Things have calmed down substantially this afternoon and I am relishing the opportunity to write with a bit more calm. In fact, I’d like to just meander around a little this time. Let’s start with this very old photograph of Edgar Odell Lovett that I found in the Lovett Family Papers. I don’t know what process produced images like this but there are several in our collections, all very moody:
Happily, this picture is labeled on the back: “EOL in his office at the Scanlan Building, 1909.” The Scanlan Building was Rice’s headquarters until the campus was built, the site of all the meeting and planning for what was to come. It remained the home of the Institute’s business office for quite some time even after Dr. Lovett moved into the Administration Building–there was precious little space for non-academic offices on the campus for many years.
One day at lunch in the Woodson I mentioned that I was longing to have an image of the Scanlan Building and my colleague Rebecca almost immediately produced one. It’s a postcard and it’s dated 1909, the same year as the photo:
If you turn it over, on the back you’ll find a charming note to a little girl named Allie May Autry from her friend Max, who sounds bored and lonely with all his pals gone for the summer. Allie May would have been in Corsicana visiting her mother’s family:
Allie May eventually enrolled at Rice, graduating in 1925 after having been very active in student government and social life–she was Queen of the May Fete her senior year, which was a very big deal indeed. Here’s her Campanile picture:
But here’s a picture of her I like a lot better:
Allie May Autry Kelley remained a loyal supporter of her alma mater her entire life. Her gift made possible the construction of the Gymnasium in 1950 and she named Autry Court in honor of her mother, a passionately devoted fan of Rice athletics. We have her college scrapbook in the Woodson and I use it often. We also have a magnificent collection of Autry Family papers, which I believe is the source of the Scanlan Building postcard.