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During the 1930s President Lovett and the trustees put bold plans on hold as Rice and the nation experience the Great Depression. Losses to endowment income, by far the main source of operating funds, bring an end to expansion. After struggling to meet budgetary needs, the trustees vote to cut faculty salaries, reduce funds for the library and the athletics program and eliminate some assistantships and fellowships. Freshman enrollment drops as students can no longer afford to attend college, and faculty size falls from 73 in 1930 to 64 in 1940 but finally reaches 100 in 1950.

Despite these cutbacks, the decade is a golden age for athletic teams. The Owls win conference championships in football, basketball, track and golf.


Aerial view of Rice Institute campus in 1930s. Hermann Hospital in foreground.
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