Thursday, June 6, 2013

Extra-Curricular Activities Begin!

I bring the next article from the scrapbook, with a small improvement which I believe will help orient the reader, the day of the week, the article was published. I realized that I have been posting the articles with the date Ethel scribbled on them, but I had no idea what day of the week these dates represent in 1939. Thanks to the Date Calculator at Ancestor Search, I know can quickly calculate the appropriate date of the week. In this article for example, Ethel is referring to class enrollment beginning Thursday, but it's difficult to know how far away Thursday was. Turns out, September 13th was a Wednesday, and therefore the article was published the day before enrollment began. I plan to go back and add the date of the week to earlier posts as well.

At first glance, this article is almost identical to the one published a day earlier, Registration at Rice Begins on Thursday. The first section, is basically a recap of the September 12th article. I've included it here for completeness purposes but feel free to skip ahead to the Lovett's Address section.


Wednesday, September 13th, 1939.

Hours Are Designated for Old and New Students; Campus Activity Already Under Way


Apologizes for the blurry image.
( Click to Enlarge)
More than 1300 students are expected to begin enrollment at Rice INstitute at 8:00 a.m. Thursday in the Administration Building, opening the institute's twenty-eight academic session.

About 400 new students will enter Rice this year. Those in the academic course will register between 8 and 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Freshmen engineering and architecture students will register Friday between 8 and 10:30 a.m.

Old undergraduates and graduate students numbering more than 900 will begin to enroll at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the academic course and at 10:30 a.m. Friday in engineering and architecture courses, continuing through the afternoon.

Jewish students unable to register Thursday in observance of Rosh Hashana, Jewish religious holiday, will be excused from registration on that day, Samuel G McCann, registrar, said. They may register either on Friday or on Monday, the first day of regular classes.

* * *
Lovett's Address.

The annual matriculation address by Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett, president of the institute, welcoming members  of the freshman class, will be delivered at 9:00 a.m, September 20. All freshman classes will be dismissed for the address, to be given in the physics amphitheater. 

Extra-curricular activities are already under way on the campus in an early start this year. The first of the "rush week" parties will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday when Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society honors rushees with a dinner dance at the Houston Country Club. The Owen Wister Society will entertain Friday night at the Houston Country Club, and the Pallas Athene group will hold a dinner at River Oaks Country Club Saturday night.

* * *

First Official Dance.

College social life at Rice will formally begin at 9 p.m. Saturday when the first official Rice dance this season will be held at Arabia Temple. Fahy Godfrey's orchestra will furnish the music, Gene Flewellen, president of the student association, announcer and hosts will be present to introduce new students to the upper classmen. 

The first issue of the Thresher, weekly student newspaper, will be ready for students at registration Thursday morning. Bill Ballew is editor. Carey Kind and David Barg, editor  and business manager of the Owl, student humor magazine, have began work on the first issue of the publication, to be ready by the end of September. Barg was appointed business manager of the magazine during the summer to replace David Sanders, chosen last spring. Saunders will not return to Rice this fall. 

* * *

Dramatic Club workers have already begun rehearsals for the first work-shop play of the season, a one act play to be presented at the opening reception, September 27. The production will be done penthouse style, with the players performing in the center of the Autry House auditorium and guests seated in a circle around the actors. Elna Birath, betty Jane Sims, and Jess Bessinger are cast in the production, with Jimmy Terflinger directing. Joseph Kopriva of the Rice English department will be assistant director under Terflinger this year, Wanda Hoencke, president of the club, announced. 

* * *
The first of the series of rush week parties will be held Thursday at 8 p.m. when the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society entertains with a dinner dance at the Houston Country Club. Elizabeth Knapp is general chairman, and Rosemary McKinney and Betty Butler are in charge of dinner arrangements. Other committees are: Decorations, Virginia Cashman and Charlotte Carr; dates, Judy Biossat, Emily Montgomery and Demaris DeLange; orchestra, Margie Parsons and Margie Boyd; place, Neely Proctor and Marian Frost. 

The Owen Wiser Literary Society will give a dinner-dance at the Houston Country Club Friday at 7 p.m. The Pallas Athene Society has reserved Saturday night at the River Oak Country Club for a dinner preceding the regular Saturday night dance at Arabia Temple.

Maryellen Snyder is president of the Pallas Athene group, Mary Margaret Raymond is head of the Owen Wiser Society, and Rosemary Yeager is president of the Elizabeth Baldwin Society. 

School has not started, but I love the fact that there is already a lot of student activities going. Clearly the various social clubs, through committees have been working all summer to kick of the year with a bang and enticing students to join with various parties and dance! Ethel, a member of the dramatic club herself had an inside view to this organization. I got a kick out of the description of the penthouse style, as I was not familiar with the term. This type of performance, also known as theater in the round, is often seen in blackbox theaters today. The term penthouse theater actually comes from the Penthouse Theater at the University of Seattle Washington, the first of its kind in the United States. Glenn Hughes, director of theater at the University of Washington imported the concept to America in 1932 when, his troop practiced at a friend's drawing room in an unfinished penthouse of the Edmond Meany Hotel, hence the name. The Penthouse Theater at the University of Seattle did not open it's doors until 1940, making this early production of the Rice drama department quite avant-garde for it's time.

I'm not sure if the last section was part of this article. It's pasted immediate after this article in the scrapbook and has no date or title. It seems to repeat some of the information about the various dinner/dances, so it may have come from another newspaper or just a different date. I did enjoy the extra details the section provides about the planning that went into the various social events. There was even a dates committee! This could mean one of two things, either helping people get a date for the party or schedule the various parties during the year—I'm not sure which.

The Arabia Temple, was the shriners temple, where Ethel's father was a member. I have a great picture of him standing infront of an unidentified building with a group of fellow shriners. Perhaps they are standing infront of the Arabia Temple.

William Bloomfield (Top Right) Ethel's father with his Shriner's buddies.
This photo has won the title Most Entertaining in my collection! 

One other worthwhile note, the Thresher. Ethel mentions the first issue of the Thresher, the Rice weekly student paper and it's editor Bill Ballew. As you may recall, Ethel was on the staff at the Thresher during  the four years at Rice. In my next post, I will make a small deviation from the scrapbook and discuss some interesting findings related to internal politics at the Thresher.

1 comment:

  1. I like the picture of the Shriners! Also I like the fact that the "activities" part of school gets its own article in the press. Just as important as studying -- socializing! Its own indispensable preparation for life.

    And thank you again for mentioning me with your Thoreau quote about "footprints in the sands of time." Much appreciated!


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