Centennial Celebration begins Oct. 10

It’s been 100 years in the making, and Rice University’s centennial milestone will be celebrated next week with five consecutive days of special events ranging from lectures by some of the world’s leading visionaries and an Academic Procession and Centennial Address by President David Leebron to a mesmerizing sound and light show in the Academic Quad.

“We, as a community, have the opportunity to experience not only a wonderful celebration, but also a unique schedule of events that will draw us closer together as a community through both stimulating intellectual presentations and social interactions,” Leebron said in a letter this week to faculty and staff.

The 22,000-square-foot tent that stands 26 feet tall on the Founder’s Court will serve as the site for the kickoff event at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10 – a reception for faculty and staff.  The tent will also house a number of other Centennial Celebration events.

Kathleen Boyd ’80, centennial director, said registration for all events is now closed except for the Saturday night finale; registration for the finale ends Tuesday night. Go to http://centennial.rice.edu/8. The entire schedule can be found at centennial.rice.edu. Among the highlights:

Centennial Lecture Series in Tudor Fieldhouse Oct. 10, 11 and 17. Human genome pioneer J. Craig Venter will present “From Reading to Writing the Genetic Code” from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Oct. 10. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas will present “Architecture as a Global Practice” from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Oct. 11. International angel investor Esther Dyson will present “Traveling Behind the Scenes” from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Oct. 11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President and physicist Shirley Ann Jackson will present “Valuing Science: Exploring Our Past, Securing Our Future” from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Oct. 11. All four speakers will also participate in an evening of Four Short Talks Oct. 10 from 8 to 10 p.m. A fifth speaker, U.S. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., will present “A Conversation with the Chief Justice” from 3 to 4 p.m. Oct. 17.

Centennial Gala in Founder’s Court Tent at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. This black-tie dinner is by invitation only and will honor the university’s generous supporters.

World Premiere Concert at Alice Pratt Brown Hall at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. A concert by the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra will include the world premiere of William Bolcom’s “Ninth Symphony,” which was commissioned by Rice University for the Centennial Celebration. The concert will also be performed Friday, Oct. 12, and Sunday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 both nights.

Academic Procession and Centennial Address in the Academic Quad on Friday, October 12, at 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will mirror the official 1912 opening ceremony and will include remarks from Leebron, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and representatives of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The film “Beyond the Hedges” in Baker Hall’s International Conference Facility at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. This film looks at how a great city like Houston and a great university like Rice inspire and support each other. The film will also air on KUHT-TV, Houston PBS Channel 8, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14.

Centennial Picnic in the Central Quad at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to attend.

Presidential Panel in Tudor Fieldhouse at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Leebron will discuss the future of higher education in a global world with an international panel of visiting university presidents that includes Ivano Dionigi, Università di Bologna; Li Jiajun, Tianjin University; Umran İnan, Koç University; Shirley Tilghman, Princeton University; and Joachim Treusch, Jacobs University Bremen.

Three Decades of Rice University Executive Leadership in Tudor Fieldhouse at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Leebron will be joined by former Rice presidents Malcolm Gillis and George Rupp, Rice Board of Trustees Chair Jim Crownover ’65 and former board chairs William Barnett ’55 and Charles Duncan ’47. Professor of History Allen Matusow will serve as moderator.

Edgar Odell Lovett Statue dedication in front of Keck Hall at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. Sculptor Bruce Wolfe’s statue of Rice’s founding president will be unveiled.

Centennial and Homecoming football game in Rice Stadium at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13. The Rice Owls will play the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners.

Centennial Spectacle in the Academic Quad on Saturday, Oct. 13. A 20-minute light and sound show conceived exclusively for Rice by an international group of artists will be performed three times: 8:45, 9:45 and 10:45 p.m. Due to space limitations, attendance is by invitation only.

Members of Public Affairs will be monitoring social media coverage of the Centennial Celebration by compiling tweets that include the hashtag #rice100 and posting them on rice.edu. They will also be reviewing entries in the Rice Centennial Dance Dare, which features videos of people dancing behind an unsuspecting person or group of people around campus or at centennial events. Entries must be posted on YouTube by Oct. 15 and include Rice Centennial Dance Dare in the title and #Rice100 in the description. Entrants with a Twitter account can tweet the link to @RiceUniversity. A video montage of the winners will be featured on rice.edu.

Tweets for the Centennial Celebration page can be be sent to @ricecentennial.

Stories, photos and videos from the Centennial Celebration will be posted at news.rice.edu, rice.edu, centennial.rice.edu and facebook.com/ricecentennial.

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