Rice University Sells Willy’s Statue to MFAH

Every year at Rice University, the week before Beer Bike is marked as Willy Week, named after William Marsh Rice. The week is packed with events, water balloon fillings, and pranks, also known as Jacks. Sometimes jacks at Rice are fun and inspired, such as the rotation of the statue of William Marsh Rice.  (a pdf of another article about Rice university jacks).

But sometimes, the jacks are simply awful. And not awful as in boring, but awful as in stupid, dangerous, and not entertaining. Like the time when some guys rigged up fishing line at neck level along bike paths. Hilarious!

So given this mixed history, I’m glad to see some subversive jacks this year. According to an e-mail from KTRU, the statue of William Marsh Rice was jacked in a KTRU-related commentary.

“Hey KTRU,

Hanszen jacked Willy pretty good. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out.

For those of you who have seen it and were wondering what the Latin meant, here’s my best guesses (3 years of Latin in high school finally paying off):

“noli vendere quod non tuum”: I am not to sell what is not mine

“vae te”: woe is you

“oryzae universitas nostra est”: Rice University is ours

“minum penum habes”: well, I’ll let you guess what that one means

Joey “

I was able to find some pictures of the jack on Facebook:


Wrapping things in other things is a classic prank for some reason


However, the best part of the jack may be the apparent sale of the statue to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston:

“President Leebron

We’ve enjoyed the pleasure of working with you. Your sale will greatly benefit the museums, strengthening the ties between Rice and the larger Houston community. We look forward to seeing you at the official unveiling ceremony April 11 at the Cullen Sculpture Garden.”

Either way, $2,370,000 is a pretty good price for the statue. I don’t know why the university didn’t sell it earlier. The statue is obviously an underutilized resource, and I’m sure they can somehow force the university to create some internships for a few years.

4 responses to “Rice University Sells Willy’s Statue to MFAH

  1. “noli vendere quod non tuum” actually translates more directly as “don’t sell what isn’t yours”

    cus i had FOUR years of latin in high school, bam.

  2. “noli vendere quod non tuum” actually translates even more more directly as “be unwilling to sell what isn’t yours”
    cus i have a degree in Latin and I know my imperatives, bam.
    Also, ‘vae te’ is more commonly used by Latin nerds to mean ‘fuck you’

  3. maybe next year they can wrap up Leebron’s house with an additional bill of sale

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