Monday Morning Mystery

Looking through some of those Rupp era commencement slides, I came across this odd thing. No, not Steven Baker with the mace–I mean the unexplained box being carried behind him:

Commencement Rupp era Stephen Baker box

The next image in the batch is a closer view–one of the bearers looks like Katherine Tsanoff Brown–but I still have no idea what this is all about:

Commencement Rupp era box


I know one of you knows this. Help a sister out.

Bonus: I should have used this as a bonus for last Friday’s pizza post but I didn’t think of it in time.



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10 Responses to Monday Morning Mystery

  1. It’s the Ark of the Covenant. I’ve been looking all over for that.

  2. almadenmike says:

    A agree with you that one of the box-bearers is Katherine Tsanoff Brown. The other looks like Harry Chavanne.

  3. Rachel Dvoretzky '82 says:

    Katherine Tsanoff Brown, of course, and the gentleman must be Franz Brotzen. The document in the case is the Cohen House menu.

  4. almadenmike says:

    Also, is the bottom photo flopped? Brown & Brotzen have switched sides, compared with the top photo (which shows Fondren Library correctly in the background) as has Brotzen’s mortarboard tassel.

  5. effegee says:

    Dr. Rupp enthusiastic embrace of Rice’s early history stood out in marked difference to his predecessor. He frequently used facts from the founding in his speeches and conversations. My money is on the document in the display case being connected to an early (first?) commencement. 1986 would have been 70 years since the first degree would have been awarded to a 4-year student matriculating at the opening.

  6. Pat Martin says:

    During the 1988-89 academic year, President Rupp named Bud Rorschach to head a committee that proposed ways to celebrate the centennial of Rice’s charter in 1991. Sub-committees sought ways to involve the broader Rice community in the celebration, and I believe this was one of the results. Is the charter (or a facsimile) in that box? Surely there is a folder on that Charter Centennial–in the Rupp or Rorschach papers? Brown and Brotzen were appropriate to carry the document, of course.

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