Formal Opening, 1912
September 23, 1912, fifty-nine students matriculated at the Rice Institute. Roughly one third were women, most were from Houston, with a few being from other Texas towns and one from Louisiana. Classes began four days later. On October 10, 11 and 12, 1912, the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Art and Science held its inaugural festival, with academic and social events attended by representatives from over 100 colleges and universities, both foreign and domestic. Speeches delivered by international scholars were later published in the Rice Institute Pamphlets, Volume 1 (1915).
On the final day of the Formal Opening, President Lovett delivered his vision for Rice Institute in the form of a speech, "The Meaning of the New Institution." In it, he proclaimed, "For the present it is proposed to assign no upper limit to its educational endeavor."