Centennial video series: The owl and the shield

David Ruth

 Centennial video series: The owl and the shield
Rice University’s weekly centennial videos run through Oct. 12

HOUSTON – (May 31, 2012) – If the news media had had it their way back in 1912, the “Grays” would have been the nickname for Rice University’s athletic teams. But even with a fair amount of ink to spread the news, the name didn’t stick and the “Rice Owls” has lived on for nearly 100 years. This week the Centennial video series explores Rice’s owl moniker and the university’s shield. Who knew that the “coat of arms” for families with the name “Rice” and “Houston” was taken into consideration by the designers of Rice’s shield? Many of those families were found to have been using chevrons and birds, so the designers tasked with creating the university’s shield used those influences when they created what has become the enduring official mark of Rice University.

Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look at Rice’s mascot and shield. 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/hTMd60URPwg, 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.