Wiess School of Natural Sciences
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Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Earth Science
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Physics & Astronomy


1910 - 1919

History 1910-1919


William Marsh Rice Institute opens with Lovett at its helm. Joining him are 12 faculty, 48 male and 29 female students. Founding departments include biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics.

1912 H.A. Wilson is hired by Edgar Odell Lovett as the first chair of the Physics Department. He served the University with distinction for 40 years. An important part of Wilson’s work was the development of Rice Institute into a university and an important center of research. Wilson’s professional interests ranged from practical problems such as oil cracking and sound perception, to the theory of relativity and the structure of the nucleus.
1912 Biology begins at Rice with the appointment of Julian Huxley as biology professor. Huxley made many important contributions to the fields of ethology, ecology and cancer research, and acted as a powerful proponent of neo-Darwinism.

Percy Daniell (Mathematics) develops and expands a generalized theory of integration and differentiation now known as 'Daniel Integral".

1912 G. C. Evans pioneered the use and measure and integration in potention theory and development of mathematical models of economics.

Joseph Davies comes to Rice in 1914 to serve as Julian Huxley’s lab assistant. While working full time he obtained his B.A., M.S., and eventually his Ph.D. in 1937, when he also became a member of the Rice faculty. He became renowned for his captivating teaching style and was noted for his knowledge of local flora and fauna.


Harry Boyer joins the Chemistry Department as lecturer. He later becomes professor (1919), and Dean (1933).


Rice's first commencement: 35 bachelor's degrees and one master's degree are awarded.


Former Cambridge professor Julian Huxley leads the biology department while advocating the then-controversial theories of evolution and equal rights for women.


First Rice Ph.D. is awarded to Hubert Bray in mathematics. Bray becomes a professor at Rice and later, chair of the mathematics department. He is named "Trustees' Distinguished Professor of Mathematics" for his long service to Rice (1960).