The Audrey Moody Ley Plaza and Wendel D. Ley Track

I had to go back for Round 2 at the dentist today–a different one, this time a specialist– and I’m kind of zonked on painkillers. I feel great but a bit fuzzy headed so I’ll be brief again.

Here’s the idea I had yesterday: There are a surprising number of spaces on campus that are named for people. Once you start looking you find them all over–not just buildings but rooms, courtyards, and various outdoor spaces. There are plaques and labels all over. Some of the namesakes I know well, others not at all. Wouldn’t it be kind of fun to poke around and have a look at them? Well, I think it would be fun so we’re going to do it.

What put the notion into my head on the first place was this:

As I walked past it, sort of just lollygagging along, I remembered a photograph I’d seen of Audrey Moody (’35) as an undergraduate. I’ve always liked this picture because it illustrates perfectly part of a complex theory I’ve formulated after looking at thousands of Rice related photographs: there are some people who always look the same, no matter what year it is. Audrey Moody Ley is one of those people. The very instant I first laid eyes on this I knew it was her, even though it was taken a good six decades before I met her. She’s on the left, as if you didn’t already know.

So once I had this idea, I began actually thinking. Not far from Audrey Moody Ley Plaza is this:

And of course I happened to have a nice photograph of former Rice Institute hurdler Wendel Ley (’32) taken at Homecoming in 1951 when he was president of the Alumni Association. He’s on the left, kind of suspiciously eyeing Carl Illig (’30).

I haven’t even tried to do justice to the Ley family and their long relationship with Rice here–as I mentioned I am perhaps not at my sharpest right now–but I promise to do better when I talk about the Ley Student Center later on.

Bonus: I saw something astonishing in the dentist’s waiting room today. In place of old issues of lame magazines, there was this:

A nice run of The New Criterion!

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5 Responses to The Audrey Moody Ley Plaza and Wendel D. Ley Track

  1. John Polking says:

    How about the Ley’s connection to Reckling Field?

  2. David M. Bynog says:

    Since you are always in the library, you need to wander around and looked at all of the named spaces here. In some instances, the named “spaces” don’t even exist anymore! Try to find the plaque that honors the room and equipment given by the Bender family and see if you can decipher what “equipment” they are referring to.

  3. Katherine O'Neill says:

    I just came across this post on a google search. You will be happy to know we recently celebrated my grandmother Audrey (“Teetie” to us kids) Ley’s 102nd birthday! And you are right, she does still look the same – timeless!

  4. Bridget Jensen says:

    A lovely memorial service and wonderful tributes to Audrey at St Luke’s Methodist this afternoon.

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