TABLE OF CONTENTS
Guide to the Rice University Honorary Chancellor Office Records, William Houston UA 272
Inaugurated on April 10, 1947, as the second president of Rice Institute, William V. Houston served in that role until 1960 when a heart attack prompted his decision to resign that office. In the Physics Laboratory he continued his own research, taught one graduate course, and worked with graduate students. In the spring of 1961 he was made Honorary Chancellor, which he remained until his death in 1968. He is the only person in the history of Rice to have had the title Honorary Chancellor.
Dr. Houston’s duties as Honorary Chancellor were at his discretion. The annual budget of his office contained no more than his salary, the salary of his long-time secretary, and modest amounts for office equipment, supplies, and travel. In 1967 he was still teaching one graduate physics course and counseling six graduate students.
Because of his years as university President and his reputation as an internationally prominent physicist, he had formed interesting and well-placed connections which he called upon for the benefit of particular faculty members and the university as a whole. It has been said that he acted “as counselor, facilitator, mediator, and ambassador, all during a period of great transition and change for the university.”
Honorary Chancellor Houston died in 1968 while traveling to attend a series of meetings of physicists.
This collection consists primarily of correspondence for the years 1961 to 1968 and budget records for fiscal years 1965 through 1969. Also included are a legal brief (John Coffee et al. v. Rice University), correspondence concerning the Rice University Semicentennial, and the Certificate of Merit for Distinction in Physics presented to Dr. Houston.
Conditions Governing Access
This material is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish material from this
collection must be facilitated through the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.
Rice University Honorary Chancellor Office Records, William Houston, 1961-1968, MS 272, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University
These papers were brought to the Woodson 6-20-96 by Physics Professor Stan Dodds, who said he recovered them from the office of Harold Rorschach, also a physics professor and a colleague of Dr. Wm. Houston.