Centennial video series: Autry House, Rice’s first student center

David Ruth

Centennial video series: Autry House, Rice’s first student center
Rice University’s weekly centennial videos run through Oct. 12

HOUSTON – (April 20, 2012) – When the Rice Institute was still in its growing stage — less than a decade old — a local Episcopalian priest, the Rev. Harris Masterson Jr., decided that Rice students needed a recreation area. Working with the diocese, Masterson built Autry House in less than six months, from June to September 1921. Autry House became the social center for Rice students for the next 30 years until the university built a theater and the Rice Memorial Center in the 1950s. Today Autry House still sits next door to Rice University at Main and Cambridge Streets and serves as business space and other needs for Palmer Memorial Episcopalian Church.

Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look back at Autry House. To learn more about Rice’s history, visit Kean’s blog at www.ricehistorycorner.com.

To help celebrate the university’s centennial Oct. 12, Rice University is producing weekly videos exploring the school’s unique history.

The video, available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/td7HALU1Zpc, is also available to media in high quality and without music for editing purposes. For higher-quality video, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is known for its “unconventional wisdom.” With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.