ARUBA Family –

As you may know, today the Rice University Board of Trustees announced their historic decision to relocate the Founder’s Memorial (“Willy’s Statue”) away from the center of the Academic Quadrangle, and to reconfigure the space into one more welcoming to, and representative of, the entire Rice community. This decision comes after years of calls for action from various Rice stakeholders, as well as the solicitation and review of feedback from current students, faculty, staff, and alumni, including ARUBA members from multiple class years and regions of the world.

The ARUBA Executive Board is grateful for the painstaking leadership and work performed by the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice. We also applaud the Board of Trustees’ working group, including President David Leebron, for their methodical examination of this issue and its impact on the Rice community. We believe this decision acknowledges the University’s past traditions while honoring our current core values and preparing us for continued growth into the future.

We understand that opinions about this decision will vary, and we remain mindful that there is always more work to do. As we embark upon this next phase of Rice’s evolution, ARUBA will continue to serve our alumni and the University through the following efforts:

supporting and celebrating the historic investiture of our forthcoming President, Dr. Reginald DesRoches; promoting programming and opportunities to increase Black alumni engagement and strengthen the ARUBA leadership pipeline; assisting in the University’s efforts to further develop the pipeline of Black students, faculty, and staff; and increasing our financial support of Rice’s Black student and alumni community through the ARUBA Legacy Endowment Fund.

We invite you all to join us in our continued efforts to enhance the experience of Black alumni and the broader Rice community.

The ARUBA Executive Board