Answered By: Amanda Focke Last Updated: Jul 16, 2015 Views: 150
Rice University's Fondren Library was named for Walter William and Ella Cochrum Fondren. Walter Fondren led Humble Oil from 1912 until his retirement in 1933. Humble Oil had become affiliated with Jersey Standard Oil in 1919, and sold petroleum products under the brands Esso, Enco and Humble. In 1972, the company became Exxon. Walter and Ella Fondren generously donated funds to build the Fondren Library at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In 1939, Walter Fondren passed away. In his memory, Ella Fondren and her children donated $1 million for the Fondren Library at Rice Institute (now Rice University). Neither of the Fondrens were alumni of Rice but they had an abiding interest in supporting education.