Institutional Memory and the $33 Million Dollar Campaign

The $33 Million Campaign of the late 1960s was Rice’s first real capital campaign. Up until this point there had been a general reluctance to ask for money except for specific projects. It was clear, though, that any hope of attaining the high goals of Rice’s newly adopted and transformative Ten-Year Plan depended on a large influx of money. There was debate about it, of course, but in the end it proved surprisingly easy to raise the funds. Last week I was reading the newsletters that were sent out twice a year to inform alumni and donors about the progress of the project. They are deeply interesting and sometimes profoundly ironic. As I was putting them away, my attention was drawn by two figures in the crowd shot taken at the celebration dinner at the close of the campaign in December, 1968:

Knapp 33 million campaign event Feb 1969The silver-haired gentleman seen in profile in the foreground is Carl Knapp, ’16. (His wife, Anna Ricketts Knapp, ’18, is beside him.) Knapp also appears in an image taken at an earlier event, Rice’s first matriculation in 1912, two to the left on President Lovett in glasses and a light colored suit:


This guy covered a lot of ground. He was unshakably loyal and supportive but I can’t help but wonder what he really thought about the dramatic changes that came to Rice in the 1960s.

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