Homecoming 1946: “a devoted friend and generous benefactress”

For many years the Association of Rice Alumni gave out their awards at Homecoming rather than at commencement time as we do today. It seems to me that this makes a great deal of sense and I don’t have a good understanding of why it evolved the way it has.

This morning a patron was using some materials from the Fondren Family collection, so I had no choice but to look at them also. There was some pretty great stuff in there, most of which had nothing to do with Rice. I can’t stop myself from showing you these shots, taken one day (I’d guess in the 1920s) down at the Crystal Palace in Galveston. Watch out for the plane!



Also buried down in one of the oversized boxes was this lovely certificate presented to Mrs. W.W. (Ella) Fondren at the 1946 Homecoming by the ARA in gratitude for the gift that made the construction of the Fondren Library possible:


Mrs. Fondren truly was a generous benefactress, not only to Rice but to many educational and health care institutions throughout Texas and beyond. Take a look at her biography here in The Handbook of Texas Online. It’s quite a story. I’d only note that when Rice needed to expand the library in the 1960s, the Fondren Foundation stepped with another significant gift.

Mrs. Ella Fondren

Mrs. Ella Fondren

Bonus: It felt a little strange on campus today. Maybe it was the first alumni trickling in for Homecoming or maybe the first cold front has stirred things up.


What’s that parked in front of Willy? A pedi-sukkah, obviously:


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2 Responses to Homecoming 1946: “a devoted friend and generous benefactress”

  1. *That* was what Mary Lowery and I saw while sitting in the new hammocks!

  2. marmer01 says:

    Yes, no doubt it is stored indoors because there’s a sukkah barn every minute.

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