April 25, 2010
Rice University rededicated the Owls' track and field complex on Saturday, officially changing the name to Holloway Field and Ley Track, prior to the start of the 2010 J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet.
The rededication was in recognition of gift from the estate of former Southwest Conference sprint champion Edward Holloway and his wife, Naomi "Petie" Guion Holloway, both from the Rice class of 1933, for the resurfacing of the track with a new blue BSS 300 synthetic surface from Beynon Sports Systems. The track was installed over the winter and made its debut at the Victor Lopez Classic in March.
The Holloways left $6.6 million to the Rice Centennial Campaign. Nearly $4.4 million of their gift will be used to establish a need-based endowed scholarship fund with another $1.3 million to be used towards and endowed fund that will support yearly contributions to the Rice Annual Fund. The remaining $880,000 paid for resufacing of the track at the Track/Soccer Stadium and to set up an endowed scholarship for track and field athletes.
Edward Holloway received a B.S. in physical education and was a physical education instructor during his senior year. He was a member of the track team throughout his years at Rice and won a total of three Southwest Conference sprint titles. He captured the 220-yard dash title in both 1931 and 1932 and added the 100-yard dash crown in 1932. He also was a member of the "R" Association. Edward spent most of his career working for the Coca-Cola Co., where he retired as marketing controller. He died in 1985.
Petie Hollowya graduated with a B.A. degree. She was a typist on the Campanile staff and was also involved with the Cranmer Club, May Fete and the "R" and Quill Association. She collected all sorts of owls, including ceramics, stuffed animals, paintings, knickknacks, sweaters and other clothing. She died January of 2009. The Holloways had no children.
Over the years the Holloways were loyal supporters of the Rice Annual Fund and the track program. A longtime friend of the Holloways' recalled that their basement was like a shrine to Rice -- filled with Rice memorabilia and photos of Edward at various track events.
The upgrades to the track add a new chapter to a facility that has hosted Owls athletic teams in competition since the debut of intercollegiate athletics in 1912. The Rice football team played its games on the infield area of the track from 1912-1949 before the opening of Rice Stadium, while Rice's first basketball teams played in the Field House which was located at the East end of the track before moving into Autry Court in 1950.