Ray Watkin Strange
Ray Watkin Strange, William Ward Watkin's eldest child, served Rice in many areas, working on university committees, permanently endowing the William Ward Watkin Traveling Scholarship in Architecture, and supporting the Rice University Archives named in honor of her parents.
Ray Watkin Hoagland Strange was born Annie Ray Watkin on May 11, 1915, the first child of parents William Ward Watkin and Annie Ray Townsend Watkin in Houston, TX at the Watkin residence, 5009 Caroline. She was home schooled through second grade by her mother and then entered the Kinkaid School (San Jacinto at Elgin) where she graduated from the tenth grade. The family traveled to France in 1928-29 for her father to study architecture. In 1930 she entered Chatham Hall, an Episcopal Preparatory School in Chatham, VA and majored in American history. She attended Rice Institute from Sept. 1932 to June 1936, graduating with a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts with a major in French. She was queen of Rice Institute's Archi-Arts Ball in 1936 and the same year was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Ray pursued a master of arts degree in the history of art at Rice Institute under the auspices of the School of Architecture and professor James Chillman. She received her MA in 1944. Ray served as secretary of the Houston chapter of the American Red Cross through 1945 and as Red Cross Arts and Skills Corps Chairman in 1947. She was involved in managing the Watkin family land and oil properties all over the states of Texas and Louisiana. In 1961 married Henry W. Hoagland, spending time between Boston, Houston, Kennebunkport, ME and Tucson, AZ. Following Hoagland's death, Ray married Robert F. Strange on Jan. 25, 1997. The couple lived in Brenham, TX until Mr. Strange died in 2001. Mrs. Strange lived in Houston, TX until her death in 2011.
Mrs. Strange served on many committees at Rice and helped to establish several foundations. Ray formed the Rice Alumni History Committee in 1975, now the Alumni Archives Committee, and permanently endows the William Ward Watkin Traveling Scholarship in Architecture. In 1975, she organized an alumni history committee to interview important professors and alumni. She served on the Rice History Committee that edited and underwrote the first official history of Rice, A History of Rice University: The Institute Years 1907-1963, by Fredericka Meiners (1982). She established the William Ward Watkin Endowed Chair in Architecture in 1999. She was an honorary board member of the Rice Historical Society and has underwritten a book on Capt. James A. Baker's role in the development of Rice. Mrs. Strange donated materials and support to the Rice University Archives (named in honor of her parents as the "William Ward Watkin and Annie Ray Watkin University Archives") at the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.