Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Rice Institute Photographs of Special Occasions, 1912-1946 UA 349



source Baker, James Addison
creator Rice University
Title: Rice Institute Photographs of Special Occasions
Dates: 1912-1946
Abstract: The collection consists of 284 8” by 10” black and white photographs of special occasions at Rice Institute, chiefly baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies. The photographs were collected by Captain James A. Baker and were presented in May 1960 to the Rice Institute Library in memory of Captain and Mrs. Baker by the Baker family.
Identification: UA 349
Quantity: 1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biographical / Historical

Rice Institute was founded in 1891 and formally opened in 1912, initally known for its focus on the sciences. The name changed in 1960 to Rice University, to reflect its broader scope of teaching.

Capt. James A. Baker was a prominent attorney in the law firm of Baker, Botts & Baker, who represented many wealthy citizens, one of whom was William Marsh Rice, founder of Rice University. In 1891, Baker was made a member of the Rice Institute Board of Trustees and eventually became Chairman of the Board. After Rice’s death in 1900, a suspicious Capt. Baker alerted authorities to the possibility of foul play. Because of his efforts, investigators discovered that Rice was in fact murdered by an associate.

As Chairman of the Board, Baker contributed to the establishment of Rice University an elite educational institution. Because of his business savvy, the Rice endowment was more than doubled in the early years of the university. Mr. Baker served as Chairman until his death on Aug. 2, 1941. His son, James A. Baker, Jr., served in World War II, became a lawyer in the family firm and continued the Baker commitment to Rice, as has James A. Baker III., Capt. Baker’s grandson, founder of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, at Rice University.


Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of photographs of events associated with the first thirty-two commencement ceremonies of Rice Institute. There are a few special occasions apart from commencements: in November 1918, the presence of the British Educational Mission and members of the Official French Mission to the United States for the inauguration of the Sharp Lectureship; the Nov. 27, 1919, Thanksgiving Day reunion service after World War I; the February 5, 1920, visit to Rice by General John J. Pershing; and the April 1922 visit of President and Mrs. Lowell of Harvard University for his delivery of the third series of the Godwin Lectures on Public Affairs. All but one of the first thirty-two commencements of the Institute are represented, and typically by the baccalaureate speaker and the commencement speaker. In some years there are photographs of a garden party. In a few cases individual graduates are featured, and there are a number of photographs of academic processions and dignitaries seated on the platform.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Rice Institute Photographs of Special Occasions, 1912-1946 must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.


Index Terms

photographs
Baker, James Addison
Rice University

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Rice Institute Photographs of Special Occasions, 1912-1946, UA 349. Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift presented in memory of Captain and Mrs. James A. Baker by the Baker family in May 1960.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: 1912-1922

Box Folder
1 1 Clearing of ground; 1912, Van Dyke; 1922, President and Mrs. Lowell and Dr. Lovett
General
Two photographs from the Oct. 12, 1912 formal opening of Rice pre-date the first commencement in 1916: Professor Henry van Dyke of Princeton University reading the inaugural poem, “Texas, A Democratic Ode,” and Dr. Robert E. Vinson, President of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary reading Scripture.
2 1916 and 1917 Commencement
General
Photographs from the first commencement, Monday June 12, 1916, include Chancellor David Starr Jordan of Stanford University, the first commencement speaker, and the Rev. Dr. Peter Gray Sears, Rector of Christ Church, Houston, the first baccalaureate preacher. There is a photograph including the individuals on whom the first Rice degrees were conferred, Edmund McAshan Dupree, the first matriculate, and Hattie Lel Red, the first woman matriculate. The second commencement exercises, Sunday and Monday June 10 and 11, 1917, are represented by photographs of the Rev. George W. Truett, Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Dallas, the baccalaureate preacher, and of Provost William H. Carpenter of Columbia University, the commencement speaker.
3 1918 Commencement; 1918 Visit of European dignitaries
General
Sunday and Monday June 9 and 10, 1918, were the third commencement exercises. One photograph shows President McClure preaching the third baccalaureate sermon, and another, the Hon. Nelson Phillips, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, the third commencement speaker.
4 1919 Commencement; 1919 Thanksgiving Day Reunion Service
General
The fourth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 8 and 9, 1919. At the center of the front row of the academic procession for the baccalaureate is Bishop Edwin DuBose Mouzon of Dallas, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, who preached. Another photograph shows Professor Frederick Blanchard of Rice reading the commencement address of Dean William Mynn Thornton, Dean of the Department of Engineering of the University of Virginia. There is also a photograph of the Class of 1919 at the back of the Physics Laboratory.
5 Visit of General Pershing; 1920 Commencement
General
Photographs of the fifth commencement exercises on Sunday and Monday June 6 and 7, 1920, show Father James M. Kirwin, V.G., of Galveston, who preached at baccalaureate, and Judge Joseph C. Hutcheson, Jr., of the United States District Court, Houston, who gave the commencement address. Also included are photographs of a garden party in which Mrs. Lovett is one of the people identified.
6 1921 and 1922 Commencement; 1921 Autry House Ceremony
General
The sixth commencement exercises took place on Sunday and Monday June 5 and 6, 1921. Photographs show Professor Herbert Lockwood Willett of the University of Chicago as the baccalaureate preacher, and Professor H. A. Wilson and Dr. Lovett. No name is given for the commencement speaker. One photograph depicts the annual garden party (from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 6). Another shows H. Malcolm Lovett, 1921 B.A., and President Lovett. Occurring on the same day as the sixth baccalaureate, June 5, 1921, was a ceremony at Autry House, most likely the dedication. There is a photograph showing William Ward Watkin, President Lovett, Professor Willett, the Rev. Harris Masterson, and Dr. Peter Gray Sears. Sunday and Monday June 11 and 12, 1922, were the seventh commencement exercises. Photographs show the Rev. Clinton S. Quinn, Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Texas of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Houston, as the baccalaureate preacher and Dr. Frank Thilly, Professor of Philosophy at Cornell University, as commencement speaker. In one of the photographs are two nephews of William Marsh Rice, B. B. Rice and W. M. Rice. Another shows the 1922 graduating class, and another, the garden party.



Series II: 1923-1946

Box Folder
2 1 1923 Commencement
General
The eighth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 3 and 4, 1923. Photographs show Dr. Edward B. Ames, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago, as the baccalaureate preacher, and Dr. Edgar F. Smith, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry of the University of Pennsylvania, as the commencement speaker. There is a photograph of the 1923 graduating class and another of the annual garden party. The latter shows Mrs. Edgar F. Smith and Mrs. Lovett at the head of the receiving line in the cloisters of Lovett Hall.
2 1924 Commencement
General
Sunday and Monday June 8 and 9, 1924, were the ninth commencement exercises. Dr. William States Jacobs, Pastor of the Frist Presbyterian Church, Houston, was the baccalaureate preacher, and the commencement speaker was Dr. Charles W. Dabney of Houston, formerly President of the University of Cincinnati. In one photograph Anna Marie duPerier is identified, leaving the platform. There are also photographs of the annual garden party.
3 1925 Commencement
General
The tenth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 7 and 8, 1925. Photographs show the Rev. Samuel Ross Hay, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Houston as the baccalaureate preacher and Professor Stockton Axson as commencement speaker. One photograph of the degree-conferring ceremony shows Allie May Autry being awarded the B. A. Another shows the Rice Institute band playing for the commencement procession. There is an additional photograph of the Chemistry Laboratories.
4 Chemistry Laboratories; 1926 Commencement
General
Sunday and Monday June 6 and 7, 1926, were the eleventh commencement exercises. Preacher for baccalaureate was Rabbi Henry Barnston of Congregation Beth Israel, Houston, and Dean Joseph S. Ames of the Johns Hopkins University was commencement speaker. One photograph shows the nine graduates who received the degrees of B. S. in Electrical Engineering with Mr. H. K. Humphrey and Mr. J. S. Waters. There is also a photograph of the annual garden party.
5 1927 and 1928 Commencement
General
The twelfth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 5 and 6, 1927. Baccalaureate preacher was the Rt. Rev. Davis Sessums, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Louisiana. Pictured reading the commencement address of His Excellency, Baron de Cartier de Marchienne, Belgian Ambassador to the United States, was Hon. Robert Silvercruys, Counsellor of the Belgian Embassy. There are also photographs of the conferring of degrees and the annual garden party.
Sunday and Monday June 3 and 4, 1928, were the thirteenth commencement exercises. Preacher for baccalaureate was the Rev. Dr. Samuel Atkins Eliot, Pastor of the Arlington Street Church, Boston. The commencement speaker was Dr. John Huston Finley, Editor of the New York Times. There are also photographs of the assembly singing, the conferring of degrees, the graduating class, and the annual garden party.
Box Folder
3 1 1928 and 1929 Commencement
General
The fourteenth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 9 and 10, 1929. Baccalaureate preacher was Rev. Dr. William Douglas Mackenzie, President of the Hartford Seminary Foundation, and Dr. William Edward Dodd, Professor of American History at the University of Chicago, was commencement speaker. One of four garden party photographs shows Mrs. Lovett in the center of the receiving line.
2 1930 and 1931 Commencement
General
Sunday and Monday June 8 and 9, 1930, were the fifteenth commencement exercises. Baccalaureate preacher was Dr. James Gordon Gilkie, Minister of the South Congregational Church of Springfield, Massachusetts. The Commencement speaker was Mr. Ralph Adams Cram of Boston, supervising architect of the Rice Institute. Identified in photographs of the degree ceremony are Elisabeth John, B. S., and Howard Fletcher Brown, B. A. with distinction. William Ward Watkin is included in photographs of the commencement speakers, President Lovett, and members of the Board of Trustees. There are also two garden party photographs.
The sixteenth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 7 and 8, 1931. Baccalaureate preacher was Rev. Harris Elliott Kirk, Pastor of the Franklin Street Church, Baltimore, and Captain James A. Baker was commencement speaker. One photograph shows Dr. Kirk pronouncing the benediction, and there are two of the garden party.
3 1932 and 1933 Commencement
General
Sunday and Monday June 5 and 6, 1932, were the seventeenth commencement exercises. Preacher for baccalaureate was Rev. George Arthur Buttrick, Pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church of New York City. The commencement speaker was Professor Roscoe Pound, Dean of the Law School of Harvard University. A photograph of the garden party shows Mrs. W. Browne Baker next to Malcolm Lovett in the receiving line.
The eighteenth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 4 and 5, 1933. Preacher for baccalaureate was Rev. Hiram Abiff Boaz, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South Houston. The commencement speaker was Henry Fairfield Osborn, Professor of Biology of Princeton University. A photograph of the annual garden party shows Mrs. W. Browne Baker in the receiving line.
4 1934, 1935, and 1936 Commencement
General
Sunday and Monday June 3 and 4, 1934, were the nineteenth commencement exercises. Preacher for baccalaureate was Rev. Charles Whiting Gilkey, Dean of the University Chapel, the University of Chicago. Professor John Campbell Merriam of the Carnegie Institution in Washington was the commencement speaker. One photograph shows commencement attendees in St. Paul’s Methodist Church on account of rain.
The twentieth commencement exercises took place on Sunday and Monday June 2 and 3, 1935. Baccalaureate preacher was Rev. Willard L. Sperry, Dean of the Divinity School, Harvard University. The commencement speaker was Mr. Ralph Budd, President of the Burlington Lines.
Monday June 8, 1936, was the twenty-first commencement. The baccalaureate preacher was Ralph W. Sockman, Minister of Christ Church (Methodist Episcopal) of New York City. The commencement speaker was President Harold Willis Dodds of Princeton University.
5 1937, 1938, and 1939 Commencement
General
The twenty-second baccalaureate was on Sunday June 6, 1937. The preacher was the Rt. Rev. Henry Wise Hobson, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Diocese of Southern Ohio.
Sunday June 5, 1938, was the twenty-third baccalaureate. The preacher was Rev. Joseph Richard Sizoo, Minister of the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, New York City, and Dr. Edward Davidson, Professor of English at the University of Colorado, read the commencement address of President George Norlin of the University of Colorado because of the latter’s illness.
The twenty-fourth commencement exercises were on Sunday and Monday June 4 and 5, 1939. There are two photographs of men in academic regalia, but no names are recorded.
6 1940, 1942, 1943, 1944 Commencement; March 3, 1946 group in academic regalia
General
Sunday and Monday June 2 and 3, 1940, were the twenty-fifth commencement exercises. There are four photographs, on one of which are identified the Rt. Rev. Henry St. George Tucker, D.D., S.T.D., L.L.D., Presiding Bishop of America, as the baccalaureate preacher, and James Rowland Angell, Ph.D., Litt.D., L.L.D., President of Yale University, Emeritus, Educational Counselor of the National Broadcasting Company, commencement speaker. A second photograph is of the faculty processing for baccalaureate, a third, of the degree candidates processing for commencement, and a fourth, of nine men in academic regalia, including President Lovett, Captain James A. Baker, and Prof. Harold Wilson.
There are no photographs from 1941.
A photograph marked with only “1942” shows the platform at commencement with the faculty seated in the center and a part of the assembled degree candidates in the foreground.
There are two photographs marked “5-31-1943,” one of the facilty seated on the platform and President Lovett at the podium, and the other of the assembled degree candidates standing under a large cover as if for protection from rain.
A single photograph marked “2-28-44” shows students in commencement regalia seated in a large interior space with a balcony, perhaps St. Paul’s Methodist Church.
A single photograph dated March 3, 1946, and titled “32nd Commencement, St. Paul’s Methodist Church” has the fourteen people in the picture identified as Lamar Fleming, Jr.; William Alexander Kirkland; Gus Sessions Wortham; Frederick Rice Lummis; George Rufus Brown; President Lovett; Alexander Sessums Cleveland; William Vermillion Houston; Harry Clay Hanszen; John Thaddeus Scott; Benjamin Botts Rice; Harold Albert Wilson; Rev. Henry Putnam Van Dusen, President of Union Theological Seminary in New York; and Harry Carothers Wiess.