Floyd Seyward Lear teaches history at Rice from 1925-1975. He is named as the 1st Harris Masterson Jr. Professor of History in 1953, chairs the history department from 1933 to 1960 and becomes a Trustees Distinguished Professor in 1965. Lear teaches a wide range of courses, including ancient and medieval literature and history (his areas of expertise), political theory and American history. He is instrumental in developing Rice’s graduate program in history. In addition, he takes a personal interest in his students, counting many among his friends, and remains involved in their intellectual development after they leave his classroom. He encourages many of his students to pursue academic careers.