Ninety-eight years ago the great catastrophe began. It took a while for the war the reach Rice, but not all that long, really. In 1916 Jimmie Waters was captain of the track team:
And not long afterwards, Lieutenant Waters arrived in Europe as part of Company A of the 315th Engineers:
At Rice, there was a famous incident, perhaps the most significant student uprising in the institution’s history, over the harsh military discipline that overtook the campus as it went on war footing. Faculty left for the service, as did many students. Not unexpectedly, some never came back. Rice was a very small place and each loss was a real trauma. After it was all over, President Lovett prepared a memorial volume of the Rice Institute Pamphlet that commemorated the war service of Rice students, faculty and staff. The list ran to over eighty pages. Here is the brief tribute that opened the volume. No author is listed, but it has to have been written by Lovett.
I’ll have more to say about it soon.
I’ve been reading “The Builders” by Joseph Pratt & Christopher Casteneda. They say George Brown’s expulsion was attributable to this harsh military discipline. He and other ROTC cadets pulled a prank on the ROTC commander, and it went very wrong, leading to Brown leaving Rice.
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