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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.

My Story: from finance to Kuma Burgers

From Diane Feng '07 on behalf of Willet Feng '06 -- Willet Feng graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in Asian Studies and Managerial Studies. He intended to work in finance, but after he followed his now-wife Diane (Sid Rich ’07) to Seattle, WA, he couldn’t find a banking job there. So, on a lark, he decided to follow his true passion and took a job at a sushi restaurant. From then, he decided to hone his craft by attending Le Cordon Bleu in Austin, TX. After culinary school, he worked at restaurants such as Uchiko, Oxheart, and The Grumpy Pig in Shanghai, China. 

In 2015, Diane and Willet moved back to Houston, TX to have a baby. A few months after their daughter Avery was born, Willet was itching to open his own restaurant. Willet drew inspiration from his time abroad in Asia and wanted to open a Southeast Asian café, but an opportunity to open up a burger joint in Greenway Plaza was too good to pass up. Hence their “second baby,” Kuma Burgers was born! 

Kuma Burgers, located in an underground food court in 3 Greenway Plaza, has received widespread acclaim and recognition from local critics and diners alike in only a few months since opening. At Kuma, you can enjoy classics like a mushroom swiss burger and hand-cut fries, or you can be adventurous and try lotus root chips, a gluten-free rice bun, and toppings like seared Spam, scallion aioli, and kimchi relish!

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