Saturday, June 1, 2013

Registration at Rice, 1939

Finally, on the third double page  of Ethel's scrapbook, registration! . On this next page we continue to find clippings dated September 12th -15th (1939). The first article, indicates Rice has yet to open it’s doors and remains in preparation for the new academic year.

Registration At Rice Begins on Thursday

1300 Students Expected as Institution Starts It's 28th year; Classes to Open Monday.

Registration for Rice Institute's twenty-eighth year will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday when approximately 1300 students will begin to enroll in the sally port on the first floor of the Administration Building.

New students in the academic course will register until 10:30 a.m., when sophomore, junior and senior academic students will begin to enroll, continuing through the afternoon. New architecture and engineering students will enroll from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Friday, and old engineering and architecture students will register from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Old academic students may register at any time Friday.

Jewish students will be excused from registration Thursday for the observance of the Jewish religious holiday, Rosh Hashanah Samuel G. McCann, registrar, has arranged that Jewish students register on Friday if possible, or on the following Monday, the first day of regular classes.

The traditional initiation of freshmen will start Thursday as soon as the first freshmen complete registration. Crowds gather in the sally port each year to watch sophomore men initiate the new men students. Freshmen girls will be initiated the first Friday of regular classes.

Tho construction jobs being completed for the opening of the new semester. The dining hall in the men's dormitories is being enlarged, and a new laboratory is being built onto the Chemistry Building.

The mess hall has been enlarged to almost twice its original capacity. The additional 200 feet of floor space will allow facilities for the accommodation of about 650 men. The dining hall formerly accommodated around 350 men.

The new laboratory space will be used by senior and graduate chemical engineering students for the study of unit operations. The two-story annex provides about 1600 feet of floor space. Dr. Arthur Hartsook is in complete charge of construction.

Two new scholarships are being offered for the first time this year for Rice students. The Samuel S. Ashe Scholarship endowed by Mrs. Sailie Ashe Fitch, the late Mr. Ashe's daughter, will be awarded annually to a deserving and necessitous freshman students who completes his first year's work with highest grades. The first award has been made to George W. Krog, class of 1943 of Houston.

Mr. Mabel Franklin Austen has endowed the Thomas Richard and Julia Hadley Franklin scholarship in memory of her parents. The first winner of the scholarship, to be awarded on the basis of scholarship standing and financial necessity, have not yet been announced.

Three new instructors have been appointed to the faculty this year. Dr. Edward S. Deevy, Jr. who received his Ph. D. from Yale University, has been appointed instructor in biology. Walter F. Scofield, new instructor in civil engineering, holds a B.S from the University of Kansas, where he previously held an assistant instructorship. Carl R. Wischmeyer, new engineering instructor  received his bachelor degree from Rose Polytechnic Institute and his master degree from Yale University.

Several curriculum changes have been made this year. New English courses are being offered in the late romantic and Victorian literature and in old English, including a special study of Beowulf. Two new math courses are open to graduate students this year, one in modern algebra, the other in continued fractions. New senior courses in physical chemistry and inorganic qualitative analysis are being offered, as well as graduate course in adsorption, heterogeneous equilibrium, and heterocyclic chemistry. 

This article surprised me on initial read. I wondered why would the Houston Chronicle print such detail information about the registration schedule at Rice? I guess, without email, Rice could best reach it's student body by posting this kind of information in the paper. We do learn from this article, that Rice has been in existence for 28 years and that they were expecting 1300 students in 1939! I love the mention of the Jewish High Holidays and the exception made for the Jewish students. It's nice to know that the university was sensitive to Jewish minority. I can’t wait to hear about the Freshmen initiation ceremony!


  1. Its a great insight to how things were back then.

  2. This takes me back to the exciting days of starting college. It all sounds suddenly familiar, as if days like these are kind of "preserved in amber" for everyone. Those first college days! Our nephew was wait-listed at Rice, but he's going to Bowdoin in Maine this fall. I'm vicariously excited.


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