Centennial video series: Tony Martino, Rice’s first gardener

The thousands of people who walk through Rice University’s 300-acre forested campus daily benefit from the labor of Tony Martino, an Italian immigrant and the school’s first gardener, who planted and cared for most of the big trees that we see today. Ron Smith, Rice’s grounds superintendent, said Martino also created the university’s perimeter hedge and planted the first flowers at Rice, literally helping build the new Rice Institute in the early days from the ground up.

Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look at Martino and his horticultural legacy at Rice. Learn more about Martino in this story from a 2003 issue of “The Cornerstone,” a newsletter of the Rice Historical Society. For more information on 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.

To see other stories in the centennial video series, go to http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL60D6D71E71B66B3D&feature=plcp.

About David Ruth

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