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Rice University Presidents' Christmas and holiday cards collection

Identifier: UA 0274
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of greeting cards sent at Christmas and/or New Year’s Day by the six presidents of Rice Institute and University. Not every year of the various administrations is represented, and some are more completely represented than others. Images on some from the later years are the work of Rice photographers, specifically Geoff Winningham and Tommy LaVergne. 2008 is the last year represented in the collection because in 2009 and following years the president’s greeting has been an electronic message sent to recipients online.


  • Creation: 1914 - 2008


Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Rice Institute/University Presidents’ Christmas card Collection must be facilitated through the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Biographical / Historical

The custom of sending greeting cards at Christmas and/or New Year’s has been observed continuously by the six presidents of Rice Institute and University. President and Mrs. Lovett are represented by engraved formal cards (with script only). The card from President Houston’s years is a reproduced etching of campus buildings. The cards sent by President and Mrs. Hackerman are large color photographs of campus buildings, architectural features, or grounds scenes. Both color and black and white photography were used on cards sent by President and Mrs. Rupp. They feature distinctive photographs of familiar campus scenes or images of recently completed campus buildings. Color photography of campus places, some of them new, were the choices of President and Mrs. Gillis, whose own photograph is on one of the cards. Their cards are of varying sizes, as are the cards sent by President and Mrs. Leebron, one of whose is a photograph of their four-member family. The others are color photographs of either familiar campus scenes or new features. During President Leebron’s administration the custom of mailing hardcopy cards was replaced by using email to send online greetings, taking full advantage of features like animation.


1 Linear Feet ( (1 box))

Language of Materials



The collection consists of examples of Christmas and/or New Year’s cards sent by the six presidents of Rice University. Years of the more recent presidents are more fully represented than those of the early ones.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collected by the Woodson Research Center and Fondren Library.

Guide to the Rice University Presidents' Christmas cards collection, 1914-2008
Mary Tobin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA