Once again great fun comes from minding someone else’s business. Yesterday morning I came in and stuck my nose into the work being done by one of the Woodson’s outstanding volunteers and I wound up learning something as well as giving myself a mystery to solve.
She was working on a small manuscript collection that contained the correspondence of Harry Marshall Bulbrook, the class agent for the class of 1916, the first class to graduate from Rice. Most of the letters were written between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s and involved class business like luncheons and reunions. Not surprisingly, I suppose, the early students had a strong camaraderie and many of them managed to stick pretty close together for the rest of their lives. Bulbrook had correspondence with quite a few of them and the letters reveal a strong sense of continuing engagement with Rice.
Here’s the thing that caught my attention: in preparation for the 50th reunion of the Class of 1916 they decided to design a special monogram for Rice’s first five classes, a group they referred to as the “Rice Frontier Five,” and have it made into a pin for each member. Well, first, I had never heard of this designation before and I have to say that I like it–it’s kind of snazzy. But the second thing that occurred to me was, what did the monogram look like?? There aren’t any drawings in the correspondence except for one idea that was rejected, but it’s clear that they actually carried it off and had the pins made. I found this picture in the Sallyport of Alumni President Charles Hamilton presenting Bulbrook with one of the pins at Homecoming. But I can’t see it! This is the sort of thing that will torment me until I find it. Wish me luck.