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.