The Bob Quin Award
Robert Pilcher Quin,
a vibrant and charismatic athlete and scholar visited us briefly and touched many people in his short life.His excellence in the classroom, on the playing field and in the hearts of his friends, prompted them to memorialize him because of his unique quality of life
and of giving. Each year since his death at age 19, a sophomore athlete at Rice,
the Bob Quin award is given to the outstanding male athlete at Rice, considering
all aspects of his abilities, character and accomplishments.
The award, in the form of a gold medal, represents the most prestigious honor which can be conferred on a male athlete at Rice, and has been given each
year, without interruption, since 1931, to the senior male athlete who most exemplifies the distinction in sportsmanship, leadership, service to the University, scholarship and athletics, which earned Bob Quin a similar award at Episcopal High School in Virginia.
Bob Quin's 14 friends who initiated the award were W.W. Murphy, Jr., John C. Ridley, Reuben R. Albaugh, Philip Renn,
Gordon B. Nicholson, Lindsey Short, H.W. Cortes, Thomas D. McGown, Malcolm Cummings, Herbert W. Varner, Spencer Scott, F.W. Kohlhausen, Sidney S. Bailey and Thomas W. Ford. They specified that the award winner is to be selected by a five member committee, and it is currently made up of the President of the University, the Provost, Chair of the Rice University Athletic Committee, Student Association President, and the representative of the College Presidents.
Even though only a freshman, Bob Quin was the center of focus
for his friends and fellow students. His leadership qualities and high moral and ethical standards, placed him at the fore of any group with which he might associate. His kindness and generosity radiated from him as surely as his steadfastness of loyalty to his friends and family. An athlete, scholar and leader all of his life, his untimely death left those who knew him focused on honoring his accomplishments and his legacy of forthrightness and his commitment to excellence in all that he did.
The 1932 Rice yearbook - "The Campanile" describes the first presentation of the Bob Quin award in saying, "Lee Sharrar, acting dean, paid tribute to the memory of Robert P. Quin, son of Bishop and Mrs. Clinton S. Quin, star football and basketball man who died enroute to France on a vacation trip in July, 1930. Sharrar announced 'The Bob Quin award' to be given each year to the student who most nearly measures up to the ideals of campus leadership, scholarship, and sportsmanship, as exemplified by Quin. Dick Jamerson, star halfback of Donna, was awarded the medal for the first time." Here are the students who have been judged as "measuring up" over the years since then:
Bob Quin Award Recipients
* Please click on underlined names above to learn about them.
The 2018 Bob Quin Award was presented to Scott Filip at the Night of the Owl and you can click on his photo to see some of his action photos and to learn about Scott and his achievements that led to his being awarded the Bob Quin.|
Following is an article from the Summer, 1998 edition of the Sallyport Owlmanac, written by Tracey Rhoades, and it is titled, "The Mighty Bob Quin":
"Vince Buckley wasn't the first to receive the Bob Quin Award - nor the last. But, those who are chosen have quite an extraordinary standard to live up to.
Established in 1931, the Bob Quin Award has been presented to Rice's most worthy male athletes. Selection is based on excellence in not only athletics but sportsmanship, leadership, service to the university, and scholastic achievements. The award is conferred by the "R" Association at the end of each scholastic year to a graduating senior. Since its inception, the Bob quin Award has grown to be one of the most notable honors a Rice athlete can receive and serves as a living legacy to a remarkable individual.
Robert Pilcher "Bob" Quin, the son of Bishop and Mrs. Clinton S. Quin, was a student at Rice for only a year. Educated in Houston through junior high, Quin, as well, as his brother, Clinton S. Quin Jr. '47, attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria,
Virginia. "Although my father loved Texas, he thought it was important that we experience life in another state," Eleanor Quin "Derby" Hirst '31 explains. "My brothers were sent to Virginia, and my sister, Dorothy Quin McWhirter '35, and I went to Cathedral School in Washington, D.C."
While in high school, Quin established himself as a high achiever. His contributions to athletics, academics, and leadership didn't go unnoticed, and in 1929, he was recognized as the most outstanding senior in his graduating class.
Returning to Houston, Quin matriculated at Rice in 1929 and easily acclimated to college life. During his freshman year, he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball and was a leader in many other campus activities. "He was a much admired young man," remembers Catherine Long Randolph '31, "and gifted in every way."
Following his momentous freshman year, Quin joined his family on an oceanic voyage to Europe. Quin became very ill aboard the ship and died four hours before landing in France. "At the time of his death, Bob was in perfect health," Hirst says. "Nobody
would have ever suspected that he would never make it back from the trip." Quin's illness was later diagnosed as typhoid fever.
Soon after Quin's untimely death, his contemporaries decided to create an award in his memory. They deposited $250 into a trust fund and, using the criteria that had earned Quin the Episcopal High School Award in 1929, laid the foundation for the Bob Quin Award. In the bequest to the university, the donors requested that a five-member committee select one student each year "whose qualities and personality guide and stimulate his fellow students in every activity" and present him with a medal purchased from the fund's annual interest.
By spring 1931, less than a year after Quin's death, the Bob Quin Award had become reality. Dick Jamerson, a former teammate of Quin's, was the first to be recognized with the award, a 10-karat gold medal. Every year, until their deaths, Quin's parents
participated in the award ceremony. "My father and mother felt it was important to meet each individual receiving the award," Hirst says, "and share special memories of Bob with them."
Through the years, recipients of the Bob Quin Award continue to embody the qualities set forth by the award's originators, and their achievements are innumerable. As a track and field standout, Adam Reiser, the 1998 award winner, attracted global attention when he managed to collect, ship, and distribute more than 500 pairs of used running shoes to needy young runners in Kenya. Other notable recipients include Harry Fouke '35, a former football player and longstanding athletic director at the University of Houston; Dick Chapman '54, Rice's first Academic All-American; Fred Hansen '63, a gold medal pole vault winner in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics; and Leland Winston '69, who subsequently became the Rice team doctor.
Since 1931, the Bob Quin Award has been presented annually, without interruption. Hirst remarks, "I am so pleased the award is still given. Bob would be so proud."
The Bob Quin Award - a worthy memorial to one of Rice's greats."
Episcopal High School
The Bob Quin Award was modeled after the award that Bob Quin received his senior year at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he excelled as an athlete, scholar and student leader. The award, which is still given annually today, is called the Rhinehart Prize, and was named for three Rhinehart brothers who attended EHS. It was first given in 1915, and was endowed by members of the Rhinehart family until sometime in the 1970s.
Episcopal High School records indicate that Bob Quin lettered in football (playing both offense and defense), basketball and baseball, and was the only "rat", or freshman, to letter in 1927. In addition to athletics, he was also a member of the EHS choir. Below is a sample of coverage Bob Quin received in the EHS yearbook, "Whispers", regarding his outstanding accomplishments.
SCHOLARSHIP - NEW
In June, 1999, a Bob Quin scholarship was established to honor the
memory of Bob Quin, and to enable generations of young athletes to realize their outstanding
potential. In 2001, the scholarship was awarded for the first time, to Alexis Pourchet,
a promising sophomore tennis player from Paris, France. Alexis is shown in the photo to the right. In the years since this scholarship was established, there has been a new
recipient each year. It is awarded to a male athlete, based on need and selected by the Athletic Department at Rice. Below is information telling you
how you can support it.
If you are interested in making a gift to the Bob Quin Scholarship Fund, either
mail, fax or email your commitment to:
Rice University Athletic Dept. MS548
P. O. Box 1892
Houston TX 77251-1892
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