“the children and I desire to make a contribution for this definite purpose,” 1946

I don’t care who you are, this is the type of letter you like to get:

This gift was truly a milestone in Rice’s development, both because we could not become a modern university without a modern library and because it provided the impetus for further philanthropy and growth in other areas.

The university was appropriately grateful:

I was quite happy to come across these letters in the W.W. and Ella Fondren Papers but the best thing in the file for my purposes was something else altogether. It’s a plat of campus, apparently drawn in early 1946, that gives an awfully neat picture of the state of affairs, including some pretty obscure little buildings:

It made me realize how far I’ve come in understanding our collections since back in 2010 when it took me a solid month to figure out where those barns were. (Here, here, and here.) What a baby I was!

Bonus: Lights on in the day time.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to “the children and I desire to make a contribution for this definite purpose,” 1946

  1. loki_the_bubba says:

    Tennis courts in three different areas seems a bit much.

  2. Galloway Hudson '60 says:

    I think that Walter Fondren, Jr., a great football player at Lamar High School, said that he would not play college football for any school that had a Fondren library. Our loss, UT’s gain, but the library was well worth it. All that money, and he chose public schools for high school and college.

  3. Lynn Gosnell says:

    This is marvelous.


  4. marmer01 says:

    When was that plat? My guess is early WWII period.

  5. Galloway Hudson '60 says:

    Walter Fondren, Jr., played quarterback for Lamar and UT. He was in the same class as Hill and Ryan. If he had chosen Rice, what a nice problem that would have been for Uncle Jess. But the 1057 season (their senior season, and Darrell Royal’s first at UT) turned out just fine, even though the ‘horns beat the Owls in Austin for Rice’s only conference loss that season.

  6. grungy1973 says:

    That plat is gorgeous.
    I particularly like the spidery lines showing Harris Gully’s meandering all the way to Rice Blvd.
    …and now I have more things to add to the campus construction timeline.
    This still doesn’t answer “when”, but it gives us/me a few more “what”s and “where”s.

    Cohen House contained a gym in the basement, so the tennis court makes sense, as an extension of the needs of the faculty.

  7. Pingback: “A Dream Coming True”: Fondren at 75 | Rice History Corner

Leave a Reply