The 1978 ARA Distinguished Alumnus Winners

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:

Ricker Allen Unidentified commencement cmid70s

The picture was taken to commemorate the 1978 Association of Rice Alumni award recipients. Here’s Ricker’s official bio:

Norman Hurd Ricker 1978 bio

And a rough draft of the award itself. I found it rather sweet that they kept it in the files:

Norman Hurd Ricker 1978 Distinguished Alumnus

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.


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11 Responses to The 1978 ARA Distinguished Alumnus Winners

  1. marmer01 says:

    She’s holding a gold medal, right? I’m guessing that she was a representative for Mr. Illig or Mrs. Hobby. Daughter, maybe?

  2. Ron Sass says:

    I believe that the great looking lady in the center is Joyce Pounds Hardy.

  3. Ron Sass says:

    I know Joyce was an ARA president but I don’t know the year. I would bet you are right though.

  4. Joni says:

    I too thought of Joyce right away, although I didn’t even know her until about 20 years later.

  5. Keith Cooper says:

    Melissa – note the seal behind them …

  6. Tommy LaVergne says:

    Sure looks like my dear friend Joyce.

  7. Would you really want to have a seat next to one of the Italian cypresses?

  8. Pingback: “the importance of mathematics in furthering the acquisition of new knowledge,” 1966 | Rice History Corner

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