I travel frequently on behalf of Rice, both in my role as the ARA president and as the Jones Graduate School of Business’ executive director for recruiting and admissions. Wherever I go — Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle or even Calgary — I meet alumni who are accomplishing incredible feats through their work and service, as well as others who know Rice through the impactful research of our alumni, faculty and students. For a small university with just over 50,000 living alumni, Rice has a remarkable reach.
During Families Weekend in October, I had the honor of distributing Rice Rings to a large number of our Owls (many of whom will one day further Rice’s worldwide reputation for game-changing research). What a fantastic occasion! Students and families were often happily surprised that those handing out the prized boxes were none other than Rice alumni. This is what makes Rice Rice. Many thanks to the alumni volunteers — including the one who came all the way from Washington, D.C! — who gave up their Friday evening to personally hand students their rings and congratulate them on their accomplishments. Seeing the joy of parents and students as they celebrated this milestone was truly memorable for me, as it reminded me of the sacrifice that all families make to support their children’s education. I’m just proud that the students chose Rice.
Of course, one of the big reasons that students choose to come here is that Rice is a leading research university committed to bolstering its competitive edge and positioning its students and faculty for success. Just three months ago, Rice announced plans to invest over $150 million in molecular technology research, data sciences and university-wide assets — such as postdoctoral programs, grant-writing support and funding for high-risk, high-return initiatives. It will be exciting for all of us to see the impact that this investment will have on the university in the years to come.
As Rice Alumni, we all have the opportunity to help advance research at Rice. Spread the word about Rice by sharing your stories and achievements. Encourage and guide current students by volunteering to be a mentor. And proclaim your pride beyond the hedges!