The Yell Leader

I realize that 1926 can seem like a million years ago and it isn’t always easy to see how anything that old could mean much to us today. But stuff has a way of hanging around, though sometimes it fades and we can’t see clearly what’s right in front of us.

One of the things I found in Jack Glenn’s papers up in Wyoming was a little note written in 1957 by his busy former classmate, Bill McVey ’27. I’ve started before to write about McVey, another legendary member of the student body and one who left his work all over campus from Cohen House to Abercrombie, from the library to the colleges. I haven’t really managed much, though, largely because I haven’t been able to figure out where to start. This note and the picture that was tucked inside it give me a way to begin and at the same time provide a bit of an explanation of why I would bother to go all the way to Laramie to look for a guy who was famous for being “Mr. Pep” at Rice a full ninety years ago.

Here’s the hurried note from McVey:

And here’s the picture that was inside, one of a group of sculptures by McVey depicting student life as it was lived here in the 1920s that were added in 1957 to maintain a connection in some spiritual fashion between the new colleges and the old dorms:

It really is Glenn, and a good likeness too, complete with his wavy hair. It’s also an accurate picture of what yell leading looked like in those days as you can see from these great pictures that I also found in Glenn’s papers:

What’s remarkable is that he’s still there, leading cheers from a spot not far from where those pictures were taken:

Bonus: Jack Glenn leading yells in Ray Courtyard at homecoming in 1976 at the 50th reunion of the class of 1926. I wish I could have heard it.

Extra Bonus: A couple of conscientious readers let me know that while I could safely grind things wearing one of the helmets from yesterdays’s bonus, I shouldn’t use them to weld. I guess that’s why they have signs like this one in the room:




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