The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 86, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, August 28, 1998 Page: 1 of 16
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the Rice Thresher
Vol. LXXXVjssue No. ltf
Friday, August 28, 1998
Rice among eight survivors after WAC splits in half
by Jose Luis Cubria
IT1RESHER EDITORIAL STALL
For the second time since 1994,
when the Southwest Conference dis-
solved, Rice's Athletiqs Department
found itself at a critical crossroads.
Earlier this summer, officials from
eight Western Athletic Conference
schools, not including Rice, an-
nounced they would split from the
16-team superconference and form
their own league in June 1999.
The eight departing schools are
Brigham Young University, the Uni-
versity of Utah, the University of
New Mexico, the University of Ne-
vada at Las Vegas, Colorado State
University, the U.S. Air Force Acad-
emy, the University of Wyoming and
San Diego State University.
In addition to Rice, left behind
are fellow ex-SWC refugees South-
ern Methodist University and Texas
Christian University, along with the
. University of Hawaii, San Jose State
University, the University ofTulsa,
Fresno Slate University and the
University of Texas at El Paso.
Following the May 26 announce-
ment, BYU's sports information de-
partment released a statement out-
lining the reasons and motives be-
hind the split.
"[The departing schools] con-
cluded that the present 16-team con-
ference has been unable to achieve
its intended goals, and the chal-
lenges faced by the conference are
insurmountable," the release reads.
"[The problems included] a lack of
any natural affinity among the 16
member teams, a breakdown of tra-
ditional rivalries, the huge geo-
graphical spread and its attendant
travel expense, erosion of fan sup-
port, the inability of the present con-
ference to achieve greater national
recognition and TV revenues and,
finally, a serious decline in per-mem-
ber revenues and a major increase
in expenses that affects all schools."
The announcement came as a
shock to the remaining eight
schools, especially since the much-
anticipated 16-team superconference
was given up after only two years.
"This was totally out of the blue,"
Rice Athletics Director Bobby May
said. "We had recently talked about
rUBELCCA BtRGQUISI. THRESHLR
Members of the Class of 2002 attend Sunday's matriculation ceremony in Stude Concert Hall.
Class of '02 matriculates, starts Rice career
by Joel Hardi
I HKESHEK EDITORIAL STAL L
Only hours after arriving at Rice
with parents, siblings and boxtfs of
belongings in tow, the 648 members
of the class of 2002 poured through
the Sallyport Sunday night, met by
their cheering Orientation Week
advisers on the other side.
This year's freshman class not
only contains the largest number of
Oregonians in history, it's also the
most socially skilled in years, if the
first-day opinions of several advis-
ers and college masters are to be
Matriculation 1998 took on extra
significance last spring when Vice
President for Student Affairs Zenaido
Camacho forbade advisers from at-
tending the ceremony, moved it into
Stude Concert Hall, and scheduled
it for the Sunday of O-Week instead
Camacho's changes had no snlall
effect. Sunday's matriculation
passed without incident, free of the
college chants and pranking that
interrupted last year's event. Also
absent was the traditional scuffle for
control of Willy's statue.'
And then there's the freshmen,
who a number of O-Week veterans
said were the chattiest and the least
frazzled tlfey'd seen in years.
On the walk from Stude to the
Sallyport, Wiess College freshman
Lydia Baldridge said her first few
hours at Rice had been easier than
they could have been.
"It was-a lot less hard than I ex-
pected," she said. "A lot of times,
people just sit around looking at each
Lovett College Master Connie
Burke said she'd met about half the
Lovett freshmen so far and had been
'They talk a lot — they don't just
sit there like lumps," she said. "It's
Another Wiess freshman, Rob-
See FRESHMAN, Page 6
Martel Foundation to name Rice's ninth college
by Christof Spieler
THRESHER EDITORIAL STAFF
Within five years, Rice under-
graduates may find themselves
Rice's ninth college, currently
referred to as North College, will be
located near Jones and Brown Col-
leges and will be named by the
The tenth college, currently be-
ing called South College, will be
built behind Hanszen College.
The sites are the same as those
envisioned in the 1980s campus
master plan by architect Cesar Pelli,
who visited Rice in February for con-
Some members of the adminis-
tration had advocated locating both
colleges in the rugby field near Eri
Design of the colleges is currently
delayed due to new food service plan-
ning that includes shared eating ar-
eas, rather than kitchens specific to
£ach college. (See Story, page 4)
Meanwhile, a final design has
been chosen for the new humanities
Designed by architect Allan
Greenberg, the building will be lo-
cated along the Inner Loop next to
Rayzor Hall and Fondren Library.
Drawings are available on
Riceinfo at http://riceinfo.rice.edu/
maps/space/h u m/.
Fundraising for the Strategic
Plan, which calls for $300 million of
campus construction," is going well,
according to Associate Vice Presi-
dent for Development Scott Biddy.
Of the plan's $500 million in total
spending, $110 million has been
raised so far, including a $21.4 mil-
lion gift to the library and two recent
$15 million gifts.
According to Biddy, the Martel
Foundation's right to name the new
college comes not in return for a
specific gift, but in recognition of
the foundation's long-standing sup-
port of Rice, which includes a large
gift to the current campaign.
The new humanities building is
scheduled to be completed in 2000,
and construction of the first of the
colleges may begin during the spring
semester, followed by construction
of the South College and the recon-
struction of Wiess College.
The new graduate housing,
which will be built near campus on
Bissonnet, will break ground Fri-
changing the competitive structure
in the WAC, but we had no idea
[they] would consider breaking it
'The two-year time frame was
too short," he said. 'The conference
already solved some of frs problems,
and we absolutely felt that with more
time and more effort, the 16-team
format could've functioned effec-
Hawaii President Kenneth
Mortimer agreed. "I think the with-
drawal was hasty and ill-advised,"
he said. "We signed a five-year agree-
ment to experiment, if you will, with
a far-flung, 16-team league that had
never been tried, at least not in the
modern era. We knew we were tak-
ing a chance, but we also thought
that we could work it out under the
In reality, the 16-team conference
will have existed for three years.
The'originally scheduled 1998-'99
athletic year will be played out as if
The papers formally announcing
the intentions of the breakaway
schools were sent to the league's
offices and to the remaining eight
The 16 members of the WAC
Board of Directors held a confer-
ence callTuesday during which they
voted unanimously to enable the
eight departing members to resign
as members of the board in what
Rice President Malcolm Gillis called
See WAC, Page 1M
Dr. Amanda Schnee, director
of Health Services, dies at 51
by Susan Egeland
niKI SHLK EDITORIAL STAIT
Director of Student Health Ser-
vice Dr. Amanda Schnee died July
19 after suffering from full cardiac
arrest two days earlier. She went on
life support at St. Luke's Hospital
July 17, but never regained con-
Dr. Schnee, a Rice staff member
for 20 years, worked as one of two
full-time physicians in Health Ser-
vices and collaborated with the
Health Education Office to improve
the psychological and physical
health care provided to students.
Dr. Schnee, who would have turned
52 in December, is survived by her
husband and four daughters.
Lindley Doran, assistant dean of
student affairs for health programs,
worked with Schnee on many
projects. "She was lively and she
cared deeply about Rice students. I
saw her work, hard on many occa-
sions to try to break down adminis-
trative barriers and hassles for one
reason, to ensure that students got
the care she determined they
needed," she said."She look her
work as a physician very seriously
and was intent on providing this cam-
pus with excellent health care ser-
vices, despite having to work in
grossly inadequate physical space-
for 20 years," Doran said.
Students also expressed similar
• sentiments for Dr. Schnee. "She
was a wonderful physician, the kind
of doctor that I hope to someday
become," Brown senior Davi^l
Dr. Schnee's counterpart in
Health Services, Dr. Mark Jenkins
said, "The six years that I have spent
in partnership with Amanda at Rice
have been the most rewarding of my
professional career. Outside of work,
she was a loving and caring soul and
a good friend. Words cannot express
Dr. Amanda Schnee
the depth of feelings that 1 have a;
the loss of my friend and co-worker."
Doran said that Dr. Schnee's ulti-
mate contribution to Rice will be
realized after her death. "["Dr.
Schnee's] main goal was to get a
decent health center on campus, and
she achieved that," she said. 'There
will be a new health center in two to
three years, to include Health Ser-
vices, the Counseling Center and
the Health Education Office."
Plans have been made to fill Dr.
Schnee's position by early Novem-
ber. Dr. Jenkins will become the
new director, and Dr. Stacey Ware,
a board certified .internist in the
Houston area, will fill his position.
Dr. Schnee's family and Rice set
up the Dr. Amanda M. Schnee Stu-
dent H&ilth Service Memorial Fund
to help create the modern health
facility that Schnee envisioned. The
Development Office, MS-81, 3rd
floor Allen Center, is accepting all
donations. Rice will hold memorial
services for Dr. Schnee at 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 jn the Hanszen College quad,
outside of Health Services. All are
invited to attend.
Rice sues court to
Rice petitioned a Harris
County state district court Aug.
4 to strike a Restriction from its
charter that forbids the Univer-
sity from acquiring debt. The
clause limits the university's
ability to compete with schools
such as Harvard, Princeton,
Standford and Yale Universities
according to President Malcolm
Gillis. (See Story, p. 5)
OPINION Page 2
Check out freshman cartoonist
FEATURES Page 10
Guide to Houston restaurants
SPORT'S Page 12
Boyd named swimming coach
Hot and humid with a 10% chance
of snow, 65-82
Hotter than Saturday 90-100
Here’s what’s next.
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Stoler, Brian. The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 86, No. 1, Ed. 1 Friday, August 28, 1998, newspaper, August 28, 1998; Houston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth246624/m1/1/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Rice University Woodson Research Center.