My Lunch with Bonnie Hellums

I had a great time at lunch today with Bonnie Hellums, who from 1969 until 1984 served Rice as Director of Student Activities, Head of Counseling, and Foreign Student Advisor–an awfully interesting portfolio:

Bonnie Hellums Wiess nd

I learned at least four highly relevant things over the course of a single lunch and I still have a lot of questions for her. I look forward to asking them, but she was able to answer my first one immediately. I’d been puzzling over whatever that is she’s got in her hand in this picture. Is it some kind of Aladdin lamp? A toy dragon? It turns out to be a coffee cup in the shape of a kangaroo. I don’t know how I could have missed it.

I also learned that she recently had a pocket park in Spring Branch named in her honor. Here’s the story, complete with a photo of her and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, ’83:

Hellums Park


Bonus: The sky opened up after lunch and I found shelter in the dark and quiet chapel, with this lovely view of the rain in the courtyard:


So do you think I stayed in that peaceful place and waited it out? Ha. No, I did not. Too antsy to sit still, I wound up out in the stadium lot with a half inch of water in my shoes and my handbag in a puddle, where I dropped it while fishing for my keys. The only thing lacking was an audience, as everyone else was inside. I’m still smiling.


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5 Responses to My Lunch with Bonnie Hellums

  1. grungy1973 says:

    Pictures 51, 52, and 53 are the Rice contingent at the pocket park dedication:

  2. E55 says:

    At Rice, Commissioner Jack Cagle went by the nickname, Cactus Jack.

  3. marmer01 says:

    I really like the way that the chapel’s glass walls overlook private walled courtyards. Light and nature are brought inside without distractions. It’s one of the nicest spots on campus.

  4. Loretta Mauldin Boggan says:

    Bonnie was an amazing woman! Her door was always open to talk and she was a gifted encourager. I can only imagine what a great family law judge she was.

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