Lot 455: Small but fascinating archive of Hughes's student records from his brief time at the Rice Institute, now known as Rice University, consisting of five pages of material related to the admissions process and a report card from his single semester at Rice. The admissions information includes letters by Samuel Day Thacher, who founded the prep school Hughes attended, and R. C. Kuldell, his father's close friend and the head executive of Hughes Tool. Thacher's letter, to "J. L. Kuldel" at Hughes Tool, in part: "Confidently endorse Howard Hughes's statement of work done by him. He is an exceptionally fine scholar amply prepared for any college…The Rice Institute people would be glad to admit Howard, I am sure, if they knew how excellent a scholar he is. His record with us…was distinctly better than any of out sixty (60) school boys." The letter from Kuldell forwards Thacher's letter to include in Hughes's application and reads, in part: "I am doing my best to keep Howard's friends, some of whom are on the Rice board of directors, from taking any action as he and I both feel that he can make the entrance requirements by hard work and any other method of entering would be distasteful." Additional admissions material includes three pages of his examination scores: the first two, administered by the College Entrance Examination Board in June 1922–23, record his scores in six exams, mostly in the 80s range; the third is a report of his Rice Institute entrance exams in September 1923, for which he earned four-and-a-half credits. Hughes's Rice Institute report card is also present, indicating his scores in six subjects for just one term for the 1923–24 school year and noting "Feb. 1924—Withdrew." In overall fine condition, with expected document wear. After Howard Hughes, Sr., passed away on January 14, 1924, Hughes withdrew from Rice to enjoy a lavish playboy lifestyle with his inherited wealth, taking off for Hollywood to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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