@valhallarice February 17


My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.

The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and  turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.

In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.

I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.

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Name of University: Rice University

Location: Houston TX

The passage of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 (which caused state governments into raising the drinking age to 21), has greatly diminished the number of college campuses that still have bars on their campuses.

One place where that exists is Rice University.

wrc00312

To say Rice University has an interesting history is an understatement. On May 18, 1891, Massachusetts-born businessman William Marsh Rice chartered the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art as a gift to the city of Houston, where he made his fortune. The terms of the charter required that work on the new institute would begin only after Rice’s death.

On September 23, 1900, Rice was chloroformed to death by his valet, Charlie Jones, who had conspired with an unscrupulous lawyer, Albert Patrick, to murder the aging millionaire and claim his estate using a forged will. When an autopsy ordered by Rice’s attorney, Captain James A. Baker, revealed evidence of poisoning, Jones agreed to provide state’s evidence in return for immunity from prosecution. Patrick was convicted of murder and sent to Sing Sing. He was pardoned in 1912, the same year that classes began at the Rice Institute.

So if any college needs a  bar based on it’s founding history maybe its Rice. In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a great hall where “Odin receives the souls of heroes fallen bravely in battle.”

Valhalla started over 40 years ago as a place for graduate students to hang out, relax and socialize after a long day of school/work.  They are staffed by graduate students and alumni volunteers. Four decades later, not much has changed.

valhalla-rice-university

Rice was founded with a charter that included not charging tuition. In 1966 a University-led lawsuit to modify the original charter was successful, permitting Rice to charge tuition and admit non-Caucasians.

 

 

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