This year, members of the Class of 1977 are looking forward to celebrating our 40th reunion. While that reunion will be a special occasion for those of us whose tenure at Rice encompassed events such as the resignation of President Nixon, the end of the Vietnam War and the appearance of a modest little video game called Pac Man, I’ve realized that my class’s 40th reunion is just one of many milestones that will be celebrated this year within Rice’s community of students, parents and alumni.
One of the most meaningful of these milestones is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the residential college system. I think it’s safe to say that if the residential college system had not been embraced and nourished by generations of Owls, the Rice experience for most of us would have been profoundly different. For some students, the colleges provided a forgiving platform for testing their wings in activities ranging from dramatic performances to intramural competitions to self-government. But, even if your personal path did not lead you to take part in organized programs of that sort, your college may have provided an important network of friendship and support as you navigated the ups and downs of life at Rice.
This edition of the All-Alumni Newsletter also celebrates milestones relating to several other features of life at Rice that help give our university its unique personality. For example, you can enjoy the story of Sammy’s evolution as he turns 100 years old, and sample the fascinating stories of those who were recently honored at the 80th installment of the Laureates Awards Dinner. Many of you will no doubt have your own stories concerning these and other Rice milestones, so I invite you to share them so that they can be included on our alumni stories page.
Many thanks to everyone who joined us on May 13 for this year’s Laureates Awards Dinner where we honored a remarkable group of people for their extraordinary achievements and their contributions to Rice. I congratulate these 2017 Laureates for representing the very best of Rice. If you were unable to attend this event, you can view brief videos telling the stories of each of our Laureates here.
As another summer unfolds, members of our newest group of incoming students are looking forward to beginning their lives at Rice. For several years, my wife Jane and I have enjoyed getting to know many students and their parents at the New Student Celebrations held in our hometown of Austin. Our alumni are playing an increasingly important role as mentors for Rice students, and celebrations like this — which are held in communities all over the country — are a great opportunity for alumni to show our support to new students and parents as they embark upon their Rice adventures. To get involved, visit this page and sign up today to attend a New Student Celebration near you; I promise that you will find it to be an enjoyable and meaningful experience.