Centennial video series: Willy’s Statue

David Ruth

 Centennial video series: Willy’s Statue
Rice University’s weekly centennial videos run through Oct. 12 

HOUSTON – (Sept. 7, 2012) – A beloved 82-year-old at Rice University is “getting a little work done” so he’ll look his very best for the university’s Centennial Celebration next month. Known affectionately as Willy, the statue of university founder William Marsh Rice that stands at the center of Rice’s Academic Quad, has played an important role in the culture of campus since 1930. Throughout the years, Willy has become one of the main meeting places on the Rice campus and traditions have formed around him, including shouting the Gratuitous Friday Cheer, affixing a wreath before commencement and decorating Willy for holidays, special campus events and college parties. The statue will be cleaned and waxed for the centennial.

Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look at the Willy’s statue. At the end of the story, there is bonus material from Kean about Willy’s ashes, which are interred in the statue’s granite base. 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.

The video, available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/xGE5B-dQsJo, 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.


Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

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

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 home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. 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.