The holiday season is upon us, and this month’s All-Alumni Newsletter brings a great gift for every Rice alum: highlights from the Woodson Research Center’s outstanding collection of items spanning back to the beginning of Rice Institute. You’ll have to head back to Fondren and visit Woodson in person to appreciate fully the wealth of the collection, but I also encourage you to visit their website, especially if you, like me, live outside of Houston. I’ve particularly enjoyed perusing the online Thresher archive, through which you can search and read issues starting with issue No. 1 from 1916. It’s a great way to see Rice’s history, remember what was happening when you were there and see more recent history since you departed.
The Association of Rice Alumni Board of Directors has been busy in recent months. As I reported in my last letter, our task forces are working hard on a variety of issues of import to alumni. One key area of focus is Sallyportal, Rice’s online networking platform. Sallyportal has gotten off to a great start, with thousands of active users who are making connections every day, and the board is dedicated to making it even better and more useful. For example, I hope that you’ve seen one of the most recent additions, the Alumni Job Board. If you are looking for a job, we encourage you to take a look; if you or your company has an opening, we encourage you to post the position. You can expect more enhancements like the job board as we continue our work to make Sallyportal the best possible tool for enhancing the Rice network.
We’ve also been busy with some of our most important alumni events. Current and former alumni board members had the privilege of handing out Rice Rings to students at this year’s Ring Celebration during Families Weekend. There are few things more fun than meeting Rice’s soon-to-be alumni and seeing their excitement when they receive their rings. Of course, Homecoming & Reunion was once again the signature Rice alumni event, and this year it included our first-ever All-Alumni Town Hall, featuring myself speaking about the work of the board and President Leebron speaking about the Vision for the Second Century, Part Two (V2C2). If you missed the town hall, you can view video of our remarks here. My thanks go to President Leebron for being a part of this new event and to our indefatigable Homecoming & Reunion Co-chairs, John Casbarian ’69, ’72, Natalye Appel ’80, ’82, and Andrew Lin ’02, for their work in helping make this year’s Homecoming & Reunion Weekend a success.
I’ll close this holiday season letter by mentioning our regional holiday parties. In just a few short years, thanks in large part to the work of alumni volunteers, the number of parties has grown from a few to more than a dozen. If you are interested in helping make our slate of regional holiday parties even better in 2018, please let us know.