In addition to his matriculation address to the incoming freshmen, Dr. Lovett usually penned a little welcome note for the first issue of The Thresher each fall. This one is from September, 1932 and there is a lot going on here. From his choice of summer reading materials, to his dubious assertion that the summer break is dreary because there are no students around, to the little disquisition about celestial routines, well, I hardly know how to react. He does end on a cheery note, though:
Bonus: Things really have sprung back to life on campus and it’s not just the new students either. There’s so much construction that you can detect a small whiff of chaos in the air. This creepy scene–trees being removed(slowly) for the new Sid–doesn’t help.
I second President Lovett’s belief in “the character and courage, the honesty and faith of youth in the lump.” They are “such stuff as dreams are made on.”
WE younger folks need and appreciate all the encouragement the older generations gives us.
“… generations give us”.
Sorry about that.
I wonder what Pres. Lovett meant when he said “I lately turned to the Dark Ages for a little relief and refreshment.”
Quaffing some mead, perhaps? 🙂
Tucked deep into the lower-left corner of page 2 of that Thresher issue (Sept. 15, 1932) is this short, sobering report on an inside-the-hedges effect of the Great Depression, which unbeknownst to the community, had not yet run even one-third of its course through the worldwide economy:
“Financial difficulties resulting from the depression are having their effects on student enrollment, according to Rice officials.
“Loan funds at the Institute are low and many students who borrowed money in past years have been unable to repay it. as yet.
“Several old students have been unable to return to school because of these troubles, and new students otherwise acceptable have been prevented from enrolling, the office revealed.”
Might such worries have had a role in his using words like dreary, weary, tired, dismayed, dismal, doom, gloom and “fear of the future” in his welcome to that year’s new students?
I think so. It was very hard times at the Institute during the Depression.
Perhaps the favorite ‘watering hole’ of Rice was experiencing problems, especially the Volstead (?sp) Act.
Perhaps he was reading works from or reporting upon the Dark Ages?
Wonderful comment from Dr. Lovett! Thanks for digging it out! Barbara Eaves713 521 0768
I am profoundly grateful for all that President Lovett did for The Rice Institute, but I am also grateful that he and his verbosity were long retired by the time I matriculated. He died between my freshman and sophomore years.
I’ve always wondered if Rice had a tree farm where it is grows replacement trees should some of the mature oaks be taken down for whatever reason (so as not to put small trees where big ones once were and because the trees have really come to define the space with their big presence). Is there such a thing or is it wishful thinking on my part?
What a horribly depressing time in the history of both Rice and the country as a whole. The optimism and affluence of the Roaring 20s was in nearly total shut down mode. America still had to fight a horrendous world war following a decade long depression. Normalcy did not return until the late 1940s.
Who you calling a lump?
I thought Sandy Havens was calling me a ‘lump’ and that’s why I replied to him, as I did.
I actually always thought of Sandy as a kind of father figure.