Quite reasonably, a strong sense of the moment surrounded such a big first. Mr. McCants, the Registrar, took care to preserve the list of graduates and to make sure that history knew this was the actual document that Dr. Lovett read from on the podium:
Note that the first two names, Edmund McAshan Dupree and Hattie Lel Red, are out of alphabetical order. The first male and the first female to enroll, they also received their diplomas first:
(I don’t really know why the list starts over again in alphabetical order after Clinton Wooten.)
What I didn’t expect was the other note off to the right side in pencil: “Perspiration from the hand of David Starr Jordan.” Jordan, then president of Stanford, was the commencement speaker that year and he must have been pretty sweaty in his regalia on June 12 in Houston, Texas. I guess this struck McCants as funny, which in turn strikes me as funny. These old guys look so serious in their photographs you can sometime forget that they laughed too.
Bonus: I saw this strange sight this afternoon between the library and the Humanities Building.
All I could think was “now what?” So I went over to see the other side to get a better look and there was this sign:
For once I’m completely speechless.
I find this post reassuring- that, in this time of political entropy and declining quality of public discourse, whimsy continues to exist at Rice, and has from the beginning.
Guess there are not too many Hattie’s, Bessie’s, Fay’s, Lela’s, Nellie’s, and Opal’s graduating from Rice these days…