Thanksgiving Postcards

We’ve already highlighted Valentine’s Day postcards from the James Lockhart Autry Family papers. Let’s take a look at some unusual turn of the century cards.


Thanksgiving postcard


KTRU Tuesday: The Whopper Eating Contest

As a bid to increase sales, Burger King held a Whopper eating competition during the halftime of the freshman basketball game on January 16, 1973.  Harry Chavanne ’33, a Burger King franchisee and Rice donor, organized the competition and put up the prize money.

Rice sadly could not eat fast enough and UH won $200. Rice donated its $100 consolation prize to Managua earthquake victims.

Memorabilia Monday: Derrick in Oil

Oil Original by Lu Celia Wise

You never know what you might find in the vault. Lee Pecht recently reorganized the memorabilia collection. This unusual item was in the Houston memorabilia box. It actually doesn’t come from Houston, though.

Lu Celia Wise worked for the Sinclair Oil Corporation in Tulsa. While there, she created her own line of “oil originals.” According to her lovingly written obituary, she sold desk items and art related to the oil industry at the Dallas Market.  She also wrote Oklahoma’s official bicentennial book.

Wise does have a Houston connection. The League of Women Voters selected her as one of two Oklahoma representatives for the “Women in Action” exhibit in 1996. The University of Houston has a collection on this project.

Tech Thursday: Homecoming


Tech Thursday and the Woodson Research Center give you

The Incomparable Humanities Building Crane, Rice Homecoming Queen, 1999.


Happy Homecoming

Rice Thresher, November 19, 1999

Sallyport, Fall 1999

Homecoming Floats

For eleven years (1950-1960), students constructed Homecoming floats and had parades. It seems like the short-lived tradition died out from lack of interest.

This 1952 sophomore float is one part gruesome and one part awesome.

This 1952 sophomore float is one part gruesome and one part awesome.

Here are the sophomores in 1958 building a giant Sammy.

Here are the sophomores in 1958 building a giant Sammy.

If you recognize that house, please let us know.

Photographs from: Rice University Archives general photo files, “Homecoming 1952” and “Homecoming 1958″, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University 

KTRU Tuesdays: Hackerman on Co-ed Colleges

Starting in 1970, the issue of co-ed colleges pops up in the KTRU tapes. In the news masters, notable Rice alums, like George Greanias, talk about the overall vibe in the colleges. On the whole, the students didn’t see what the big deal was.

For Pres. Norman Hackerman, co-ed conversion involved a variety of steps before moving forward with assigning women to the new co-ed colleges. In this snippet from the fall 1971 news master, he lays out how he will get buy-in from all of the affected stakeholders.

Photo from: Rice University News & Media Relations; Board, Administration and Faculty Photo and Research files, ca. 1930-2000, UA 187, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

Memorabilia Monday: MOB Kazoo

MOB kazoo

Underside of kazoo

According to The MOB‘s website, the string section plays kazoos when it rains. While we don’t have a date for our kazoo, it was made by Kazoobie Kazoos.

If you have any great MOB kazoo stories, feel free to tell us about it in the comments.

Homecoming Queen Mike Grubbs

Mike Grubbs, Homecoming Queen

It’s like he knows that his reign will be short.

Although Mike Grubbs was elected the Homecoming Queen in 1988, he had to relinquish his title to runner-up Nancy Jones. The Athletic Department had already created a rule that only a woman could represent Rice in the Cotton Bowl parade.

Photograph from: Rice University Archives general photo files, “Grubbs, Mike”, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

KTRU Tuesdays: KTRU Goes City-Wide

On May 20, 1971, KTRU 91.7 FM expanded its range across the city. No longer limited to the confines of the hedges, the radio station pumped up its wattage by ten and could be heard within a ten to fifteen mile radius of the campus. To do this, KTRU installed an antenna on top of Sid Richardson College, which explains the photograph attached to this audio clip.

In celebration of this occasion, the radio station solicited the opinions and congratulations from Malcolm Lovett, Dean Wierum, Gene Coulbourn Hackerman, and an unknown speaker. If you recognize the voice, please let us know in the comments.

Memorabilia Monday: Band Sweater

Rice Band drum majorettes, 1954

Rice Band drum majorettes, 1954

Mary Ann Kopriva ’56, the majorette on the far right, donated her sweater to the Woodson. The sweater is heavy, thick, and itchy. The majorettes and the rest of band, for that matter, must have been quite uncomfortable.


Sweater emblem

Clothing tag

While this marching band photograph is blurry, it looks like some people might be wearing the sweater.

Band marching at night, 1950s

Band marching at night, 1950s

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