Texas resolutions cite Rice

Texas resolutions cite Rice’s achievements


The two resolutions that were passed last week by the Texas State House of Representatives and Senate in honor of Rice’s upcoming centennial are printed below. As reported in last week’s Rice News, the resolutions were sponsored by Sen. Rodney Ellis in the Senate and Reps. Sarah Davis and Scott Hochberg in the House.

President David Leebron was joined by faculty, staff and alumni to witness the legislative action in Austin and to celebrate the occasion at a reception hosted by the Association of Rice Alumni at the Austin Club.

Video from the House session is posted at http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/chamber/. Rice is mentioned in the March 3 segment about 30 minutes into the clip.

Texas House Resolution

WHEREAS, A number of proud Texans are visiting Austin on March 3, 2011, to celebrate Rice University Day at the State Capitol; and

WHEREAS, Founded in 1912 as William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art, Rice was the first private, nonsectarian university in Texas and the first institution of higher education in Houston; its first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, outlined an ambitious vision for a great research university, and the school ‘s faculty, students, and alumni have succeeded in fulfilling his dream of excellence; and

WHEREAS, Rice University has played a leading role in research in such fields as nanotechnology, cellular technology, bioinformatics, energy, the environment, and health, and it has helped shape the course of human space exploration; two distinguished alumni, Rice Board of Trustees chairman George R. Brown and former United States representative Albert Thomas, worked with then vice president Lyndon Johnson to make Houston the home of the Manned Spacecraft Center, now the Johnson Space Center; in 1963, Rice became the first university in the nation to create a dedicated space science department, and it has received research grants from NASA to launch a total of six Earth-orbiting satellites, which were named after the school mascot, Sammy the Owl; and

WHEREAS, President John F. Kennedy made his famous address announcing the race to the moon at Rice University, and the very first lunar landing incorporated a scientific experiment built by Rice Professor John Freeman; the Rice University flag raised on the surface of the moon remains there to this day; moreover, 14 astronauts have had “the Rice Stuff,” among them the first female commander of the International Space Station; and

WHEREAS, In 1985, the groundbreaking discovery of buckminsterfullerene, or “buckyballs,” on the Rice campus, originated the field of fullerene chemistry and helped launch the field of nanotechnology; Rice professors Richard Smalley and Robert Curl earned the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work, which is now leading to momentous breakthroughs in medicine, transportation, energy, the environment, defense, and many other endeavors; Rice University also counts among its noteworthy innovators Sidney Burrus, interim dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering, who created signal-processing algorithms that have led to technological advances essential to cell phones, speech recognition, sonar and radar, sensor arrays, digital audio and video, seismic data gathering, biomedical systems and many more digital tools and devices; and

WHEREAS, The longest-serving lieutenant governor in Texas history, William P. Hobby Jr., was a Rice graduate; his fellow alumni include such notables as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry, Saint Arnold Brewing Company founders Brock Wagner and Kevin Bartol, and three key Texas Monthly magazine staff members, founding editor Bill Broyles Jr., longtime editor Gregory Curtis and political analyst Paul Burka; and

WHEREAS, Making its mark in the sports world as well, Rice University once owned Yankee Stadium, donated by a successful alumnus in 1962; John Heisman, the namesake of football’s coveted trophy, coached the Rice Owls in the 1920s; more recently, the 2003 Owls baseball team made Rice the smallest university to win the NCAA Division I College World Series; and

WHEREAS, Rice University is admired today as one of the nation’s leading institutions of higher education; since U.S. News & World Report began ranking universities in 1983, Rice has been rated among the top 20 every year; in addition, it is one of only three research universities in the Lone Star State to be a member of the elite Association of American Universities; and

WHEREAS, For the past century, Rice University has contributed to the advancement of human knowledge, and the achievements of its faculty and alumni continue to resonate in Texas, the nation, and the world; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 82nd Texas Legislature hereby recognize March 3, 2011, as Rice University Day at the State Capitol and extend a warm welcome to all those from this august institution who are visiting here today; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for Rice University as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives. Recognizing March 3, 2011, as Rice University Day at the State Capitol.


Senate Resolution No. 397

WHEREAS, The Senate of the State of Texas takes pride in recognizing Rice University for the excellent educational opportunities it has provided to students throughout the state, the nation, and around the world over the last 100 years; and

WHEREAS, Named for William Marsh Rice, Rice University was the first institution of higher education founded in Houston; inaugural ceremonies took place on October 12, 1912, and its first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, set forth an ambitious vision for a great research university; and

WHEREAS, One of the country’s leading higher education institutions, Rice University is ranked among the top 20 universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report; it has played a significant role in research in such fields as nanotechnology, space, cellular technology, energy and the environment; and

WHEREAS, In 1963, Rice University became the first university in the nation to create a department dedicated to space science; the NASA Johnson Space Center is located on land deeded to the United States government by Rice University, and a scientific experiment built by Rice Professor John Freeman was with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during their lunar trip; and

WHEREAS, The university is fortunate to have exceptionally fine trustees, administrators and faculty members who have placed emphasis on inspiring students to succeed in the arts, humanities, sports and sciences; it is the goal of the university to thoroughly prepare its students to thrive in a highly competitive and complex world, and many of its alumni have distinguished themselves in their careers and enriched our state and nation; and

WHEREAS, The success of this university is the result of a united effort by many resourceful and dedicated individuals, and all who are associated with the preservation of the great traditions of this institution deserve to be proud of their accomplishments; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Senate of the State of Texas, 82nd Legislature, hereby express appreciation to Rice University for providing an outstanding educational environment and for its innumerable contributions to the State of Texas and our country; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be prepared for Rice University as an expression of highest regard from the Texas Senate.

The resolution was adopted by the Senate on March 2, 2011.


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