Centennial Campaign passes three-quarter mark

More than $775 million raised toward $1 billion goal

Rice entered its centennial year with more than three-fourths of the $1 billion Centennial Campaign goal reached.

More than 42,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and other supporters of the university have contributed to the $775 million raised so far for the campaign, which is the largest fundraising endeavor in Rice’s 100-year history.

Their generosity has fueled a number of transformational initiatives, such as the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the Houston Education Research Consortium and new art history and sociology Ph.D. programs, as well as at least 23 new endowed professorships, $88 million toward the $100 million Centennial Scholarship Initiative, and $40 million toward the Rice Annual Fund, which provides current-use resources that are essential to sustaining Rice’s dynamic student experience.

Rice’s supporters also have made possible such new facilities on campus as Tudor Fieldhouse and Youngkin Center, Brochstein Pavilion, Brockman Hall for Physics, Duncan College, McMurtry College, the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center and the soon-to-be-completed Turrell skyspace, as well as millions of dollars toward research endeavors that span medicine and health, energy, art and other disciplines.

“I’m a big believer that the future isn’t something that happens to you but rather it’s something that we collectively make happen,” campaign co-chair Bobby Tudor ’82 says in a new video about the Centennial Campaign.

“I think the spirit of ‘no upper limit’ and of the campaign at Rice is that this university will be what we make it. It’s going to require the participation of the people who love Rice. And that comes via ideas, it comes via money, it comes via just showing up, like Woody Allen says.”

Campaign co-chair Susie Glasscock ’62 shares Tudor’s optimism that the people who care about Rice will help the university reach its goal. “What I particularly remember about my undergraduate years is the challenge — the challenge of the faculty, academically, but also the challenge of other students,” she says in the video. “There was always this challenge to do it better, to do a little more.”

The campaign focuses on three “big ideas”:

1. Transforming extraordinary students into extraordinary leaders.

2. Facing challenges and generating solutions.

3. Learning and leading locally and globally.

“As we celebrate Rice’s 100th anniversary as an institution of higher education, we are looking ahead to the next 100 years and setting the same high aspirations for excellence and achievement that our founders did at the beginning,” Rice President David Leebron said.  “We have set a lofty goal for the Centennial Campaign in that same spirit, and achieving that goal will help us achieve those aspirations in Rice’s second century.”

Vice President for Resource Development Darrow Zeidenstein and his team are appealing to everyone who is passionate about Rice to express that passion via philanthropic investment in Rice’s students and faculty.

“This is a once-in-a-century opportunity to enhance the university’s competitive advantage, elevate its research, strengthen its impact in the local and international communities, and sustain our core commitment to undergraduate education,” Zeidenstein said.

In the campaign video, Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson interprets the “no upper limit” theme used by Rice’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett:

“What no upper limit means is there is no upper limit to the excellence of the students who will come here to study at Rice,” Hutchinson says. “They bring their imagination, bring their ingenuity, bring their intellect, bring their drive and energy to us and leave as folks who have left Rice behind as a better institution and have also taken what Rice has given them to make their world a better world.”

To make a gift to the Centennial Campaign, which is scheduled to end June 30, 2013, visit giving.rice.edu.

About Rice News Staff

The Rice News is produced weekly by the Office of Public Affairs at Rice University.