Rice Institute Owls track runner and Rice University Mechanical engineering professor Dr. Alan Chapman
Black and white photograph of Rice Institute Owls field and track athlete and Rice Professor, Doctor Alan Chapman, headlining his achievement as a Distinguished "R" Man. Caption reads: The title of “Distinguished R Man” fits this remarkable gentleman who has served his alma mater so brilliantly both in the areas of athletics and academics. In the athletic phase, seeing that is the basis of the assembly to honor him at the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies, Dr. Chapman is nationally known as a past president of the NCAA and as parliamentarian for every NCAA Convention since 1974. He is or has been chairman of NCAA Committee on Long Range Planning, Academic Requirements, and Constitution and Bylaws, and was a member of the NCAA Council (1967 – 1973), prior to his presidency (1973 – 1974). Dr. Chapman was president of the Southwest Conference 1965 – 1967 in midst of his many years of service as the Rice Faculty Representative to the SWC. Incidentally, his father-in-law, the late Dr. H.E. Bray, preceded him as a Rice faculty rep and as a president of the SWC. Alan Chapman also was a successful Owl athlete, placing third in the Southwest Conference 880 – yard run at the 1945 SWC meet, and earning track letters in 1944 and 1945 under coaches Bill Wallace and Cecil Grigg. Rice has been a “family affair” for the Chapmans, to saw the least. His wife, Marjorie Bray Chapman, is Rice, 1950, and she is the daughter of Dr. Bray, Professor of Mathematics from 1917 to 1972 and very well known to Rice exes. As notes, Dr. Bray preceded Dr. Chapman as president of the SWC and faculty representative, 1940 to 1959. The Chapman son, Alan, Jr. also is Dr. Chapman as an MD practicing in Houston, and is Rice 1976. Younger Alan is married to Vanessa Smith and they have a Chapman grandchild, Lindsay. The Chapman daughter, Katherine, is a UH grad living in Houston. Alan, Sr. earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rice in 1945 and began a spectacular career in the field of engineering that has brought him considerable acclaim. It all began in Los Angeles, where he was born to Wallace and Isabel Chapman on June 22, 1925, but they moved to Houston a year later, and Alan has lived here ever since, graduating from Lamar High in 1942. One wonders how this fellow has managed to do so many things in his busy life up to age 62. Just consider while a Rice undergrad – where his roommate was an Owl football guard named John Cox, now a Rice Trustee and ardent booster of Owl Athletics – young Chapman did more than run track. He was president of the Rice Engineering Society, and the student section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. After graduation he served in the Navy on the USS Midway until he joined the Rice faculty in September of 1946. He has been here ever since with exception of getting a master’s degree at the University of Colorado in 1949 and his PhD. from University of Illinois in 1953. He is second only to Professor J. R. “Jim” Sims in time of service among the current faculty, and Jim presented him his “Distinguished R Man” Award. Dr. Chapman has been closely associated with the NASA program for many years. He was a member of the NASA group Achievement Team that received a major award in 1974 for its Skylab Emergency Parasol Design solving a major emergency for an in-flight program that year. He played a role in the first man on the moon project as evidenced by one of his papers (with D. H. Perel in 1963) titled “An Evaluation of the Thermally Radiant Environs of a Man on the Lunar Surface.” He has taught in Mechanical Engineering at Rice for 30 years, mainly in thermodynamics and heat transfer. His book, Heat Transfer, is used world wide in universities. He has published several more books, and many papers. Naturally, with all those deeds in a busy life, Alan Chapman has received so many awards and honors it is impossible to list all of them here. Among the most significant, he currently holds the Harry S. Cameron Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Rice, and has been chairman of the department for 15 years. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and has received 3 Brown Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and Superior Teaching in 1984. He was named Distinguished Engineering Alumnus by both Rice in 1983 and Illinois in 1984.
Distinguished R Man, President of NCAA and SWC
Sports; Rice University--History; Chapman, Alan J. (Alan Jesse), 1925-; Varsity lettermen's clubs; Athletic clubs--Texas--Houston; More... Rice Owls (Track and field team); Track and field athletes--Texas--Houston; William M. Rice Institute--Faculty; Mechanical engineers--Texas--Houston; Chapman, Alan J. (Alan Jesse), 1925-.--Faculty; Rice University. Department of Mechanical Engineering Less...
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/63997
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