Rice University’s KTRU studio named to honor former station manager

Rice University student radio station KTRU will honor the memory and contributions of Rice alumnus and former station manager Ben Horne ’02 by naming the KTRU broadcast studio in his honor on Saturday.

Ben Horne

Ben Horne

Horne, 32, died in a mountain climbing accident in Peru in July.

“Ben was as passionate about life outside the hedges as he was inside the hedges, and it is no understatement to say that his contributions to KTRU helped preserve the organization itself,” said Johnny So ’01, Horne’s predecessor as KTRU station manager. “Dedicating the broadcast studio in his honor is the perfect way to honor and remember his dedication to the station.”

Horne was heavily involved in campus activities as a student. He was a disc jockey at KTRU for four years and was the first KTRU station manager elected by the student body. He was also instrumental in restoring KTRU to the air following a station shutdown in 2000. In addition to his service at KTRU, Horne served as Student Association treasurer, co-director of the Catholic Student Association and captain of the bike team, and he was on the cabinet at Wiess College and a member of the multicultural group ADVANCE.

“Ben always challenged himself and others to do more and be more,” said Will Robedee, KTRU general manager. “He made those that he worked with think about what they were doing, what their motivations were and how to best achieve the desired outcome — all with an infectious and genuine smile and enthusiastic spirit.”

KTRU studio

KTRU will dedicate the Ben Horne Memorial Studio on Saturday.

While Rice and KTRU have previously honored former students and station members, this marks the first time a part of the Rice campus has been named for a former student solely due to the student’s impact on KTRU, Robedee said.

A native of Annandale, Va., Horne earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economic analysis from Rice and later served in the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan, where he learned alpine climbing. At the time of his death, he was finishing his Ph.D. in economics at the University of California at San Diego and planned to become a university professor.

Horne and fellow climber Gil Weiss, 29, died during their descent from the summit of Peru’s 20,000-foot Palcaraju Oeste mountain.

A dedication ceremony for KTRU’s Ben Horne Memorial Studio will take place Oct. 13 at Rice’s Ley Student Center following an 11:45 a.m. memorial service titled “Maintain the Light” in the Hindeman Garden adjacent to the Rice Memorial Center. The studio dedication will be followed by a memorial mass for Horne at 2 p.m. Oct. 13 the Rice University and Texas Medical Center Catholic Student Center chapel at 1714 Rice Blvd.

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.