They held a big event on November first in the Grand Hall of the RMC, thanking Albert Thomas ’20 for his service to the university during his long tenure as the representative of Texas’s 8th Congressional District. Thomas had a critical role in bringing NASA to Houston (and NASA funding to Rice) but almost as important were his behind-the-scenes efforts to ensure that Rice became one of the Navy’s V-12 program sites during World War II.
Here are Rice board chairman George Brown (Thomas’s freshman roommate) and Provost Carey Croneis presenting the scroll:
Oddly, even though that scroll is not in Thomas’s papers at the Woodson I know precisely where it is. Several years ago I came up from the parking garage under Bayou Place (the former Albert Thomas Convention Center) downtown, took a funny turn, and was stunned to find a replica of his congressional office staring at me from behind a big glass window.
The scroll is in there, hanging on the wall at left:
What you can’t see is a little sign in the window that says “For More Information Contact the Woodson Research Center.” If anyone ever had asked I don’t know what we would have said because none of us had any idea this was there.
Is this an original Rice door? Notice that the door handle plate does not have any peacocks on it, it is just plain, and the bottom of the door may have been repaired as it looks like part has been replaced.
No, it’s one of the doors on the back side of the RMC, facing out towards Herring Hall.
I’ve passed by that Albert Thomas office mausoleum for years, and think it’s kind of creepy, but never noticed the Woodson reference. What’s the link to Rice? Did Woodson have something to do with setting it up?
There must be some connection–we do have Thomas’s papers–but the institutional memory on this is long gone. I’d give anything to get in that weird office and see what else is in there but I can’t figure out who has authority over it.
Start by contacting David Robinson. He is a Rice alum who serves on the City Council.
Try calling the Woodson, like the sign says.