Thursday, February 17, 2011


Affectionately known as Willy, the William Marsh Rice statue sits proudly in the Academic Quad of Rice University. Formally known as Founder’s Memorial, it is actually also a tomb as the ashes of the university founder are deposited in its base.

It was also the focal point of one of the school’s most legendary pranks. In April of 1988, eleven students were able to lift and rotate the 2000lb statue leaving him facing in the opposite direction. All without the use of a crane.

On the 20th anniversary of their prank, the group of clever pranksters relived the task and announced the establishment of the Willy Revolution Engineering Undergraduate Innovation and Excellence Fund, which was started with their combined contributions of $138,000 going towards supporting the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

1 comment:

  1. Willy looks clean, scrubbed, or the pigeons have flown the coop.