of Mr. McNeely in 1967, Mr. Bert Roth took charge of the band activities. In the fall of 1968, every qualified member of the Rice Owl Band was given a work scholarship in recognition of their participation.
In 1970, the Rice Owl Band broke with tradition and introduced timely and sometimes controversial topics into their halftime activities. With their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, the band parodied politics, life at Rice, and other members of the Southwest Conference, using the brains that Rice is famous for, rather than brawn. The band also gradually stopped marching at this time and began the “scattering” that it is now famous for. This type of entertainment proved popular with band members as well as with the student body.
Angry A&M fans after the 1973 show
Dr. Ken Dye took over the director’s job in 1980. By emphasizing musical quality and contemporary show design, the band (now called the Marching Owl Band, or MOB) was able to entertain a larger audience. His first year marked the beginning of the jazz ensemble and the granting of credit for the concert band. In 1982, Dye updated the MOB’s uniforms, and the MOB donned their trademark gray felt fedoras for the very first time.
Ken Dye with the MOB
Dr. Dye’s tenure at Rice saw MOBsters perform at the Opening Ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics, the 1985 Presidential Inauguration, the 1986 Statue of Liberty Celebration and U.S. Olympic Festival, and the 1993 Carnivale in Nice, France. Dr. Dye believed that travel was an important part of any major college band. During his time as MOB director, the band took trips to places as far afield as Notre Dame and the campuses of all three U.S. Service Academies. The MOB also took shorter trips to SMU, TCU, and Tulane University.
Dr. Dye’s single greatest legacy lies with his tremendous talent for arranging music for bands. During his time at Rice, he arranged literally hundreds of tunes for the MOB to perform. Our music library overflows with his first-class arrangements of many rock, jazz, and blues standards. When it comes to playing great music, the MOB has long been among the best college bands in the country — a tradition that it will uphold for years to come.
In spring 1995, Willy’s Pub and the MOB Bandhall were destroyed in a fire that gutted much of the Rice Memorial Center. Luckily enough, however, the MOB was already planning a move to the newly-refurbished basement of the Campus Central Kitchen Building (now the OEDK). Although a new band hall was in place, the MOB had to rebuild from nearly zero — new instruments, equipment, office supplies, computers, and uniforms all had to be bought in the summer of 1995 in time for the 1995-96 season.
Evolution of MOB uniforms
In 1997, Dr. Dye left Rice to rebuild the band program at the State University of West Georgia, a position he held for only one year before moving on to a directorship at Notre Dame University in the fall of 1998. Mr. Sean Williams was hired in the summer of 1997 to serve the MOB and the Rice Band Department as interim director until a permanent replacement for Dye could be found. That replacement was Dr. Robert Cesario, who came to us in the fall of 1998 from Tulsa, OK. After four years, Dr. Cesario resigned from the position of Director of Rice Bands in the summer of 2002.
The MOB is currently under the leadership of Mr. Chuck Throckmorton, who has been with us since 2002.
Chuck at a 2017 rehearsal
In spring 2017, the MOB moved into its new band hall on the south end of the football stadium, leaving its old shared location in a gym in the back of Tudor behind. The hall was officially named the John “Grungy” Gladu Band Hall in fall 2017.
“Rice’s Honor” was adapted from the “Our Director March” in the 1922, with lyrics by Ben H. Mitchell . It served as Rice’s unofficial alma mater for 40 years before being officially established as such in the 1960s as such.
All for Rice’s honor, we will fight on.
We will be fighting when the day is done.
And when the dawn comes breaking,
We’ll be fighting on, Rice, for the Gray and Blue.
We will be loyal, to Rice be true.
The Rice Fight Song was written by Louis Girard and Harry Girard and premiered in 1940. Although originally intended to replace “Rice’s Honor” as the school’s alma mater, it was much more popular among students as a fight song, leaving “Rice’s Honor” in the role of alma mater.
Fight for Rice, Rice fight on,
Loyal sons arise.
The Blue and Gray for Rice today
Comes breaking through the skies.
Fight, fight, fight!
Stand and cheer, Vict’ry’s near,
Sammy leads the way.
Onward go! to crush the foe,
We’ll fight for Blue and Gray.
Bonnet was written in the s by Harvin C. Moore and Barry Moore to the 1909 tune “Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet” and became a popular tune at football games.
30-second Bonnet is the tune compressed into 30 seconds and is performed at basketball games.
“Louie Louie” is the MOB’s personal fight song/theme song based on the 1963 Kingsmen hit. The MOB first performed it in a show against TCU in 1981, and now plays it at every football game.
News and Upcoming Events:
To limit how many people are using the band hall at a time, please check the band hall availability calendar before using the band hall.
10 Fun Facts about Rice University
1. Nearly half of all Rice students are from out of state.
2. The wall at the entrance of Rice’s architecture building is known as the Frog Wall for the croaking frog noises it makes if you run your fingers over the holes.
3. All students are required to finish two P.E. type classes of Lifetime Physical Activity Program, or LPAP, before graduation.
Browse Successful Application Files
In this second part of his two-part series, college admissions coach Justin Taylor explains key admissions lessons from 2020, an unprecedented year of firsts, that can help you strategize as we enter into this next application.
In Part one of this two-part series, college admissions coach Justin Taylor explains key lessons about 2020, “a year like no other,” that could seriously boost your chances in 2021, including smarter list building and transcript GPA.
We are so excited to announce that for this year’s scholarship, we selected five scholarship winners to maximize the impact of our $5,000 college scholarship prize money.
For students who can knock their college essays out of the park, the pandemic presents a unique writing opportunity (but not as an essay topic).
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among so many others in the Black community who have been robbed of their lives over the years by the brutal and fatal use.
Facts about Rice University 1: level of research
The research activity in Rice University is very high. In 2011, the research earned the funding of $115.3 million from the sponsor.
Facts about Rice University 2: the applied science programs
Applied science is the main program in Rice University. It covers a number of fields such as signal processing, artificial heart research, nanotechnology, space science, and structural chemical analysis.
Facts about Rice University
Rice University - History
The Rice NROTC Unit was officially inaugurated in September 1941, making it the second NROTC Unit formed in Texas. The first Commanding Officer was CAPT Dallas D. Dupre, a World War I veteran who had graduated from the Naval Academy in 1915.
The unit building was newly made and prepared for the first class of midshipmen when the program began in 1941, with 110 spots available for freshmen and sophomore students at Rice to apply for. The program continued to expand, and only a year later, in 1942, had 198 midshipmen. The unit was heavily involved with the rice community on campus. Initially created in addition to the ROTC Program was the Navy Club, which was meant to increase camaraderie and instill the good ideals of the navy into midshipmen. Members also created the Navy Orchestra, which played at events around campus. The unit midshipmen also ran a publication called the Rice Broadside, which included news from the company, as well as thoughts about current events, such as the excerpt below, from an issue during WW2. Midshipmen also found uses for the physical demands of the navy - many of the Marine options were members of the Rice football team as well. In 1943, Rice University was selected to participate in the V-12 Commissioning Program for World War II with an initial input of 530 students. In February 1944, the unit commissioned its first class of graduates in all, 80 men were commissioned as officers in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. By July 1946, the V-12 Program had ended and the unit shrunk to 32 students. Today, the unit consists of cross-town affiliates at Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and Houston Baptist University. It has commissioned over 900 officers into the Navy and Marine Corps since the end of World War II.
The Prairie View A&M University Unit was established in March 1968 and was the first NROTC unit established at a Historically Black College or University. In May 1970, the first class of 13 midshipmen were commissioned into the Navy and Marine Corps. By 1979, the unit had commissioned over 100 officers into the naval service. In August 1992, the Prairie View A&M University Unit joined with the Rice University Unit to form the NROTC Houston Consortium. To date, the unit has commissioned over 400 officers into the Navy and Marine Corps.