If you would like to see my copy of the dinner menu of a testimonial dinner given by Dr. Ross Lence’s students in his honor, click on the hyperlink above. In order to save space I moved the emblem that was on the outside jacket of the menu to a prominent place in the middle of the two page menu. Due to my lack of technical prowess the menu should be printed.
I was present at the Crown Room, Warwick Hotel, Houston, Texas, on November 29, 1976. The fifteen students sponsoring the dinner were dressed in tuxedos and part of the money raised for the event paid for the good doctor’s tuxedo and dinner. It was a surprise testimonial dinner in honor of the Dr. Lence’s tenure at U of H. The only way to obtain the proper measurements for the good doctor’s tux was to enter into a conspiracy with Dr. Lence’s mother, Nickie.
Nickie Lence supplied the information related to garment size and aided the cabal. The unsuspecting Dr. Lence was hustled into wearing a tuxedo which mysteriously appeared out of his closet and escorted to the Warwick hotel by unknown students. (My suspicions are that Michael Jackson and Joel Jessee were the culprits) The party, with Dr. Lence in tow, arrived at the Crown Room on schedule. The giant, floor to ceiling doors, opened to a hearty, “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”, chorus after chorus rang out in a thunderous volume from the well lubricated throats of energized students. Colleagues, fans from across the country sent letters that were read out loud to cheers and applause. Telegrams were read out loud from friends around the world. The fete lasted long into the night.
The students, young men, did not gain a pound from the rich food. Never had I seen such a dazzling array, nor experienced the delights of a formal dinner. The emotional heights of admiration, and honor were in my memory etched for ever.
There were many Lenceinans, who for reasons of their own could not attend, and thus, missed the opportunity to give something special to Dr. Lence. I never heard him discuss the evening thereafter. He may have been a little embarrassed by all of the blowviating-hoo-rah, and uncomfortable with the public display of raw appreciation. However, I suspect that down deep he liked the attention, the formality, the ceremony; where he received the small token of appreciation from his students in a formal, ceremonial and somewhat dignified manner.