All Former U.S. Presidents to Participate in Baker Institute Groundbreaking

Contact: Michael Cinelli
Phone: (713) 831-4794

All Former U.S. Presidents to Participate in Baker Institute Groundbreaking

Rice University announced today that
all four former U.S. presidents will participate in the official
groundbreaking ceremonies on Oct. 20, 1994, for the $15 million
building that will house the James A. Baker III Institute for Public

In making the announcement, Rice president Malcolm Gillis said
he expects several other notable dignitaries to attend the event as
well as more than 800 supporters, donors, alumni, faculty and

"This is a major event for Rice and Houston; it illustrates well
the kind of national and international outreach that we expect this
new institute will bring to our community," Gillis said.

Presidents Bush and Ford will deliver speeches at the event
while Presidents Carter and Reagan will participate by video
message. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, after whom
the institute is named, will also speak on this occasion. Gillis
will preside over the ceremonies.

The Baker Institute is a nonpartisan, multidisciplinary public
policy institute dedicated to building bridges between the worlds of
action and ideas. Based at Rice University in Houston, the
institute’s agenda will include both domestic and foreign policy
issues. Distinguished scholars and experienced practitioners from
the fields of government, business and the media will participate in
the institute’s programs as Baker Institute Scholars and Fellows.
There will be special opportunities for student participation in
institute activities.

James A. Baker, III, 61st secretary of state and 67th secretary
of the treasury, has helped guide the development of the institute
since its inception. He has underscored the institute’s role in
bringing an innovative voice to our nation’s debate on major
national and international issues the United States will face as we
enter the 21st century.

Edward P. Djerejian, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and Syria
and one of this nation’s most distinguished diplomats, was appointed
as the first director of the institute and assumed his duties on
Aug. 15, 1994.

The new building, designed by the leading architectural firm of
Hammond, Beeby and Babka, embodies the institute’s mission. Grounded
in the style of Rice’s traditional architecture and including both
faculty offices and classrooms, the building will feature state-of-the-art facilities for communications and an innovative floor-plan
to facilitate interaction between scholars, practitioners and

Twenty-eight million dollars in private funds have already been
pledged for the institute’s building and programs.

Rice University is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian
private university dedicated to undergraduate teaching, graduate
studies, research and professional training in a number of

Groundbreaking event information: The groundbreaking program
begins at 4 p.m. on Oct. 20, 1994, on the southeast corner of the
Marching Owl Band practice field. The media sign-in table opens at
3:30 p.m. Due to the participation of the former U.S. presidents,
media badges will be required for reporters and photographers
covering the event. Please contact Michael Cinelli in the Rice
University News Office at 713-831-4794 as soon as possible to ensure
inclusion on the media access list.


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