Tommy LaVergne honored by Rice Board of Trustees

The Rice Board of Trustees recently recognized university photographer Tommy LaVergne for three decades of invaluable contributions to the university and his unwavering ability to always “tell Rice’s story.”

Tommy LaVergne

Tommy LaVergne

Over the past 32 years, LaVergne’s photography has touched every area of the university, from students and their campus experiences to outstanding faculty research, said Vice President for Public Affairs Linda Thrane.

“If, as they say, a photograph is worth a thousand words, then Tommy has written enough words with his photos to fill Fondren Library,” Thrane said. “Needless to say, Tommy has seen many changes in the university over the years and with his lens has captured that progress and the people who made it possible.”

World-renowned faculty members, the Office of Development, Rice Athletics, the Office of Admissions and many others have drawn upon LaVergne’s photos to help build and strengthen relationships and achieve departmental objectives. His images, which require no translation, support all seven pillars of President David Leebron’s V2C2, helping the university’s reach to span the world, Thrane said.

LaVergne has had a front row seat to major Rice milestones like the creation of the James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy, the Economic Summit of 1990, the 2003 College World Series championship run and the Rice Centennial of 2012.

He has hunted ghosts in Lovett Hall, photographed the historic travels of Lewis and Clarke on the famous John Boles alumni trip and captured the Rice football team taking on Stanford in Australia. His portrayal of student life has been featured in multiple magazines such as U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review.

In 2004, LaVergne published his first monograph, “Roads to Forgotten Texas,” with accompanying poetry by alumna Joyce Pounds Hardy ‘45. His works have been exhibited in various galleries in Texas in addition to the Rice Media Center, and are part of the permanent photography collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

“Tommy is truly an institution at Rice and the relationships he has made over the last 32 years make him not only a colleague, but a real friend to the many people who have been on the other side of his lens,” Thrane said.


About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is editor of Rice New.