The freshmen arrived this year on a rainy day, dampened but undaunted. Here’s a lovely piece by Rice’s videographer, Brandon Martin, that captures all the nervous excitement of the moment. I was especially touched to see Franz Brotzen-Smith, the grandson of Rice Mechanical Engineering professor Franz Brotzen, arrive at Brown College, where his grandparents had been Masters:
It’s hard for me to keep a dry eye sometimes.
And then I remember stuff like this and I have to laugh:
Can we get a side-by-side of Franz and Leebron?
Love that man. I never took a class from him, but he was still a grand influence. I remember commenting once to him that I was cooking something with bay leaves. A day or so later, Franz brought me a grocery sack of bay leaves he picked.
Doctor and Mrs. Brotzen were great masters — they started at Brown the year I entered, 1977. I think my two favorite memories of him, in particular, were illustrative of different sides of the man — the quirky and funny, and the thoughtful. First — Fire Protection Night at dinnertime in the Brown Commons. (And remember, these were the days of sit-down, family style dinner at Brown, so the entire college was gathered at the same time. We were all told we could bring “fire protection implements” to dinner, which translated into a variety of squirt guns appearing and of course, being used. Dr. Brotzen topped us all, though, when he came through the door to the commons during announcement time, dressed in yellow rain gear — raincoat and hat, and pulling a garden hose behind him, aiming it at us all from the announcement podium. I cannot remember if he actually ran water out of it or not — probably not, but still — quite the entrance! (And remember, this what when the commons were on the ground floor, at the back of Brown — what is now the healthcare facility, I believe.) The second recollection is when we were all (or a huge number of us, anyway) gathered around the lobby TV watching election returns in 1979, when Ronald Reagan was elected president. Dr. Brotzen clearly did not approve, storming around saying “this will take us back to the Dark Ages!” With a sense of humor and undying devotion, he cared for all of us, his Brown girls, and he always maintained a deep sense of interest in the world around, as well. So nice to think there’s another Brotzen at Brown!
‘ Brotzen clearly did not approve, storming around saying “this will take us back to the Dark Ages!” ‘
Anyone remember how that prediction played out?