The Founder’s Room

Originally it was the faculty chamber, of course, and it was quite beautiful. This picture was taken in 1941 at the 25th Reunion of the first graduating class.

I’m not sure when they did away with this configuration, which was designed for a relatively small faculty and isn’t very flexible. Here are a couple of (sadly very dark) pictures of the renovation that was done in 1970. They are much clearer if you click on them to enlarge. The decor was a bit unusual.

At some point it returned to looking like something we’d all recognize as a board room, and it was revamped again in the run up to the Economic Summit in 1991. This summer it’s getting a much needed freshening up. These guys are finishing up the clean out by wrapping the portraits of the early board members for storage.

The floors will get some badly needed attention! I took these pictures earlier int he summer, so it might even be finished by now. I’ll check next week.


Bonus picture: This one is really old.

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14 Responses to The Founder’s Room

  1. Helen Toombs says:

    Do we by ANY chance still have the lighting fixtures? In Woodson? In someone’s closet?!

  2. Melissa Kean says:

    Which set do you mean? There are a few of the earliest ones floating around.

  3. Jerry Outlaw says:

    Where is the “Founder’s Room”, anyway? I don’t recall ever hearing a word about it while I was at Rice (64-68), much less actually being in it. Does this say something about my not being a part of the “in” crowd?

    • Melissa Kean says:

      It’s the big room on the second floor of Lovett, at the Welcome Center entrance. I don’t think it was called the Founder’s Room in the mid-60s, and it probably wasn’t yet used as the board room. The Rice board traditionally met in the business offices that we had downtown. They were in several locations over the years, but at that time I believe they were in the Scanlan Building.

    • John Jordan says:

      Hey Jerry…just picked this up on google. I’m John Jordan…you and Charlotte (?) and Cathie and I had babies at Rice in 1967. Where are you these days?

  4. LouAnn Risseeuw says:

    The floors have been refinished and you’ll have to see the transformation for yourself. They are covered at this point becuase the painting of the room has begun.

  5. Jerry Outlaw says:

    There was no “Welcome Center” in the 60s either, so I will be satisfied to know just that it is somewhere on the 2nd floor of Lovett Hall. In those days students didn’t spend much time in that building. Perhaps it is different today.

  6. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT says:

    In Valhalla, there were some old tall gothic (?) wooden chairs.
    Have you ever seen them?
    Do you know where they were previously located?

    (BTW, when Sandy Havens and I attended Rice in 1952-56, the Valhalla saloon area had maintainence equipment in it, for the lawn, I think. The double stone staircase above it was the site of Sandy’s earliest Shakespearean board-trodding, while I gawked from below.)

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT says:

      BTW, your clock seems to be 5 hours fast. I wrote that at 2:27 am.

      • Melissa Kean says:

        It’s harder to set the clock on WordPress than you would ever imagine. It’s pointlessly complicated. I might actually need someone from EE to help me get it squared away.

        Also, are you really reading this in the middle of the night?? Because that is so cool.

  7. Sandy Havens says:

    At some point around 1950 the “choir stalls” had been removed. About that time the old Rice Drama Club had gone dormant and a new group Rice Players replaced it. The new group presented several plays in the mostly empty Faculty Chamber, as it was known earlier. The next iteration was as business or administration offices and work spaces. During its next transformation in the late 1960’s into the Founder’s Room–while the space was under renovation–several scenes for the film “Grigsby G” (produced by Doug Killgore and George Greanias) were filmed there. Check with Doug about that.

  8. Pingback: A few updates | Rice History Corner

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