It’s been really fun this last couple of weeks watching the campus prepare for this weekend’s inauguration of Reggie DesRoches as Rice’s eighth president. After several years of either no commencement or commencement in the football stadium things are all shined up and put in perfect order for the events. It looks beautiful, even if a bit disorienting without the Italian cypresses.
Event Magician Hannes Hofer at work:
Event Magician Kelly Quinn was also hard at it, apparently with Divine approval:
I’ll admit that I’m excited about this. Every change in presidential administration is a big deal but I believe that the next few years will be a particularly interesting time for us. I had the chance to interview President DesRoches for the most recent issue of Rice Magazine and his frank answers to some serious questions reveal an ambitious agenda as well as a real appreciation and respect for the unique nature of our close-knit campus culture.
You can read that interview here–and note the last paragraph! I hope he has a chance to sleep in when it’s all over.
Bonus: New banners have been hung around campus for the big event. If you’re here any time soon take a minute and give them a good look. I think they’re wonderful and actually show us in our best light.
The symbolism of this one is striking. It’s the image of our newest president, displayed on one of the German High Hat lamp posts that are visible in photographs of Rice’s formal opening in 1912:
That last paragraph is beautiful, very reminiscent of the MBWA I experienced when I joined Hewlett-Packard. The wonders that come out of such human contact are amazing, and they stand out partially because they are practiced so rarely.
With Halloween coming, it would be fun if everyone tried to dress this morning like all of the participants in your 1912 photo above.
Here’s hoping new President DesRoches can lead Rice closer to the ambitions of the original founders.