As long as I’m digging around in my Houston stuff I may as well share one last small thing that I think reveals quite a lot about his character. It’s a thank you note, sent to the couple who were then responsible for what we call today Housing and Dining. In December of 1953 Rice had hosted a major conference on low temperature physics. The attendees stayed in the dorms and ate in the Commons. After its successful conclusion Houston sent this letter:
In all honesty I see a fair amount of bad things in the archives so when I come across such a simple, forthright, and generous expression of respect and appreciation, especially coming from the president to people pretty far down the chain of command, I feel a deep sense of gratitude.
Bonus: The first Thresher of the semester carried an article about the conference, which seems to have been rather a big deal.
This of course immediately brought to mind a couple of posts from way back in 2012 about the spectacular Mrs. Frank Henderson and her gift to Rice of a helium cryostat for work in low temperature physics.
Well lo and behold, in the same issue of the Thresher I found this little notice:
Extra Bonus: I drove around campus this afternoon (too hot to go traipsing around) and stopped to take a few pictures. Just by chance I encountered this guy with his big happy grin, having his picture taken by his mama and his girlfriend:
He’s Braden Comeaux and he’s been our third baseman the last couple of years. They were having some fun for sure. The plan was to head to Reckling and hop a fence for some more shots. I’d just been over there myself and I’m pretty confident there’s a way in.