Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
William Marsh Rice (1816-1900) came to Texas in 1838 and through extensive entrepreneurship became one of the state's wealthiest men. Rice envisioned a polytechnic school as his philanthropic legacy. The State of Texas chartered the William M. Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art on May 19, 1891. Rice delayed the project by stipulating that it open after his death. When he died under suspicious circumstances, investigations and legal struggles jeopardized the school's future. After his estate was settled, development began for the first university in Houston.
Trustees had a multi-million dollar endowment but little experience in education. The first president, Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett of Princeton University, spent months visiting experts around the world. His experiences helped him broaden Rice's vision to a university uniting teaching and research. In 1909, the Boston firm of Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson developed the campus plan, combining classically-inspired architecture with Mediterranean influences. On Sep. 23, 1912, classes opened with 59 young men and women and four buildings. Rice was a charter
Renamed Rice University in 1960, the school has hosted presidential visits, including John F. Kennedy's in 1962 when he urged the nation's space program to explore the moon by the end of the decade. Rice boasts many distinguished alumni and faculty, including Nobel and Pulitzer Prize recipients. In 2012 Rice University embarked on its second century of producing "leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor."
175 Years of Texas Independence * 1836-2011
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Erected 2011 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17005.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education • Man-Made Features. A significant historical date for this entry is May 19, 1891.
Location. 29° 43.158′ N, 95° 23.794′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is on Unnamed road just east of Main Street, on the right when traveling north. The marker is east of Lovett Hall and Founder's Court at Rice University. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77005, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Autry House (approx. 0.2 miles away); General Sam Houston (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Garden Club of Houston (approx. half a mile away); Southend Water Pumping Station (approx. half a mile away); San Jacinto Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (approx. half a mile away); Pioneer Memorial Log House (approx. half a mile away); The Roy and Lillie Cullen Building (approx. 0.6 miles away); St. Paul's United Methodist Church (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Also see . . . Centennial Series: Rice University historical marker unveiled (YouTube, 3.5 min.). "Exactly 100 years after the Rice Institute matriculated its first class Sept. 23, 1912, an official Texas Historical Commission marker honoring Rice University was unveiled Sunday just east of Founder's Court." (Submitted on June 6, 2021.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 8, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 153 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 8, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. 4, 5. submitted on October 18, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.