Like all Rice memorabilia, this fan has a more complicated story behind it. Thankfully, this one was easy to find. During the May 1990 meeting of the Board of Governors, they approved a $2.3 million bid to install air conditioning in Autry Court. By that time, the gym was the last SWC court without air conditioning, which seems a bit odd given Houston’s heat. The Board approved paying $1.3 million, but stipulated that by April 1, 1991, $1 million would need to be raised by outside sources.
The Rice Thresher mentions that Joyce Hardy spearheaded the campaign. By May 1991, Hardy and others raised $300,000. Thankfully, Rice had gotten new bids, one at the relatively low $800,000. Thus, at the following Board of Governors meeting in May 1991, they approved the new bid and provided the additional $500,000. Workers installed the new AC system during the summer.