Preparations for commencement are now in full swing. This morning I attended the inclement weather meeting, which turned out to be eye-opening:
We’ve handled it different ways in the past and as I listened I thought about Rice’s original rain plan, St. Paul’s Methodist Church on Main Street, here in 1934:
I’ve mused about commencement plans more often than I probably should but this morning I was struck by a new thought. I’d always assumed that the move from the Academic Quad over to the front of the Chemistry Building, which took place in 1935, was a response to the growing crowds at the ceremony. With closed hedges they could no longer fit along the front of the Administration Building. I’m sure this is a good part of the explanation but take a close look at the 1934 picture and you’ll see that they could not have squeezed one more person into that church.
So the decision to move to Chemistry and to cover the whole thing was both a way to accommodate more people and the new rain plan. See?
That was smart.
So why not just build a retractable roof over the Quad, something like the proposed roof for Rice Stadium?? That would fix it!
Bonus: Last time we had to go inside was 2010. All hands were on deck.