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Welcome to the ARA's Stories Section!

Alumni Making an Impact
Features alumni who are making a difference for Rice on campus and in their communities.

Alumni in the News
Highlights stories that are gathered from the media through the hard work of the ARA's Alumni Recognition Committee, which recognizes and celebrates achievements of Rice alumni, faculty, students, staff and university friends by sending hand-written notes and emails. If you are interested in volunteering for the committee, contact Tara Quell, assistant director, alumni relations at 713-348-4694.

Eight Rice Milestones Every Owl Should Know

In case you haven’t noticed, Rice is in the midst of celebrating a string of significant milestones. During this special time in the life of the university, we want to pause and recognize each of these occasions. As you read this list, consider what they mean to you — as well as your own personal milestones in relation to Rice — and share your stories with us.


The first Asian graduate: 100 years

Rice’s first Asian graduate, Rudolfo Hulen Fernandez, matriculated with the university’s very first class in 1912 and graduated in 1917. A year-long celebration in honor of 100 years of Asian undergraduate life at Rice kicked off in January, and featured presentations, performances and a variety of foods from Asian and Southeast Asian culinary traditions. 

(Fernandez is pictured standing in the back row, first from the left.)


Sammy is born: 100 years

Rice’s beloved mascot first received his name in 1917 during an infamous Texas A&M kidnapping. Check out this Rice News story from 2014 that gives an in-depth history of Sammy’s evolution throughout the years.


Laureates Awards: 80 years

In 1937, William Marsh Rice Jr., nephew of William Marsh Rice and long-time Board of Trustees member, was honored at the very first Laureates Awards ceremony. This year, we honored 12 accomplished individuals at the 80th annual Laureates Awards Dinner for their contributions to Rice and the distinction they bring to the alumni community. Watch the Laureates videos to learn more about the 2017 honorees. If you would like to submit a nomination for the 2018 Laureates Awards, click here and complete a nomination form by Sept. 29, 2017. 

(Sue Oldham '90 presents Dennis Huston with the 2017 Gold Medal Award.)  


The residential colleges: 60 years

Rice’s residential college system turns 60 this year, and Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson had this to say about the importance of the colleges and how they help to define undergraduate life on campus:

"Having attended the first two international conferences on residential college systems, I can say without reservation that Rice is truly exceptional in the depth of our commitment to student self-governance, faculty engagement and universal inclusiveness. Our colleges provide unique opportunities for leadership development and community-based problem solving. Most importantly, the tradition of junior and senior students supporting the first- and second-year students in myriad ways in each college is the essence of Rice's culture of care."


Black undergraduate life: 50 years

Last year, the university community recognized 50 years of black undergraduate life at Rice with a yearlong series of events, culminating in October’s Blueprint for Excellence Gala. If you haven’t yet watched the celebration video that was debuted at the gala, see it here.


Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies: 50 years

In April, the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies celebrated 50 years of lifelong learning with “A Festival of Curiosity,” an all-day event featuring hands-on activities, food trucks, a performance by the Rice Marching Owl Band and presentations from guest lecturers.   


KTRU: 50 years

1967 was a special year for music: the Beatles released “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the Jimi Hendrix Experience released their debut album “Are You Experienced” and Rice students began transmitting tunes over the airwaves from the basement of Hanszen College with a two-watt transmitter. 


Rice 360° Institute for Global Health: 10 years  

Bioengineer Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice’s Malcolm Gillis University Professor, founded the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health in 2007 with Maria Oden, professor in the practice in the Department of Bioengineering and director of the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen. Under Richards-Kortum’s leadership, the Rice 360° Institute’s NEST 360° suite was named a semifinalist this year for a $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. NEST 360° (Neonatal Essential Solutions and Technologies) is a comprehensive set of technologies that will allow clinicians to provide quality newborn care in low-resource settings.




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