During Edgar Odell Lovett’s long tenure the Rice curriculum remained, apart from some minor tweaks, essentially unchanged. After Dr. Houston took office in 1946, a significant revision modernized the entire enterprise. I found this 1949 document in a clippings file. I’m sure you’ll notice that it isn’t a clipping, but I believe it was written (most likely by English professor J.D. Thomas–and don’t ask me how I know that) as a press release. It is the most concise description of the New Plan I’ve ever seen. There’s quite a bit of interest here but note especially the origin of the 5-year engineering curriculum:
Bonus: Exactly one tile from the original Cohen House fountain survives in the Woodson. It looks great. I didn’t expect the purple.
So the first B.S. at Rice was in Phys. Ed. How surprising. Would never have guessed that.
Should have said, first new B.S.
When did the fifth year become a professional master’s degree (MEE, etc.)?
At last, I understand why even in the 1980s, students identified themselves as “Academs” as opposed to “S-E’s” or “Archis.”
Well, we used the term “Academ” in the late 1950s, as in “Academ, academ, is the world really round? Gee, I don’t know. We haven’t gotten that far yet.”
As do I.
J.D. Thomas used to produce minutes of faculty meetings. It is probably not a false memory that I remember his doing that as late as the mid 60s, perhaps even later They were often funny and ironic and literate, and Thomas read them with gusto at the following faculty meeting. If you think Thomas is the author, I’ll bet that if this is an excerpt from those minutes he used to write.