Welcome to the Thresher centennial magazine. Rice recently celebrated its centennial in 2012, so it should come as no surprise that the Thresher is soon after celebrating its own 100-year anniversary. In 1916, a group of nine students — six men and three women — belonging to various literary societies began the Thresher as a fortnightly-published paper “for the students and by the students,” and the legacy thankfully lives on today. This magazine is a celebration of those who have come before us.
However, this anniversary has also been an opportunity to take a critical look at the paper over time, up to and including the present day. From articles on the Thresher’s role in integration at Rice to the controversial history of the Backpage, we aim to cover the Thresher as the newspaper would cover any other institution on campus. Understandably, this is a near-impossible task — please hold us accountable to our own reporting standards and let us know what we have missed. And if you spot any typos ... well, thats what makes the Thresher the Thresher.
At such an important time in Thresher history, I want to return to a moment in fairly recently history that illustrates the Thresher’s potential as both a publication of record and positive force on campus. During the 1990 World Economic Summit held at Rice, the Thresher invited the editors of 15 college newspapers from around the world to cover the forum and coordinated their stays on campus. They all received press credentials, mingling with professional journalists and providing critical coverage from the student perspective. It was a major success, according to Rice history professor (and unofficial Rice historian) John Boles.
Moving forward, the Thresher must remember its role at the summit and other important moments in the history of the university: to represent the student voice in the face of change. Without the Thresher, more stones would go unturned and the primary outlet for student debate would be ... Facebook. (Who are we kidding? It already is.)
Even if you do not regularly pick up the Thresher, I hope you will find something in here that surprises you, makes you think differently or at least entertains you. It’s what’s sustained us for the last 100 years, and it will see us through the next 100.