Gil Hermance in the Gym (I think)

I’ve mentioned Gilbert Hermance before, in connection with the epic cracks in the old fieldhouse. Here’s a really nice photo of him taken somewhat later, after the construction of the new gym in 1950. Hermance, who retired in 1972, had a very long (42 years) career in Physical Education at Rice and he seems to have been a genuinely kind and friendly man who served as a mentor to generations of students. I know him best from my research into the history of athletics for women–he was an early supporter and tried to begin intramural competition a couple of times before it finally caught on.

Gib Hermance

My best guess–based on the dates that I can see on the publications behind him–is that this was taken in the mid 50s. I think it must be in the new gym but it’s hard to be sure. But just take a minute to look at those publications! They’re all over the place.

Bonus: As I mentioned, I’m on vacation. This is what I see out my door.


I’m finding it difficult to concentrate (or even think at all) so the rest of this week I’ll just put up some cool pictures and more or less let them speak for themselves.

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12 Responses to Gil Hermance in the Gym (I think)

  1. marmer01 says:

    Interesting. A PE instructor who wore a dark, tone-on-tone stripe suit to work. How times have changed.

  2. C Kelly says:

    Mr. Barker (I can’t recall his first name) was a good guy in the Pys Ed Dept, too. Some of us gym rats enjoyed some good times in Autry Field House.

  3. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    You missed a good wave out there.
    Post some pics of your ‘hanging ten’, please

  4. John Wolda '56 says:

    Its Gil (not Gib) and J R Barker was the other.

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

      John WOLDA has appeared.
      It must be baseball season again.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      I know his name was Gilbert, but he seems to have signed things with “Gib.” Maybe I’m misreading, though. I’ll look more closely when I get back to Houston. Assuming that I go back, of course.

  5. Tommy LaVergne says:

    Maybe it’s the Corona beer, but your horizon line is leaning to the right and the entire ocean is running off the page. It’s not that I’m picky, more like I’m envious.

  6. James says:

    I don’t know where you are but you deserve a vacation in such a beautiful place like this. Enjoy every moment of it.

  7. ed summers, Baker, 1959 says:

    I knew Gil (not “gib”!) Hermance, and also his son Bob Hermance, who was a CPA and very kind to me as a young faculty member at both Rice and UT-Austin. You are right about his character – all the best things! And his son Bob too.

  8. doug hermance says:

    he was my grandfather- my daughter megan 2009 is the latest owl

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