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Rice University Removing Statue of Namesake to Make Campus More Welcoming

Rice University Removing Statue of Namesake to Make Campus More Welcoming

“over concerns that the historical figure was a slave owner”

William Marsh Rice owned slaves, so his memorial is going to be relocated to a more ‘discrete’ location on campus.

Campus Reform reports:

University removes statue of its namesake to create ‘more welcoming’ campus quad

Rice University is relocating a statue of its founder and namesake, William Marsh Rice, from its campus’ Academic Quadrangle over concerns that the historical figure was a slave owner.

The Houston university’s decision to move the Founder’s Memorial to a more discreet location accompanies plans to “conduct a competition for a new piece of artwork to commemorate the integration of the university” while making the quad “more welcoming” to students and visitors, according to the Board of Regents’ statement.

Dubbed “Down With Willy,” this movement started at Rice in 2020. Campus Reform spoke with Rice University President David Leebron about the response that the university has received since the decision was announced last month.

Leebron said that about 200 people of the 60,000 that received the initial announcement wrote to the university expressing their support.

Those individuals “applaud[ed] the university for its careful and nuanced approach” to commemorating the founder at a time when the “university had greatly changed,” according to Leebron.


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For a new piece of artwork, how about a statue of Colin Kaepernick or George Floyd, a snowflake, or a donkey, to symbolize the education their students are getting? /s

“his memorial is going to be relocated to a more ‘discrete’ location on campus.”

Like a pocket universe, perhaps?
I don’t understand the reason for the quote marks, especially as the original source used the correct word. 😞

    paracelsus in reply to henrybowman. | February 28, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    the single quotes around ‘discrete’ are there because it is a mispelling of “discreet” meaning exercising caution in order to avoid causing embarrassment

      henrybowman in reply to paracelsus. | February 28, 2022 at 7:02 pm

      My point is that the misspelling appears to have originated from the author of this article. The original article is correct.

Rice University used to be an outstanding, apolitical science and engineering university. We used to call it “the poor man’s Harvard.” Really, though, it was more like “the poor man’s MIT” or “the poor man’s Caltech.” I went there on a full-ride scholarship, and in return, I donated to Rice every year for over 50 years. But no more.

Rice University has gone full woke. Here are the particulars, which I sent them in a letter explaining why I refuse to support them:

Rice University used to be an accepting place for nonconformist contrarians like myself. But President Leebron has created an environment that will make life difficult for anyone who does not conform to Leebron’s own political imperatives. He has said he will enforce his preferred political opinions through several means. Here I will just list those means, which are elaborated and substantiated in the attached letter.

1. Indoctrination. He has said he will force students and faculty to endure political indoctrination through mandatory “Diversity Training” that promotes false and divisive racist stereotyping.
2. Forced political speech. He requires job applicants to submit “Diversity Statements,” which are litmus tests used to eliminate conservatives, moderates, and Republicans from consideration as faculty.
3. Intimidation. Students are encouraged to inform on each other and their faculty through anonymous “Bias Incident Reports” with the obvious intent to punish anyone who speaks of ideas that do not conform to the politically correct narrative. A VP for Diversity was appointed who will enforce the correct politics.
4. Denial of individual rights. The rules that students must follow at Rice fall substantially short of what is Constitutionally expected for free speech and due process. This failure has been noted on the national level (red light on FIRE’s listings), and there is no excuse for failing to fix it.

Probably the worst of these political requirements is the one for prospective faculty to submit a “diversity statement” trumpeting their enthusiasm for left-wing politics is a strategy to purge the entire campus of any moderate or conservative thinking.

    OldProf2 in reply to OldProf2. | February 28, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    The last sentence is missing a period and “. It” after “politics.”
    Sorry. I’ll blame it on the computer.

      smooth in reply to OldProf2. | March 5, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      Rice president Leebron, from havard law school, convinced the Rice board of trustees that it was necessary to go full woke so they would look more ivy league. Fifty years ago Rice students were inspired to put a man on the moon, now Rice students are inspired to reimagine the rides at disneyland to make it more welcoming.

    henrybowman in reply to OldProf2. | February 28, 2022 at 7:09 pm

    I was recently informed that the current “woke” kommandant of MIT is retiring shortly. The fact that he is returning to his position in the Computer Science department rather than “moving on to new challenges” indicates to me that he was pushed rather than jumped. Well past time. Of course, before leaving, he still felt impelled to give us his views on the Ukraine kerfuffle, which were neither appropriate nor insightful.
    Although I did learn that MIT had been abetting Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology outside Moscow since the time Hillary had her phony “reset button” fabricated… and now has thought better of its involvement and terminated it.
    Real Profiles in Courage material, folks.

      lawgrad in reply to henrybowman. | March 2, 2022 at 12:51 am

      This is not necessarily true. Reif will be 72 when he steps down. Very few executives are hired at the age of 72. So, he probably reached a mutually agreeable retirement age with his Board and is stepping down to make way for a younger person. There is no guarantee that his successor will be less “woke”, just younger.

JackinSilverSpring | February 28, 2022 at 9:46 pm

Will the next move be to change the name of the university? I understand Yale University has the same issue. I also understand that one of the other founders of Yale is someone name Dummer. Maybe they can call it Dummer University. Maybe Rice should change its name to Potatohead University.

I almost expect them to put up statues of Snap, Crackle, and Pop… but that trio isn’t diverse enough.

YosemiteTex | March 1, 2022 at 4:25 am


If the namesake is so problematic why remove the statue while keeping the name? Why not rename it “Houston Polytechnic” or something similar? The obvious reason is money: “Rice University” must still have some cachet, and they can’t risk students will stop coming because they don’t recognize the new name.

Rice kids are a woke joke. The student leader of the movement to remove the statue of Rice blames all his problems in life on white people. How are these kids supposed to live in Houston, when the city was named after Sam Houston who was a slave owner?

    DSHornet in reply to smooth. | March 5, 2022 at 9:38 am

    The way they’re going, maybe they can become a satellite of Sam Houston Institute of Technology.