Illustration by Nicky Ackland-Snow

I loved the Spring 2017 issue’s article on “Mapping the Questions.” I studied history as an undergrad at Rice, and I’ve always been fascinated by maps; this article really nailed the intersection of the two. I recently completed an MBA program in which I took a special interest in storytelling in a business context. I would have loved to have taken the new course in spatial humanities had it been offered while I was at Rice.
— Kyle Clarke ’10


In reference to the article “Mapping the Questions,” please also refer to the book by my fellow School of Architecture alumnus William (Bill) Rankin (Rice class of 2000 and 2002): “After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century,” as well as his fabulous website,, which has relevant work.
— Maureen Hull ’00


I was a bit disappointed at the gratuitous disparagement of the food service during the Central Kitchen era, such as during my tenure at Rice from 1968 to 1972. I realize this was before the days of college “serveries” that now cater to over-finicky palates of today’s students — some might say “spoiled,” what with demands for “Thai-chili meatballs, chorizo tacos, watermelon beet salad and hoisin-glazed eggplant.”

It was also in the days when the costs of college had not skyrocketed out of sight. Eating the Central Kitchen food was like barracks living in the military, a small- “d” democratizing experience. I can assure you that no one flunked Physics 100 because of the food; staying up all night playing bridge was the usual cause of that.

The Central Kitchen and residential college kitchens were staffed by very fine people doing an excellent job of providing nourishing food at a reasonable cost. My fellow grubs and I had the privilege of working closely with dedicated food-service ladies such as Annie Noel, Wanda Chevalier, Bernice Smith and others.

Your photo of the chocolate-dipped donuts with toasted meringue reminded me of the cream puffs we had in our era. These would be brought to the table after the main course by a freshman waiter, accompanied by the bewildering order from the table’s upperclassman host for “five no-coffees and six no-teas, and that doesn’t count what you don’t want,” necessitating some quick combinatorial analysis and pre-Math 100 subtraction by the bemused freshman waiter. Freshmen waiting tables was, again, a democratizing experience.

I just wanted you to have a different perspective on Rice’s “dining revolution.”
— John Wallace ’72


Our household gets alumni magazines from Rice, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University, Bowdoin College and Northwestern University. (Don’t ask — that’s just the two of us, not our 10 children!). This is so outstanding, innovative and motivating.
— Suzy Rhodes Casey ’62