The evolution of the MOB at Rice

The Rice University Marching Owl Band, more commonly known today as “the MOB,” has been in existence since the Rice Institute opened its doors 100 years ago. The MOB’s first band director was Wilson Betts, a student from the first entering class at the institute. While it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the persona of the MOB would be to make a mockery of current events with a sketch show, the early band’s roots did show a flair for what would become a tradition at Rice University for years to come.

After “The evolution of the MOB at Rice,” watch the extended video interview featuring current Rice Band Director Chuck Throckmorton telling the story of the infamous 1973 MOB halftime performance at the Rice-Texas A&M game that almost started a skirmish with Aggie fans.

Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look at the MOB. For more information on Rice’s history, visit Kean’s blog at

To help celebrate the university’s centennial next week, Rice University has been producing weekly videos since February exploring the school’s unique history.

To see other stories in the centennial video series, go to

About David Ruth

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