Laughing at the Dedication of Rayzor Hall, 1962

My real project these days is the history of Rice’s dramatic transformation during the 1960s. Records from the Semicentennial celebration in October 1962 are a rich source of material about the rhetoric of that change and, luckily, there are a lot of those records. The reason for this is Pender Turnbull, who sent this letter (and several variations) out to a number of administrators who had responsibility for the many events:

Semicentennial Pender Turnbull

There’s a lot of stuff and it connects in many ways across many other collections: president’s office papers, faculty papers, media and photographs, and more. So you’re going to see quite a bit of it here.

I’m going to start with this fantastic photo of Newton, ’17, and Eugenia Porter Rayzor on the day of the dedication of Rayzor Hall, October 13, 1962. The 13th was the Saturday after all the formal events were over and it seems fitting that this dedication would take place on the same day as all the fun events–the homecoming game and class reunions. I have unbounded respect for Mr. Rayzor. He was a remarkable man, the first Rice alumnus to sit on the Board of Trustees and the champion and in large part funder of the Rice chapel. For many reasons both the university and the city of Houston owe the Rayzors a real debt. So it’s nice to see them having a good laugh. I feel like she might be giving him a hard time about something:

New Rayzor at dedication during semicentennial events Oct 11

Just for fun, here’s the formal portrait of Rayzor that hangs inside the building. Even here you can see what a good guy he was:

Newton Rayzor



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5 Responses to Laughing at the Dedication of Rayzor Hall, 1962

  1. almadenmike says:

    Seeing the bonus photo, I immediately wondered what the “UCS” on each hurdle stood for.

    Google to the rescue, as usual:

    It’s the name of a company founded in 1967 Hackensack, NJ, by a Czech immigrant as “United Canvas & Sling.” Initially they created canvas products such as custom awnings, boat covers and laundry bags. But a couple of years later, a high school track coach’s request to repair a torn pole vault pit mat led the company down a path of innovation that would make them one of the country’s top manufacturers of track & field equipment. (Here’s a link to a short company history:

  2. jim woodruff wrc '67 says:

    mystery couple ’67 man: Mike Rosenthal woman: his date?

  3. Deborah Gronke Bennett BSEE Hanszen 1982 says:

    Maybe Eugenia is telling Newton that the local tile distributor is very happy with them! (In my era at Rice, the late 70’s, Rayzor was sometimes compared to a giant bathroom because of all the light-colored tile inside).

  4. Pingback: Elizabeth Kalb, ’16: The Owl Who Beat Texas | Rice History Corner

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