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1920's

1920
The first Rice Engineering Show, an exhibition of the work of student engineers, is held. Exhibits include a "bucking bronco," magnetic stunts, nitroglycerin explosions, X-ray demonstrations, and a radio-controlled car. Despite President Lovett's belief that the show will not attract much attention, it draws 10,000 visitors.
1921
Intramurals begin, featuring football, basketball, and track.
1921
The first May Fete is held. This spring celebration includes the crowning of a May Fete queen, Rosalie Hemphill, and king, Parks Williams.
1921
Physical education classes are made mandatory for freshmen men.
1921
The Dramatic Club is formed. (It will become the Rice Players in 1951.)
1921
The Field House is opened to provide facilities for physical training classes and for intramural and intercollegiate sports.
1921
Autry House is built under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Located on Main Street, it is built with a donation from Mrs. James Autry in honor of her husband, Judge James L. Autry. It quickly becomes the "fireside of Rice" by serving as Rice's first cultural, religious, and recreational student center.
1922
After a Thresher campaign for a school song, "For Rice's Honor," written by Ben Mitchell '24, is chosen.
1922
The Rice Owl literary magazine is formed.
1922
Radio station 5YG begins.
1922
The Owl Debating Club and Riceonian are resurrected.
1922
On June 28, after many years of sustaining a reputation as the second-worst hazing school in Texas (after Texas A&M), Rice announces a complete ban on hazing. Rice also bans social clubs that resemble fraternities and sororities. Both hazing and social clubs, say the administration and faculty, violate the university's democratic principles.
1923
Undergraduate enrollment passes the 1,000 mark, and there are 20 graduate students. The biology department turns away students for lack of space. Admission requirements are raised, and entering freshmen enrollment is limited to 400 per year.
1924
John W. Heisman, for whom the Heisman Trophy will eventually be named, becomes Rice's first full-time head football coach. Although Heisman has a reputation for coaching championship teams, his record at rice is less than stellar. His first season ends in a tie with Texas A&M for third place in the Southwest Conference, his second in seventh place, and his third in the cellar. Following an even more dismal fourth season, Heisman resigns on December 1, 1927.
1924
The Owen Wister Literary Society (OWLS) is formed.
1925
The Chemistry Building (later to be renamed Keck Hall in honor of the W.M. Keck Foundation) is built.
1925
The Rally Club is formed to help usher at events on campus, to cheer for the teams, and to raise school spirit.
1927
Cohen House, the faculty club, is built. Funds for the building are donated by George S. Cohen, and it is named in honor of his parents, Robert and Agnes Cohen.
1928
A faculty committee recommends that Rice begin charging tuition.
1928
Rice is awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
1929
The Department of Physical Education is created.
1929
Building plans for the campus are frustrated by the onset of the Great Depression.