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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: let them eat cake!

Carole Griffin '82 owns and operates The Continental Bakery and Chez Lulu in Birmingham, Alabama. Her signature loaf: Pain au Levain, a 4.5 pound miche, has been lauded by the NYT, Boston Globe, Southern Living and more. SPOON declared it “one of the 18 best artisanal bread bakeries in America.

Other cultural contributions: theater and parades in honor of Bastille day (“let them eat cake” she yells, while passing out soup and bread); SpringaLinngADingDong, an annual spring festival where evil Marie Antoinette’s head is chopped off and she is transformed into a May Queen; German accordion players perform a sidewalk serenade; salsa dancers occupy the restaurant; belly dancers and fire eaters appear and spoken word and giant puppets and drinks called “ooh la la” and “pardonnez moi.” Meats have sophisticated pedigrees — she has supported local, fresh and sustainable foods long before the trend.

And of particular interest to Rice is her allegiance to a liberal arts education. She attributes her critical thinking, writing and speaking skills to her liberal arts education at Indian Springs High School and Rice University. "We often note the privileges and freedom afforded us from excellent education," she says.

But business acumen and intellectual prowess are means to an end. What Carole does with bread is to imaginatively live into the connection of being human. Breaking bread with Carole’s pan makes you feel alive, engaged and well-nourished: body and soul.


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