Rice celebrates centennial Oct. 10-14


B.J. Almond

Rice celebrates centennial Oct. 10-14

HOUSTON — (Oct. 10, 2012) – Rice University will celebrate its centennial with five consecutive days of special events starting today. With a few exceptions (such as the private gala), most events are open to news media who get credentials from the News and Media Relations office at 713-348-6770.

Among the highlights:

The Centennial Lecture Series will bring to campus five of the world’s leading visionaries 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. Wednesday.

* Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas will present “Architecture as a Global Practice” from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Thursday, but he has requested no TV or radio broadcasting of his speech.

* International angel investor Esther Dyson will present “Traveling Behind the Scenes” from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Thursday.

* 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. Thursday.

* All four of the above speakers will participate in an evening of Four Short Talks Wednesday 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. For security clearance, media who want to cover this event must contact David Ruth at 713-348-6327 or david@rice.edu by noon Oct. 15 to provide personal information on staff members; all media gear must be dropped off at Tudor Fieldhouse by 1:30 p.m. Oct. 17 for a security sweep.

The World Premiere of William Bolcom’s “Ninth Symphony,” which was commissioned by Rice University for the Centennial Celebration, will be performed by the Shepherd SchoolSymphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Alice Pratt Brown Hall. The concert will also be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday.

The Academic Procession in the Academic Quad will be followed by President David Leebron’s Centennial Address. The procession begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Photographers are required to wear black robes, which will be provided by News and Media Relations. 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 Hedgeswill be shown at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Friday in Baker Hall’s International Conference Facility. 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.

A Centennial Picnic will be held in the Central Quad at 11:30 a.m. Friday for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

A Presidential Panel at 2 p.m. Friday in Tudor Fieldhouse will feature a discussion of the future of higher education with Leebron and an international group 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 will participate in a panel discussion in Tudor Fieldhouse at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Leebron will be joined by former Rice presidents Malcolm Gillis and George Rupp, Rice Board of Trustees Chair Jim Crownover and former board chairs William Barnett and Charles Duncan. Professor of History Allen Matusow will serve as moderator.

The statue of Rice University’s first president, Edgar Odell Lovett, by sculptor Bruce Wolfe will be unveiled and dedicated in front of Keck Hall at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

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

Centennial Spectacle in the Academic Quad on Saturday night is an invitation-only event, but news media can send photographers and videographers to get shots of the 20-minute light and sound show conceived exclusively for Rice by a rising European artist group making its U.S. premiere. Performance times are 8:45, 9:45 and 10:45 p.m. Flash photography is not permitted.

For more info on the centennial, visit centennial.rice.edu.


Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://futureowls.rice.edu/images/futureowls/Rice_Brag_Sheet.pdf.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005


About B.J. Almond

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