“On the occasion of the twenty-third annual homecoming,” 1941

I really hit the jackpot this week and once again completely by accident. There was a box from the Association of Rice Alumni collection sitting on a book truck in the back room of the Woodson, an irresistible attraction if there ever was one. I did in fact expect it to be interesting but I certainly didn’t expect to find the answer to one of those small questions that bounce around in my head, sometimes for years.

Here’s a photo I scanned a long time ago, taken by the both the setting and the people. It’s dated 1941:

Left to right are Ed Dupree ’16, Dr. Lovett, Hattie Lel Red ’16, and my old friend Carl Knapp ’16. What was bothering me all this time was this–what has Knapp got rolled up in his hand?

In the ARA box I found a second copy of this photo and next to it lay the answer to my question. In 1941 Dr. Lovett became the second recipient of the ARA Gold Medal and with the medal came a scroll. The language on that scroll was worked and carefully reworked by the alumni. There are several drafts in the folder and here’s the last one:

My heart skipped when I felt something heavy at the back of the folder that turned out to be a packet of negatives:

Full of hope I scanned the negative entitled “scroll” and my hope was rewarded. Here’s exactly what’s inside that rolled up paper in Carl Knapp’s hand (note how the photographer kept it flat!):

And just to show off I’ll tell you how much it cost:

Hang on to your hats, folks. We have not yet reached the end of this journey. More to come.

Bonus: Just another day on campus.

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1 Response to “On the occasion of the twenty-third annual homecoming,” 1941

  1. loki_the_bubba says:

    Now you need to find out what those five books were…

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