During the years when Rice was still getting established there was often a sort of homemade feel about the way business was done. I mentioned yesterday that the Commerce program was instituted in 1930 by means of the support from Houston business and civic leaders. Here’s another example of what is essentially the same group of people getting together to provide badly needed resources for the Institute. Back in these days a large proportion the student body came from families of quite slender means. Even without tuition charges many of them struggled to support themselves while they studied. Lacking institutional funds for scholarships President Lovett turned again to the Houston community:
The list of donors is mildly interesting, made up largely of the usual suspects (I found this in the Fondren Papers, by the way):
It was the list of loan recipients, though, that really got my attention. Several of them turned out to have been pretty solid investments. Right at the top we see Herbert Allen ’29, Rice trustee and namesake of Allen Center. Then there’s Emmett Brunson ’29, the track star and later long-time coach (whom I just mentioned yesterday). Milton McGinty ’27 designed Rice Stadium with Hermon Lloyd & William Morgan. And Noel Parrish ’28 served as commander of the Tuskeegee Airmen. That’s a lot of bang for the buck–and those are just the ones I recognize. If I had the time I’d track them all down.
Bonus: Just as spring follows winter, renovations follow decades of hard use.