Two Views of Dr. Bill Wilson, no date

This lovely portrait of Dr. Bill was among the things that emerged when campus photographer Tommy Lavergne had to clean out his office:

When I went to put it in the proper file I found another photo of him, this one quite different but possibly taken at the same time. He’s practically swimming in obsolete technology while casually reading a copy of Semiconductor International:

Bonus: The lawns have been over seeded with rye grass this year. I don’t recall seeing this before but I could well be wrong about that. I’m not wrong that you can still see the weeds, though.

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16 Responses to Two Views of Dr. Bill Wilson, no date

  1. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen 1982) says:

    That first photo is beautiful. I love the old technology in the second. See the compass and drawing template on the bulletin board?

    Speaking of obsolete, Dr. Bill was clean shaven during my time at Rice (ending in 1982).

  2. -db says:

    Why clean his office?

  3. George Webb '88, '91 says:

    Those photos were likely taken for the 1989 Sallyport article that profiled a “day in the life” of Dr. Bill. As the article captured quite well, one the secrets to his ability to have so much positive impact on so many students was that he had an uncanny ability to never waste a minute of the day, while also never being in a hurry.

  4. Gloria Tarpley says:

    Beautiful photos — his is still missed by all who knew him.

  5. Don Johnson says:

    For my first several yers at Rice, my office was next door to Dr. Bill’s. The photos were taken in his (small) office. He had it packed to the gills (you can tell it was neat and clean, however). He may not have been my mentor but he was a great role model. His dedication to Rice and particularly the students was outstanding.

    One story relayed to me by Stan Dodds. I have followed Bill’s lead and graded my quizzes overnight so that student get immediate feedback in class, which usually occurs the next day. Bill said he only had to cancel class once 😉

    I miss him.

  6. Starting in the foreground, that appears to be an HP-42S calculator. If so, the photo is not before 1987. Continuing counter-clockwise, we see (probably) a daisy wheel printer, above it an Escher print, next a drafting compass and template, a TDK magnetic tape in the shadows behind him, then a computer terminal, and finally a jar of rubber cement. Not sure why, but I believe the terminal is a Wyse.

    Also, we have the mark of a true engineering building, outlets up where you can get to them without crawling on the floor.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      Thanks, Walter!

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Isn’t that a typewriter, not a printer?

      • A lot of daisy wheel printers were printing terminals, so they had a keyboard. You changed fonts by manually swapping out the print wheel, so it was pretty much attended operation.

        I’m thinking printer because the platen is pretty wide and that oversized paper support is more common on printers. It keeps the printed paper from getting caught in the feed.

        At my first job, the console on the PDP-11/45 was a daisy wheel printer that looked a lot like this.

        If he needed a dedicated typewriter, I would have expected an IBM Correcting Selectric. Those things were awesome. We had a couple at The Thresher in the late 1970s.

  7. Terry Gaschen says:

    By pure coincidence I put on an old Weiss beer bike t shirt this morning. I miss Bill too.

  8. marmer01 says:

    The Shepherd School has a handful of IBM Correcting Selectrics in the basement. That’s what I learned to type on. Still love them. Can’t bring myself to get rid of them, considering that they cost more than $1000 when new.

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