“Throw away anything you don’t want.”

This morning I opened a box I’d never seen before and my heart skipped a beat when I looked inside:

I was right to be excited. There were several things in there, all of them related to Rice in the 1930s and all of significant historical importance.  It didn’t take long for me to become overwhelmed, by both the large amount of new information and the emotions it gave rise to. That blue volume in the middle is especially poignant: it chronicles the Class of 1932 from the Final Ball of their senior year, through decades of reunions, ending with pages filled with obituaries.

On the bottom was a scrapbook–you can see the edges of some pictures–that belonged to a member of the Class of 1937, Mary Jane Hale Rommel. Underneath it was the note that accompanied her gift:

Mary Jane Hale was a popular beauty, active in campus social affairs, a member of the Pallas Athene Literary Society, and a May Fete Duchess. Here’s a newspaper clipping I found among her things that comes from a radically different time–it’s from the Wilmington, North Carolina newspaper in the summer after her sophomore year at Rice:

The scrapbook itself is pretty spectacular. Miss Hale had a good camera and used it. One example is this aerial glorious shot (how did she get this??) of the old stadium and field house:

There’s much more to come, although I’m not sure exactly how to handle all this material.. I’m still kind of flabbergasted. I had planned on a whole week of posts about Abercrombie Hall, which obviously must be postponed.


Bonus: Old field house.

Extra Bonus: I got this great shot the other day from Carol Lewis over in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. It’s hot as all get out now but still brilliant green.

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2 Responses to “Throw away anything you don’t want.”

  1. Owlcop says:

    Aerial shot courtesy of the Rice Flying Club on South Main?

  2. Jim Walzel says:

    Melissa, Since I graduated in ’59, I have been a member of St. Paul’s :Methodist which is really the campus church for Rice. One day, a few years ago, I was sitting in church when this nice little lady sat down next to me and we began visiting. She knew I was a Rice guy so she told me she was Rice Class of ’30. She said that they had asked her to be the class reporter. She said, ” I am pretty sure that I am the only one in our class still alive!” Margaret Bybee, RIP, a great person and a fond memory for me. Jim Walzel

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