Rice University to name new Continuing Studies building for Anderson and Clarke families

Rice University will name a new Continuing Studies building in honor of the families of Rice alumni and trustees Kent Anderson and Robert Clarke in appreciation of a major gift to Rice’s Centennial Campaign.

The D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center will be the new home of Rice’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. The center will be constructed when the $24 million fundraising goal for the building has been met.

“Kent and Linda Anderson and Bob Clarke and his late wife, Jean (‘Puddin’), have been longtime supporters of Rice,” President David Leebron said. “We are very appreciative of their generous gift to the Glasscock School, and I am delighted that their dedication to Rice will be honored through a building that bears their names and embodies the university’s educational commitment to the city of Houston.”

The Anderson-Clarke Center will be a three-story, 51,000-square-foot facility that houses 24 classrooms, conference rooms, a language center, an auditorium and a commons area and terrace for events.

Both Anderson and Clarke expressed similar reasons for wanting to support this building.

Robert and Jean Clarke

“Rice has been an important part of my life for over 50 years,” said Clarke, who received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rice in 1963. “Although Puddin was a University of Texas graduate, she grew to love Rice as well – even when the Owls were playing Texas. I continue to be impressed with the spectacular educational experience Rice offers to all of its students. The Glasscock School is an important part of that experience as it has meant so much to the thousands of students who have participated in its continuing education programs. After 45 years, it is appropriate for the school to have a proper home on the campus, and it is exciting for Puddin and me to be able to join with my sister, Linda, and my brother-in-law, Kent Anderson, and fellow alumni Susie and Mel Glasscock in helping perpetuate Rice’s continued service to the Houston community.”

Clarke is a senior partner for banking and financial services at the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP. He was appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as comptroller of the currency of the United States and served in that role from 1985 through February 1992. Clarke has served on the Association of Rice Alumni Board and as a volunteer for the Rice Annual Fund. He currently serves as president-elect of the Association of Rice Alumni, as a member of the School of Social Sciences Advisory Board and as a member of the Board of Trustees’ External Relations and Audit committees. In 1992 Rice honored Clarke with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Anderson, a retired banker and investor, received a bachelor’s degree in geology from Rice in 1962. During his banking career, Anderson chaired several commercial banks, including Allied, First Interstate and Post Oak banks. He has served on the board of Houston Endowment, including five years as chairman. Anderson was elected to the Rice Board of Trustees in 1986 and has served on every board committee, most notably as chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee. He co-chaired the Rice: The Next Century capital campaign and led the Rice Associates from 1987 to 1994. In 1999 Rice recognized him with its Gold Medal for extraordinary service. He received the Distinguished Owl Club Award in 2010.

Kent and Linda Anderson

“I have been very involved at Rice for the last 30 years, serving on the Board of Trustees for 26 of those years, and I’ve always felt it to be a privilege and a responsibility,” Anderson said. “It feels right to give back to Rice in so many ways for the excellent education, wonderful friends and opportunities to stretch my mind and grow in my experiences. I am pleased to be able to support the Glasscock School as it is a gift to both the Rice community and the city of Houston.  On a more personal note, I met my dear friend and business partner, Bob Clarke, at Rice, and subsequently met his little sister, Linda Clarke, who became my wife and the mother of our three children. As a family, including our eight extraordinary grandchildren, we particularly enjoy watching the fighting Rice Owls in their various athletic events.”

Anderson noted that making the gift during Rice’s centennial year was particularly meaningful because he will also be celebrating his class’s 50-year reunion this fall, and his mother’s 100th birthday would have been Oct. 12, the anniversary of Rice’s formal opening in 1912.

“We are honored by this generous gift from the Anderson and the Clarke families,” said Mary McIntire, dean of continuing studies. “They have deep roots in Houston and understand how continuing education is becoming more important to the development and to the vibrancy of the city. Our goal now is to complete the fundraising as quickly as possible. When the center is a reality, it will stand as a symbol of Rice’s ongoing commitment to the broader community.”

Each year thousands of Houstonians attend classes for personal or professional development at the Glasscock School, whose namesake is Rice trustee and alumna Susanne Glasscock ’62. She and her husband, Rice alumnus Melbern G. Glasscock ’61, have been major supporters of the school.

The Glasscock School of Continuing Studies currently serves 14,000 enrollments annually for classes in the Center for College Readiness, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, language programs, the Master of Liberal Studies program as well as personal and professional development programs. More than 6,000 college-preparatory teachers, students and administrators from all across the country and beyond attend Glasscock School programs, and the English as a Second Language program has attracted students from more than 100 countries. The new Anderson-Clarke Center will enable the Glasscock School to continue to expand its programs.

A rendering of the D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center (Overland Partners | Architects)

The Anderson-Clarke Center will be located on land that is now a parking lot between Rice Stadium and campus Entrance 8 at University Boulevard and Stockton Drive. It will be built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

The amount of the gift from the Anderson and Clarke families is confidential. An additional $3.3 million is needed to reach the fundraising goal for the building and to begin construction.

About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.