Now this is something fabulous. In recent years the Rice trustees have regularly posed as a group for official photographs. But for decades–most of our history, really–it seems that no one thought that was a good idea. Or if someone did take such pictures they certainly didn’t bother to keep copies. There are only a tiny handful of random board photos in the Woodson. So when one turns up, let’s just say the excitement is nearly overwhelming. (Well, maybe not overwhelming. Maybe more like moderate. But still, it’s kind of neat.)
This one is dated 1962 and it seems to have been taken for a Houston Chronicle special section about the Rice Semi-centennial:
For those of you keeping score at home, these rascals are, from left to right: Lamar Fleming, Laurence Favrot, Chancellor Carey Croneis, Wendel Ley, John Suman, John Ivy, Bill Kirkland, President Ken Pitzer, James Winston, George Brown, James Hargrove, Herb Allen, Dan Bullard, J.T. Rather, John Simpson, Treasurer Leo Shamblin, Malcolm Lovett, and J. Sayles Leach.
The Rice charter, as we all recollect, mandated a board of only seven lifetime trustees. I suppose that was fine when it was written but as early as the 1940s it had become clear that we needed more people with different kinds of expertise to deal with the complexities of running the finances of the university. So what evolved was a convoluted structure of trustees, trustee governors, and governor advisors. It was convoluted enough that without the documents in front of me I can’t remember the precise distinctions between them—except for one. If a vote was held, only the votes of the seven trustees counted. This lasted until the mid-1990s when a charter change made them all equal.
In the picture above we have five trustees–Brown, Bullard, Fleming, Ivy, and Kirkland. Newton Rayzor and Harmon Whittington were absent. (This wasn’t unusual, by the way, as the board met monthly at this time and they often lacked a full complement.) Hargrove, Favrot, Ley, Simpson, and Winston were governors and Allen, Leach, Lovett, Rather, and Suman were governor advisors.