Graduation at Leon Springs, 1917

We have in the Woodson folders that contain documentation of every commencement. Especially for the early years these folders became repositories for all kinds of interesting and unusual things that the librarians didn’t know what to do with. I went looking in the file for 1917 to check on a name and turned up one of those oddities.

Several members of the class of 1917 enlisted in the army and had to report for duty before commencement was held. They wound up at the Officer’s Training Camp at Leon Springs  near San Antonio and while they were there something unusual happened–Dr. Lovett arrived to hold a small ceremony and give them their diplomas. Here’s the news story:


A copy of Dr. Lovett’s short address was in there too:


As I thought about this I wondered if there might be pictures somewhere. I realize this sounds unlikely but we have some unlikely materials on our shelves, including a scrapbook that belonged to Lieutenant James Waters, one of the Leon Springs graduates. I didn’t find anything that was obviously taken on this precise day but there are a few photos of the Rice boys at the camp:



Bonus: This is the campus videographer. He claimed he was busy taking time lapse images of the clouds over Lovett Hall. I guess that’s possible.


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5 Responses to Graduation at Leon Springs, 1917

  1. marmer01 says:

    Yes, the WWI-era Army was very conflicted about those silly little ties with the wool shirt. I suspect they disappeared quickly in the field. Note, of course the mention of J. (esse) Newton Rayzor of Denton, who became a major donor to Rice.

  2. John Wolda says:

    Mr Rayzor’s name was misspelled in the article, Razzor. He was the first Rice graduate to serve on the Rice Board of Trustees.

  3. John Wolda says:

    Mr Rayzor’s name was misspelled in the article (Razzor). He was the first Rice graduate to serve on the Rice Board of Trustees.

  4. Ernest B Rucker, Jr. says:

    Too bad Rayzor Hall is such an unattractive addition yo the campus.

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