On September 26, 1962, the trustees vote unanimously to file suit requesting permission to amend the university's charter. For some time, students, faculty and trustees have been discussing provisions that limit attendance to white applicants and prevent charging tuition, while Rice's attorneys at Baker, Botts, Shepherd & Coates have been preparing legal arguments supporting a request to reinterpret the trust language.

Finally, on February 21, 1963, Rice's legal team files its request to amend the charter, alleging that William Marsh Rice's dominant intention was to create an academic institution of the "highest order." The lawyers adopt an argument advanced by Captain James A. Baker to the Board in 1941: the charter restrictions excluding non-whites and forbidding tuition are making it impossible to carry out the founder's overarching purpose; vast changes in the nation and in higher education make it imperative the trustees be relieved of their duty to enforce these 2 provisions.

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