This nice photo caught my attention for a couple of reasons. I recognized Herbert Allen ‘29 on the left right away but I didn’t know who the other two characters were. A little bit of digging revealed that to my great delight the gentleman on the right is none other than my old friend Norman Hurd Ricker, whose student scrapbook has brought me much pleasure:
The picture was taken to commemorate the 1978 Association of Rice Alumni award recipients. Here’s Ricker’s official bio:
And a rough draft of the award itself. I found it rather sweet that they kept it in the files:
I still don’t know, though, the identity of the lovely woman between Allen and Ricker. Here’s the puzzle: Allen and Ricker both received the Distinguished Alumnus award; the Meritorious Service Award did not yet exist; and the two Gold Medals that year went to Oveta Culp Hobby and Carl Illig, ’30. I’m pretty sure she’s not either one of them.
I know one of you knows.
Then there’s one other very interesting thing about the whole deal. The ARA awards had clearly been given as part of the commencement ceremonies. It’s hard to imagine that these days, when things have gotten so big and involved that we could never spare the time.
Bonus: From Rice videographer Brandon Martin.
She’s holding a gold medal, right? I’m guessing that she was a representative for Mr. Illig or Mrs. Hobby. Daughter, maybe?
I believe that the great looking lady in the center is Joyce Pounds Hardy.
I think you’re right. I’ve gotten five votes for her in my email too. Do you think she might have been ARA president that year?
On page 3 of the program for Rice’s 1978 Commencment (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/61677/wrc01165.pdf?sequence=1) , Joyce is listed as ARA President and that she presented the Distinguished Alumni Awards to Allen & Ricker.
(Page 15 also shows that “Joyce Hardy Pounds” received a Rice University Service Award “In Memory of Dean Hugh Scott Cameron.” Could that award be the medal she’s holding? )
A more recent photo (2004) at http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/west_university/opinion/guest-commentary-by-joyce-pounds-hardy/article_f61b8b6b-e6d4-5ab3-8ff5-e070f2e118c0.html certainly looks like her despite the passing of 26 years.
I know Joyce was an ARA president but I don’t know the year. I would bet you are right though.
I too thought of Joyce right away, although I didn’t even know her until about 20 years later.
Melissa – note the seal behind them …
Sure looks like my dear friend Joyce.
Would you really want to have a seat next to one of the Italian cypresses?
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