A Mysterious Bench

Yes, it’s come to this: my attention is arrested by nothing more than a strange bench. To be fair, I had a very, very long travel day today and I’m exhausted. I realize that I could avoid this by having some canned posts ready at all times but every time I’ve tried that it felt wrong, only half alive. So once in a while you get a picture of a bench. I think we can all live with this.

Bench c1974

Still, I’d never seen this bench before and I wonder what became of it. (The landscaping dates this image as mid 1970s.) I like it much better than the plain (and sturdier) one that sits there now.

Bonus:Girls on Terrell winter 2013

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17 Responses to A Mysterious Bench

  1. Richard A. Schafer says:

    No idea what happened to it, but perhaps someone recognized that the quote from the Odes of Horace was wrong? From every source I can find, “Exegit” should have been “Exegi.” The phrase is generally translated “I have raised a monument more permanent than bronze.”

  2. “Exegi monumentum aere perennius”
    “I have created a monument more lasting than bronze”



  3. Melissa Kean says:

    Yes, they changed the Horace. “Exegit” is third person singular, referring, I believe, to WMR.

  4. Pat Campbell says:

    The bench was there in the late 60’s and had an inscription for Edgar Odell Lovett on the other side. For many years it was the only bench on campus and legend had it that it was placed so that he could see who was occupying the bench from his office.

  5. Gloria Tarpley '81 says:

    That bench was definitely there in the late seventies, because my family took a Christmas photo on that bench. I don’t remember anything at all about the inscription, but I do recall it clearly.

  6. Sandy Havens says:

    As I recall, the bench was an anomaly. Other than the steps around Willy’s statue there was no other place to sit in the Quad. Don’t know how it got there; don’t know why it went away.

  7. David M. Bynog says:

    This is the bench I inquired of you (many months ago) what happened to it. It was there at least during the late 1980s and seems to have disappeared in the early 1990s. (There also seem to have been some benches around Willy that disappeared at roughly the same time.)

  8. Paul Engle says:

    I loved this bench. It always seemed so out of place and random. Unlike the granite benches around Willy and scattered elsewhere on campus—all of which are gone now, I believe—this one was white marble.

  9. Probably went away for the economic summit.

  10. marmer01 says:

    Google Earth has historic imagery of 1978, 1989, and 1995, but I’m not sure the resolution is high enough to see the bench. historicaerials.com has 1973, 1981, and 2002, although they’re watermarked within an inch of their lives and you may not be able to see the bench.

  11. David M. Bynog says:

    Well, it showed up in 1961. Here is a blurb from the Feb. 10 issue of the Thresher:
    “One of the most obvious additions is the marble bench dedicated to the memory of Dr. E. O. Lovett, Rice’s first president. Located between the Physics Building and Anderson Hall, the
    bench is inscribed with the Latin, “exegit monumentum aere perennius”—referring to the man who erected an everlasting monument. Designed by Mr. Robert F. Lent of the Architecture
    Department, the bench is a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jackson Wray of Houston, friends of the late Dr. and Mrs. Lovett and Associates of the University.”

  12. ed summers, Baker, 1959 says:

    That is the bench on which Kathy Beke sat when I proposed to her in 1967 (she said “yes”). A little owl actually dive-bombed us several times that evening (trying, I guess, to hurry us along…).

  13. Pingback: Benches, Part I: Abercrombie | Rice History Corner

  14. Pingback: Benches, Part II | Rice History Corner

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