William Vermillion Houston, former professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, begins his tenure as the Institute's 2nd president. On March 4, Lovett introduces his successor to Rice faculty, staff and students. On April 10, 1947, Rice celebrates Houston's formal inauguration.
Houston begins an ambitious plan to upgrade Rice's programs and facilities. During his tenure, he revamps the curriculum by introducing core courses in academics or science/egineering divisions and demands that all students choose a major subject of concentration after 2 years. Houston reorganizes the admissions process by requiring an entrance exam, personal interviews and letters of recommendation. He encourages graduate applicants by offering stipends. When increasing the faculty, he remembers Lovett's example and seeks outstanding scholars who are also inspiring teachers. His post-War building campaign is the most extensive since the 1920s.