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President Bush staged his administration's crowning event  at Rice.
1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations held   its plenary sessions and ceremonial events on campus
The location for the annual Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations rotates among the seven nations taking part.   In July, 1990, it was the United States' turn, and Houston was a favored  location as the President's home town.  It remained for the Bush staff to secure a venue, within Houston, which would serve as a fittingly aesthetic showplace for the conduct of the plenary meeting sessions and the official ceremonies.  Both President Bush and his Secretary of State, James A. Baker, had ties to Rice:  the President as a former adjunct professor of administration, and  Mr. Baker, as a grandson of James Addison Baker, one of the university's founders and chairman of its Board of Trustees for the first fifty years of its existence.  So the choice of Rice was a natural, and the old Institute campus performed splendidly.
A book could be written (and has been) about the preparation and carrying on of the event--the construction of conference tables, rearrangement of plantings, construction of platforms, general sprucing up, etc., etc., that was necessary to be carried out, as well as the actually unfolding of ceremonies and meetings.
summit7.jpg (17513 bytes)President Bush, and Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain,  Francois Mitterand of France,   Helmut Kohl of Germany, Brian Mulroney of Canada, Giulio Andreotti of Italy, and Toshiki Kaifu of Japan, along with European Community President Jacques Delors, presided over the conference.  The delegations, most of whom had visions of Texas as a treeless, arid, rural place with tumbleweeds rolling in the streets, marveled at the bucolic, verdant beauty of the Rice campus.  Security being as it was, the campus was tightly sealed, and the world leaders, with their staff members and a few selected members of the media, had the run of the campus like summer school attendees.
Since its founding in 1911, Rice has always comprised the premier  educational and cultural institution of Houston, now the nation's fourth-largest city.  Its sterling performance as host venue of the 1990 Economic Summit only served to cement that position further, as well as show the world what a beautiful garden the Texas Gulf Coast can turn out to be.
bushrice.jpg (23696 bytes)President Bush delivers opening address amid ruffles and flourishes in front of Lovett Hall
cnn.jpg (15731 bytes)Secretary of State Baker goes on CNN with Robert Novak and Wolf Blitzer.   (Yes, it was hot.)

For an excellent report on the 1990 Economic Summit, see John C. Boles, Rice University and the 1990 Summit of Industrialized Nations (Rice University Press, 1991) , from which the above photos were taken.

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