If you pay attention there’s a lot to look at inside and around the sallyport. Much of it is overhead and I regularly see visitors gazing up at the ornate carvings. It’s easy to miss the small plaque tucked lower down into a front corner, a gift of Bethany College, the West Virginia school where Edgar Odell Lovett spent his happy undergraduate years:
Bethany officials came to Houston to dedicate the plaque in the spring of 1965 in celebration of their 125th anniversary:
According to the Bethany alumni bulletin an identical plaque was dedicated and installed on their campus on the same day, which was Dr. Lovett’s birthday:
I was most surprised to read that the Rice ceremony was attended by a classmate of Lovett’s, Dr. W.E. Garrison, Bethany ’92. The name rang a bell, for good reason. Garrison taught religion at the University of Houston for many years and was instrumental in the effort to add a chapel to that campus. Check out this history of the A.D. Bruce Religion Center to get a sense of his important role in the development of the religion and philosophy department at U of H. There’s also some discussion of Rice band leader, biologist, and Lutheran minister Hans Ander in there!
Bonus: We had a pretty big storm yesterday but I was still surprised to see how many big branches and even small trees were blown over on campus this morning. Shockingly, all the Italian cypresses remained upright.