Remembering Rice: How Should the University Acknowledge and Represent its Founder’s Past?
Written for HIST 300: Universities and Slavery (Independent Study). Advised by Dr. W. Caleb McDaniel.
William Marsh Rice, who chartered the Rice Institute, is popularly remembered for his philanthropy and for his dramatic murder. Often left out of the common narrative is his involvement in slavery, and the Texas cotton trade. This paper explores the current remembrance of Rice, details his connections to slavery, and provides a recommendation to Rice University on how to address the history of its founder. This recommendation is contextualized with how other universities have begun to address their ties to slavery.