History

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Sid Richardson College (Sid) was established as the eighth residential college of Rice University. The funding of the building was a $2 million gift from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation in honor of Sid W. Richardson, a Texas oilman, cattleman, and philanthropist. The building was dedicated on October 16, 1971 by Lyndon B. Johnson, a close friend of Richardson.
 
Originally an all-­male dorm, Sid Rich was the last college to become co-­ed in 1987. Sid is the tallest building on campus, standing at 153 feet high. The college is a tower due to the limited land supply that was available on campus at the time of its construction. Since Sid is located on the edge of campus closest to the Texas Medical Center, the intention of the architects when designing the 14­-story structure was to allow Sid to serve as a transition from the buildings of moderate height on campus to the high­rise hospitals and offices of the medical center. Although Sid is 14 stories, there are only seven elevator stops due to the split level structure. Students can either live on the upper level or lower level of their floor.
 
Over the years, Sid has developed many traditions. One long-­held tradition of Sid was Oktoberfest. The tradition began in 1971 shortly after the dedication of Sid and continued yearly during Homecoming until 1997. The social event included a Biergarten, authentic German food, carnival booths, and sing­-a­longs with oompah and polka music performed by live bands. Oktoberfest took place in Sid’s outdoor country club, in the commons, and in the big room of the basement. After Oktoberfest ended in 1997, Sid 80s took its place as Sid’s annual fall public party. Sid has many other traditions including Night of Innocence, Hi­-liter, and Radio Free Sid.
 
Sid is home to under 300 students and is the smallest college people-­wise on campus. Aside from Sid's intimidating height, residents of Sid take pride in the long standing culture of their college, including its motto, Mors de Super, latin for Death from Above.


About Sid Richardson

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Sid Williams Richardson: 1891-1959

Sid W. Richardson was born on April 25, 1891 in Athens, Texas. Richardson became involved in cattle trading at an early age.  When Richardson was 8 years old, he made his first trade with his father. Following a profitable cattle trade at age 17, Richardson knew he wanted to have a career in trading. After attending college for a year and a half at Baylor University and Abilene’s Simmons College, Richardson made his way to the oil fields.

It is said that Richardson fluctuated from being broke to being a millionare based on the state of the oil market. Richardson began to make a fortune from the oild fields in West Texas after most oilmen moved to the recently discovered oild fields of East Texas. He continued to search in oil fields that were said to be dried up, and he made a breakthrough after discovering Keystone field in 1937. At Keystone field, Richardson drilled 285 wells, and only 17 of the wells were dry holes. His holdings in Keystone brought in at least $2 million annually.

On a train from Texas to Washington in 1940, Richardson met and befriended Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1952, Richardson traveled to Paris tro persuade Eisenhower, then NATO military commander, to run for the United States Presidency. Another close friend of Richardson’s was Lyndon B. Johnson, who gave the dedication speech of Sid W. Richardson College in 1971. After World War II ended, Richardson moved his oild field operations to Louisiana where he struck fortune again at Cox Bay. This success made Richardson the second wealthiest man in America,  just behind H. L. Hunt, another Texas oilman. Richardson was one of the 50 millionaires from Athens, Texas who were called “The New Athenians.:

Most of Richardson’s wealth came from his oil business, but he also played a role in 20 other businesses, including the Jack Collier Drug Store chain and several radio and TV stations in Texas. He was generous with his fortune, and he is known for his great philanthropy