After yesterday’s post about the sweaty 1916 commencement someone asked me if graduates Ervin and Elizabeth Kalb were brother and sister. I said yes, but that’s wrong. I momentarily confused Elizabeth with Elva, who was Ervin’s actual sister and also a Rice alumna. (Rice History Corner regrets, but is not particularly surprised by, the error.)
This gave me reason to poke around in some files and up turned something wonderful. I’ll let Elizabeth explain it herself:
And sure enough, right next to her letter to Ola Moore was tucked the poster that was pinned up in the Sallyport in April 1915:
I also found the program for the contest and it contained yet another surprise:
I had forgotten, if I ever knew, that Newton Rayzor (later an important member of the Board of Trustees) had transferred to Rice after a year at North Texas. And I must say that for Elizabeth Kalb to have bested him in an oratorical contest she must have been truly excellent.
Fun Fact: To the best of my knowledge Elizabeth Kalb was the first Rice graduate to be jailed. Active in the National Woman’s Party, she was arrested in January of 1919 at a demonstration for women’s suffrage in front of the White House. Here she is in the editorial room of the Suffragist, the NWP’s weekly journal: