Around Campus, Fall 1954

I spent some time yesterday digging around for a picture of a monkey. A specific monkey, that is. In fact, I was looking for a picture of a specific monkey that I had posted about three years ago so I knew it was in the files somewhere. I did find it eventually but along the way I was charmed by a different set of images from the fall of 1954. They’re actually labeled (not by us but by their source, the Development Department) as 1958, but a cursory look makes plain that it has to be the earlier date—the beanies, worn by freshmen, say 58.

First, we see students walking to classes. This one caught my eye because I wasn’t sure where they were. I think it they must be coming from the vicinity of the Chemistry Building, going towards the side of Fondren:

1954 students between classes

You can see something in this next one that I’ve never seen before. All the windows are open:

1954 probably toward fondren

Which way are these guys going? I think towards Lovett:

1954 probably crossing street

There are several that were taken in the coffee shop in the basement of the library, with the freshman girls in full Friday regalia:

1954 Fondren basement nehi

1954 fondren basement upperclassmern

1954 Fondren basement bridge

I would recognize those tiles anywhere.

Honestly, I find the idea of all that food and drink in the library horrifying.

Bonus: Luckily, we have new rules in the library. Don’t even think about eating or drinking in the Woodson Research Center.


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12 Responses to Around Campus, Fall 1954

  1. almadenmike says:

    FYI, the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of the Rice Historical Society’s Cornerstone publication ( has a long article by Karen Rogers that gives detailed information on the “Freshman Guidance” and other initiation rules for Rice’s incoming coeds in 1954 (based on Woodson sources you may have provided, Melissa. 🙂 )

    It also has a 3-page story of Chris Reed and the RMC Bell Tower.

    • In that article about Chris, Grungy is quoted as saying that Chris staged the first “May the Best Man Win Tunnel Rally” Actually, it was me. I was the one that could not decide who was to be best man and held the rally, and Chris won it and became my best man. I imagine that Grungy had the facts correct and it just got confused in the translation to the article. And yesterday’s photo at the top of the RMC bell tower was the celebration after the event.

  2. mjthannisch says:

    Wonderful pictures. The girl in the second picture with the knee breeches and puffed sleeves makes quite an impression. And those skirts bring back fond memories of my mom and aunts.

  3. effegee says:

    “…idea of all that food and drink in the library horrifying”

    Then you probably really love the cigarette in the second “coffee shop” picture. Look carefully at the woman’s right hand.

    It is interesting to note that the draft program for a Fondren replacement featured a “coffee shop” along the main corridor of the hallway “uniting” the east and west halves of the quad. The program had received permission to enter the next phase of development shortly before tropical storm Allison flooded most of subterranean parts of the medical center in June 2001. The Fondren replacement, with more floors planned below ground than above, was quickly scuttled. Offsite storage, the west entrance, and the new coffee shop west of Fondren followed.

  4. john wolda says:

    the big guy on the right at the round table is George Wilson

  5. marmer01 says:

    I still find food and drink in the library horrifying. There are water fountains and the Brochstein nearby for pity’s sake!

  6. john wolda says:

    the guy next to him is Louis Jackson and the girl looks like Lynne Koehler one of our beauties.

  7. Kathy says:

    What struck me immediately about the photos of kids walking to/from class is: NO BACKPACKS! That’s how we used to carry books and notebooks, young ones, back in the dinosaur age. Nowadays, on any college campus I defy you to find anyone backpack-less.

  8. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen 1982) says:

    I’m amused that “delivery of food to the library” has to be spelled out in the forbidden section.

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