The Creators of the Modern Rice University

There’s really no such thing for me as a typical day but even by my standards this one was lunatic. I’m worn pretty slick but I do have a couple of wonderful images I hadn’t seen until a few days ago. They capture what was truly a momentous transition in the history of the institution, at the beginning of a decade that saw a major transformation in both the physical campus and our intellectual ambitions.

I found them in the records from Rice’s semicentennial celebration in October, 1962. Both were taken at the inaugural ceremonies for Ken Pitzer. The first one is the more important, by far the best and most evocative image I’ve ever seen of George Brown and Pitzer together. More than anything else it was their successful partnership that made possible the dramatic changes of the 1960s:

Semicentennial Brown and Pitzer

This next one is just fun to look at. There’s a lot going on here and I have many more questions than answers. The only person I think I recognize is the guy sitting at the keyboard, who looks to be none other than Roland Pomerat (more here):

Semicentennial stands and crowd

Bonus: Summer cleanup.

P1090260

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5 Responses to The Creators of the Modern Rice University

  1. Richard Schafer says:

    At first I wondered whether Pomerat was sitting at some sort of remote console for the carillon, but quick realized it’s just a Hammond organ. I wonder if there is any chance the carillon will ever be made playable again.

  2. Karl Benson '62 says:

    That’s Holmes McNeely in the white uniform leading the band.

  3. That crowd picture is full of awesome. If I have time later I’ll highlight some interesting things. Not the least of which is some poor blighter who is going to have to play his double bass outside, a particularly futile endeavor.

  4. Keith Cooper says:

    Same event as the one shown in you 12/15/2010 post? The shot along the front of the stage shows the corner musician in the stage left band/orchestra.

  5. George Webb '88, '91 says:

    Looks like the event was on KTRH television.

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