Message from ARA President
Dear fellow Rice Owls,
I hope you and your family are healthy and well. Even as we all continue to work through the daily challenges that come with a pandemic, our global network of Owls remains as strong as ever. Thank you for everything you’ve done to stay connected with one another and with Rice during this time when we can’t physically be together.
Since March, all of the ARA’s engagement efforts have been reshaped to fit virtual formats, allowing us to connect with our widespread alumni population while keeping students, alumni, parents and friends safe. We’ve welcomed the Class of 2020 into our alumni family and the Class of 2024 into the Rice community, expanded our professional development offerings through Sallyportal and Life After Rice, launched our Beyond the Hedges podcast, and implemented a wide range of new events, from our Spill the Beans coffee chats to “how-to” videos led by Rice alumni. While there isn’t a replacement for being with each other in person (and I look forward to doing so), I am pleased that we have been able to expand access to our programs, showcase alumni creativity and provide value to the community.
I am proud and honored to have served as president of the ARA during such an unprecedented time and to witness firsthand the many ways Rice alumni have stepped up all over the world to ensure our community remains strong and motivated. There’s not a doubt in my mind that our new ARA President Bryan Guido Hassin ’01, ’02 will take our community to new heights. I’m excited to pass the baton to him to lead the Association of Rice Alumni and our alumni family into this new era.
Frank G. Jones ’63
Immediate Past President, Association of Rice Alumni
Dear fellow Rice alumni,
It has been an enormous privilege to work for the last year as president-elect of the Association of Rice Alumni. I am indebted to all of our committed members of the board, including our Immediate Past President Frank G. Jones, whose thoughtful and encouraging leadership has guided our alumni community through transformational moments over the past year, but especially in his final months as president.
We have an exciting future ahead of us as Rice alumni, one that inspires us to explore innovative and unconventional ways of serving our alumni population. In recent months, we have redesigned and reimagined our programming for virtual participation, which gives more Owls the ability to connect from wherever they are in the world. These efforts will continue to grow as some of our key events shift to an online format for the time being, including Homecoming & Reunion and Families Weekend. For the first time, these two key events will merge together to create seven days of specially curated events where we’re bringing Rice — and all of its intellectual vibrancy, culture and creativity — to you, virtually. Save the dates for Owl Together 2020, an all-inclusive event celebrating students, alumni, families and friends, on Oct. 26-Nov. 1.
In addition, I want to ensure you that the ARA is committed to creating an inclusive community for all of our alumni. Recent discussions between students, alumni and university leadership about race, equity and inclusion have motivated us to take a closer look at how we can best serve all members of the Rice community. Although we have long strived to ensure a diverse representation of perspectives in our volunteer organizations and leadership, we are increasing our efforts to ensure that all of our Owls feel safe, included and represented, on campus and beyond.
A parliament can only thrive if all of its owls are thriving. Let us know how we can best serve you!
Bryan Guido Hassin ’01 ’02
President, Association of Rice Alumni