The Unveiling of Captain Baker’s Portrait, 1958

As I prepared last week to write about the fact that Baker College was the last of the original colleges to open rather than the first, I discovered a folder full of information from that first formal Baker dinner held in December of 1958. Included in it was this copy of the remarks made upon the unveiling of the painting. I could quibble with a couple of things here if I felt like it but it’s really a rather good summary of the events surrounding William Marsh Rice’s death and Captain Baker’s role in its aftermath:

What I haven’t been able to figure out is who on earth gave these remarks. It doesn’t seem to have been recorded anywhere even though they wrote down and saved almost everything else about this dinner, including how many extra pots of coffee they had on hand (just in case). What I do have that might conceivably help is a seating chart. It was a pretty fancy group assembled that evening. Here are the dignitaries at each of the long tables in the old section:

And those at the round tables:

There are several plausible candidates for the speaker here and I can’t find a way to pick among them. If by chance you were there (and can remember that far back) let me know.

Bonus: I swear his eyes follow you.

Orientation week

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8 Responses to The Unveiling of Captain Baker’s Portrait, 1958

  1. Greg Marshall says:

    Melissa, is this the painting of Mr. Rice that was damaged, and which Gary Hornberger had repaired? Gary is convinced that that one is missing, as the result of a college prank, and he is hoping it can be found again. If the painting you show above is not the one that remains in the Baker Library to this day, then locating the missing one might be a worthy Rice History Corner quest.

    • Greg Marshall says:

      Sorry, meant Captain Baker, not Mr. Rice.

    • Gary Hornberger says:

      The painting I had restored was a Robert Joy full length portrait of Captain James Addison Baker. Joy’s daughter was a well respected portrait painter in her own right. One day I found her all alone in the outer commons examining her Father’s work. She told me that she heard that it had been damaged but said that she could not find the area repaired.
      Now that made me feel just real good as we say here in Texas.
      Gary Hornberger

  2. Galloway Hudson says:

    I see Mike Kahn’s name at a table. He is Rice ’60 and alive and well in California. I will forward this to him and ask what he remembers.

  3. effegee says:

    James Baker III’s name is on a table too. His wife of that time has passed but he has not.

  4. Pat Martin says:

    I see the name Hollon in the top left corner. That would, no doubt, have been Jack Hollon, one of the first members of Baker College. I’m guessing he was a student on the planning committee. Sadly, Jack died in Wimberley, TX, a few years ago, where he ranched, was actively involved with environmental issues, and sang with the Community Chorus.

  5. John Turner says:

    The Orientation Week Picture is from a meeting I attended, most likely in August, 1970.

  6. Gary Hornberger says:

    Memory failed
    me, the portrait was not full length. Interestingly, my neighbor for decades was Adelaide Lovett Baker who gave us a baby grand piano at a much later date. I used to pick her up in my un air conditioned VW bug
    And bring her to various Baker College events
    For one such event she declined my offer if a ride. She had accepted the then College President, Jay Fisher’s offer of a ride. He arrived in his pickup truck and at age 80 or so she insisted on driving.

    Gary Hornberger

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