Welcoming a New President, 1946

Houston April 1946 ARA dinner Hanszen Miss Anne Mrs

This picture was taken at the Rice Alumni Dinner in April of 1946. It’s noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, it’s very, very early in William Houston’s Rice career–he must have been on campus for about fifteen minutes when this event took place. It’s also one of a very few photos I’ve seen of Harry Hanszen (he’s on the left) and the only image I’ve come across so far of Houston’s wife, Mildred (she’s on the right). Mrs. Houston was, it’s fair to say, a formidable woman, which certainly comes across here. (I have one great story about her that I found in a 1960 letter Alan Chapman wrote to Franz Brotzen (both long time professors in Mechanical Engineering). I’m not going to tell it here.) The young lady to the left is the Houston’s daughter, Anne, and the fellow in the middle is our old friend Carl Knapp (’16).

Just to give you some sense of the lay of the land at this moment, here’s an aerial shot of campus in 1946:

Aerial 1946

Things were about to start happening fast.

Bonus: Not bad, really, just misunderstood.


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3 Responses to Welcoming a New President, 1946

  1. James Medford says:

    Wow … lots of great details in that aerial photo. It’s probably one of the better views I’ve seen of Harris Gully. And check out the shacks in the grove of trees off to the right of the old football stadium. Could that be where the Garcia family lived?

    • Melissa Kean says:

      It’s really a great photo, isn’t it? I was just looking at it and noticing how much the trees had grown and shaped the spaces on campus. And yes, I do think that’s where the Garcias lived.

  2. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen '82) says:

    Zoom in on the 3 women’s faces to the right of Mr. Knapp; someone in the background, Anne and Mildred. Now there is a set of faces I would like to see immortalized on a campus building frieze!

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