Wartime on Rice Campus, 1914-1919

Prior to the dawn of the first World War life at the Rice Institute resembled that of any other college campus. Students were free to manage their academic and social lives without much influence or concern from administrators. Declaration of war on Germany by the United States in 1917 prompted a response by many students and faculty on campus. Soon after this declaration, under the terms of the National Defense Act of 1916, a branch of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) was assigned to the Rice campus. This prompted many changes on campus for students returning in the fall of 1917. This exhibit spotlights a Rice student and a faculty member in service, highlights some of the changes on campus during this time, and the pushback by the student body against the enforcement of new rules on campus.

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Paloma Lenz