Awards to Recognize Club Sponsors

Awards to Recognize Club Sponsors

Rice News Staff
October 21, 1999

When C.M. “Hank” ’40 and Demaris ’42 Hudspeth walked through the Sallyport for the last time as students, they never dreamed that more than half a century later they would still be integral parts of the university.

Now, an award named in their honor will recognize another integral part of the university: faculty and staff who sponsor student organizations.

The C.M. and Demaris Hudspeth Endowed Award for Student Life and Clubs recently was established by Rice President Malcolm Gillis.

“When President Gillis told Demaris and me that the awards were to be named for us, we were taken by surprise and greatly honored,” Hank Hudspeth said.

“Between the two of us,” he said, “we have been at Rice in one capacity or another for over a century, and, apart from family, it is easily the most important institution in our lives.”

They have served Rice in countless ways. A short list for Hank Hudspeth includes: a lecturer in political science for more than 50 years, a trustee on the Board of Trustees, an alumni governor and president of the Rice Alumni Association.

Demaris Hudspeth also has been an active and valuable member of the Rice community. She served as president of Friends of Fondren, vice president of the Rice Alumni Association, president of the Rice Faculty Women’s Club and was a Wiess College faculty associate. Her fondest memories are of the 27 years she spent as a volunteer teaching English to international students, many of whom she still counts as friends.

For all the years the Hudspeths have devoted to Rice, it is only fitting that an award recognizing the contribution and service faculty and staff members dedicate to student organizations be named in their honor.

“A few months ago, I was going over a list of faculty and staff who serve as advisers to such student clubs as the Spanish Club, Rugby Club and Habitat for Humanity,” Gillis said. “I noticed that this long list contained many of our best teachers and scholars among the faculty and among our most effective staff members. It seemed to me that such devotion to student life required recognition. That is what these awards are all about.”

Each year, two awards of $1,000 each will be presented to a faculty and staff member who serve as a sponsor to one or more student organizations.

“Award criteria will emphasize quality of assistance, with recognition of quantity as well,” Gillis stated in a letter to club sponsors.

Currently, more than 110 faculty and staff serve as club sponsors, with 13 involved in two organizations, four who sponsor three clubs, two involved with four organizations and one who sponsors five.

Catherine Clack, assistant dean of student affairs and director of multicultural affairs, will chair the committee that will choose the recipients. Clack plans to assemble the committee in January and hopes to announce the names of award recipients in April.

The club sponsor awards for faculty and staff show that the university appreciates their contributions, Clack said.

The Hudspeths certainly are wonderful examples of people who have contributed to the life of the university.

Two of their numerous Rice associations include joint membership in the Rice Associates and the William Marsh Rice Society. The Hudspeths also have established several scholarships, most recently endowing one to honor Shepherd School Dean Michael Hammond.

Hank Hudspeth was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service in 1986 and named trustee emeritus in 1989.

The Hudspeths always have made Rice a vital part of their lives.

As Hank Hudspeth noted at a speech in ’65, “The beauty of our campus, the fellowship of youth, the inquiring mind willing to follow without fear where diligence and reason and inspiration may lead it–these are the timeless things on which Rice was founded, and through them may it grow from strength to strength.”

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