Rally Club Thanksgiving Dance, 1925

For many years Thanksgiving Day was also Rice’s Homecoming and from the beginning in 1919 these events were absolutely jam packed with functions, making for a very long day.  Our traditional football opponent for all those years was Baylor. In 1925 the game ended in a tie, a fitting conclusion for a season that ended with a 4-4-1 record and dashed hopes that John Heisman would be our football savior:

Then the Rally Club sponsored a student dance that evening, which didn’t start until 9:00, past my bedtime:

I’ve talked about several of these players in the past, including Heavy Underwood, whose scrapbook caused me some serious confusion, and Bill McVey ’27, who would go on to become a sculptor. McVey’s work has adorned campus in several places including Cohen House, various spots in the south colleges, and at the entrance to Abercrombie, the figure McVey always referred to as Uncle Jupe:

Happily, Uncle Jupe has been carefully taken apart and will be put back together on the new Ralph O’Connor Hall:

Bonus: The Rally Club dance was held at the Turnverein, which I’m sure you all recall as the site of one of McVey’s legendary exploits in the Slime-Soph War of 1924 when he was president of the freshman class.


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10 Responses to Rally Club Thanksgiving Dance, 1925

  1. Galloway Hudson (Wiess '60) says:

    Very interesting post. Do you know if the Ulrich on the football roster was the long-time Math prof Floyd Ulrich? Also, please tell us about Turnverein Hall. I know what a Turnverein is, but I never heard of Turnverein Hall during my days on campus from 1956 to1961.

  2. MM Pack '74 says:

    Mr. Hudson, here’s a link to the history of the Houston Turnverein series of buildings. https://www.heritagesociety.org/turnverein. I toured the 1939 Joseph Finger version on Almeda in the late 70s. It was abandoned and in rough shape then and, sadly, was torn down in 1993, despite efforts to preserve it.

    My question is: does anyone know the artist of the 1924 Sophomore-Slime Fight cartoons? They are both signed with an R. I’m wondering if it might have been my great-uncle Ralph Carmen Davis; I have some other work of his that shows similarities of style.

    • Galloway Hudson (Wiess '60) says:

      Thanks very much. Quite interesting, but it does not explain why there was a Turnverein Hall at Rice. I hope Melissa will address this issue. Thinking about the demise of German culture in Houston and the USA, I’m sure the two world wars had a lot to do with that. For the record, I am one-quarter German-American.

      • Grungy says:

        That Turnverein Hall was in Houston, but not at Rice.

        • Galloway Hudson (Wiess '60) says:

          I have re-read the account, and I don’t see anything that tells me any of it took place off campus. In one place it states “At the east end of the drive, under the windows of the Dean’s Office…” So, was there a Turnverein Hall on campus? As I recall, the intersection of Prairie and Austin is not near the Rice campus.

      • almadenmike says:

        The Heritage Society story that MM Pack cited above said: “In 1913 the club moved to into a large four story building at Prairie and Austin that had been designed by Sanguinet, Staats, and Barnes. This complex contained a gymnasium, a library, meeting rooms, bowling alleys, ballrooms, banquet rooms, and a theater which could seat between 300 and 400 people. When this hall was sold in 1928, a new Art-deco style building designed by local architect Joseph Finger was built at Southmore and Almeda …”

  3. Melissa Kean says:

    Galloway, the Turnverein Hall was definitely not on campus but it was a common spot for student events, especially dances. The Slime-Soph War in those days covered a lot of ground, with incidents moving from one location to another, some on campus, some off.

  4. Michael L Schwartz says:

    Please forgive me if this is off-topic, or “TMI”, or otherwise ‘ill-advised’.

    Just a comment: seeing the name “McVey” mentioned here (so prominently) reminded me of one of my (FOUR) freshman roommates, the year when I was a sophomore. <–(long story … maybe for another day?).

    His name was (and it probably still is) Michael McVey Ferguson, and he had graduated from Oliver Wendell Holmes HS in San Antronio … along with [iirc] Rita Abrego, who was apparently part of the same graduating class.

    I do not know whether or not he is any relation to the "Slime President William McVey" mentioned here.

    In a neat twist, I (along with my wife) reconnected with him [Mike F.] — along with his wife — a double-digit number of years ago — [perhaps circa 2003?] — in Ojai, Calif. At that time he lived in Ojai. Our daughter attended a summer camp in Ojai, Calif., for about ten summers; … and we usually showed up there once a year, on the camp's "visitors' day". Small world …

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