As we turn the page from fall to winter, I’m reminded of the bold step our university has taken in announcing The Rice Investment. Now one of the nation’s most generous financial aid programs, The Rice Investment honors our university’s legacy of investing in students of all backgrounds by providing lower- and middle-income students with varying levels of scholarships and grant aid to defray the cost of attendance. I was deeply heartened by the outpouring of support for this initiative within and well beyond the Rice community. Together, our Owl community celebrated the life-changing opportunities that Rice has given each of us and that will now be accessible to a broader array of talented students. Your Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) board continues to be engaged in the campus dialogue on the accessibility of a Rice education. Watch this space for more information on how you can show your support!
I have eagerly awaited this season’s alumni newsletter and its feature on our talented community of Rice writers. Prompted by the regular “spotlight” feature in Rice Magazine, our regional book clubs and old-fashioned word-of-mouth within our metaphorical “hedges,” I’ve long enjoyed the opportunity to learn from and be entertained by our fellow Owls who are authors. I’ll be making my holiday gift lists (and a reading list for myself!) from among those featured here.
And as I take time to reflect this holiday season, I am thankful for the meaningful Rice friendships I continue to gain. Our fellow Owls inspire me to see new perspectives, laugh harder and challenge myself more than any other community to which I belong. From my new friend Sarah, a spunky member of the Class of 1947 who was one of the first women to serve on the ARA board, to the current students I meet on sallyportal.org, the people of Rice continue to enrich my life with their optimism and energy. I hope you will join me in making time to connect with your Rice friends this season (perhaps at one of the Rice alumni holiday parties) to celebrate the wisdom and values that we Owls share.
Happy holidays to you and yours from the Association of Rice Alumni.
To Rice Be True,
Michol McMillian Ecklund ’97