I Need a Little Help With This One, nd

I love this picture. Both the woman and the technology surrounding her are simply wonderful. (I’ve started giving some thought, by the way, to just going ahead and attaching my glasses to a chain. Maybe I’m just kidding myself but I think I can pull it off.)

The problem is that I don’t know who she is. I also don’t know where she is but I’ll bet that if someone can tell me the answer to the first question, the answer to the second will become apparent.

Bonus: New branding for Rice athletics. They’re installing fourteen of these around campus. But they’re also–and this is what makes them complete maniacs–putting another half dozen in Rice Village.


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20 Responses to I Need a Little Help With This One, nd

  1. Steve Lukingbeal, Hanszen '76 says:

    That’s Mrs. Turner who was the infamous and beloved secretary of Hanszen College. Everyone who was a member of Hanszen in the 60s and 70s knows her. She loved to be treated like a Southern lady and placed on a pedicle by the diminishing number of Hanszenzites who tried to conform with our questionable stereotype of being the Hanszen Gentlemen. She constantly complained about the numerous co-habitation incidents which occurred in the college while secretly enjoying every one and soliciting stories about fresh incidents. She loved telling how President Kennedy’s helicopter landed just behind her desk when he arrived to give his Moon speech in Rice Stadium in 1961.

  2. Bill Cox, Hanszen 1976 says:

    Steve beat me to the answer, but yes, that is Mrs. T!

  3. marmer01 says:

    Yes, that is Erma Turner in the Hanszen secretary’s office on the first floor of the old section of Hanszen. She was there for my first couple of years (’80-’81). That box on her desk looks like it might hold room keys. Everyone said she was sweet, but frankly I never saw it.

    • Katherine Eggert says:

      Mrs. Turner was the Hanszen secretary past 1984, when I graduated. She was sweet to me, but then again I had had three older brothers (Paul Eggert ’75, Jim Eggert ’79, and Kurt Eggert ’81) and one sister-in-law (Lori Husni Eggert ’81) in Hanszen buttering her up in advance. If she liked you, she’d let you help put the mail in mailboxes, thereby getting your own letters first.

  4. I was going to guess that she was a college secretary. And it would have to be Will Rice, Hanszen, or Baker. Look at how thick the walls are at the windows. The old dorms in those three colleges were built with freakish safety factors, because they were early reinforced concrete buildings. Any time you see that depth, it is first floor at one of those old dorms. I know it isn’t Will Rice because it isn’t Babs.

  5. Steve Lukingbeal, Hanszen '76 says:

    True, she became a little grumpy in her later years. It was a kind of reverse sexism. If you wanted to get along with her, you had to come in like an unshapen, untrained, awkward high school boy and treat her like Oveta Culp Hobby or some other high ranking Southern matriarch. You did not bully her with your credentials such as your exceedingly high SATs, your family’s high net worth or aristocratic history, or in the case of an athlete, your All American status. She was large and in charge.

  6. Bill Allison says:

    That made me laugh!

  7. Ron Sass says:

    Yes, She is indeed Erma Turner. She was a wonderful woman to work with with I was Master at Hanszen College. All of us at Hanszen loved her and miss her. Even though she thought of us as her children, me included, we never resented her input into our lives.

  8. almadenmike says:

    A lovely article on page 9 of the Jan. 26, 2001, Thresher — shortly after her death at age 84 — summarized her Rice career (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/80400/thr20010126.pdf?sequence=1):

    She “came to Rice in May 1961 and served as the secretary to the masters of the five colleges at that time.

    “When each college got its own coordinator in 1966, Turner moved to Hanszen.” She retired in June 1986.

    “Hanszen Community Associate John King (Hanszen ’67) was a student while Turner was the coordinator. King continued their friendship and met Turner for lunch once every month from 1970
    to 2000.

    ” ‘Erma was a feisty person who knew her own mind and spoke it clearly,’ King said.

    ” ‘She was quick to point out that she was secretary to the master, not secretary to the college or to its officers, although she did help in that regard from time to time.’ ”

    Hanszen held a farewell reception on Nov. 2, 1986. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth245647/m1/8/?q=turner)

  9. Barney L. McCoy says:

    Mrs. Turner was a Dear and everyone in Hanszen loved her. She even let us put our Hanszen College Junk Remailing Service box in the postal area. People could dump their junk mail in the box; Jim Wilkerson and I would occasionally go through the junk and do things like send gift subscriptions to Playboy from the HISD Superintendent (who was fighting the integration of Houston schools at the time) to various Houston notables. When she discovered that we weren’t merely dumping the junk, she terminated the enterprise.
    Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67

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