Rice University alumnus Bobby Tudor was elected the next chair of the Rice Board of Trustees at today’s meeting. He will succeed Jim Crownover, whose term expires June 30.
Tudor, the chairman and CEO of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., was elected to the board in 2006 and re-elected to a four-year term in 2010. He is co-chair of Rice’s $1 billion Centennial Campaign – the largest fundraising campaign in the university’s history – with alumna and trustee emeritus Susanne Glasscock ’62. Rice’s basketball and volleyball arena – Tudor Fieldhouse – is named in honor of Tudor and his wife, Phoebe, for their major gift to renovate Autry Court, where Tudor lettered in basketball from 1979 to 1982 and served as team captain for two years.
“I’m thrilled that Bobby is bringing his passion for Rice to the chairmanship of our board,” President David Leebron said. “I’ve worked with Bobby in his capacity as co-chair of the capital campaign, and I know he will bring that dedication and demonstrated leadership to his new role. This will be a very effective partnership as we continue to build Rice’s reputation and its contributions to our city, country and world.”
“Rice has strong momentum coming off of its centennial celebration and tremendous potential to have even more of a significant impact on our students and our community,” Tudor said. “We are entering our second century at a time of great opportunity and challenge for higher education, and I am looking forward to working with fellow trustees, President Leebron and his team and with other Houston leaders to navigate and succeed in this changing landscape.”
A native of Alexandria, La., Tudor graduated from Rice in 1982 with a B.A. in English and legal studies. While at Rice, he was a member and officer of Hanszen College and a student representative on the University Committee on Examinations and Standing. As a student-athlete, he won the Bob Quin Award his senior year for being the male athlete who most exemplified distinction in athletics, academics and leadership.
Before attending law school, Tudor spent two years as a professional basketball player with Turnerschaft Raifeissen in Innsbruck, Austria, where he also had a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship.
After receiving a J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1987, Tudor began a nearly 20-year career at Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner and worked in the New York, London and Houston offices. In 2007 he founded Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., which is a market-leading energy investment and merchant bank.
Tudor has served as president of the “R” Association’s Board of Directors and on the Association of Rice Alumni Board of Directors. He received the 2008 Distinguished Owl Club Award at “An Evening for Rice’s Honour” gala. Tudor also serves on the board of directors of Deltic Timber Corp., the National Petroleum Council, the United Way of Greater Houston, the Houston Symphony and the Houston Public Library. He and Phoebe are well-known and highly respected for their civic leadership and philanthropy.
“Bobby is ‘intensely local,’ like Rice,” Crownover said. “He is very committed to Rice, to his community and to his family. But, also like Rice, he has had extensive global experience and accomplishments. That local commitment and global connection will serve Rice well.”
Crownover noted that this is only the fourth election of a new board chair at Rice in the last 30 years. Tudor follows in the footsteps of Crownover, Bill Barnett and Charles Duncan. The Board of Trustees represents all Rice stakeholders and is the university’s highest governing authority.
“I’ve had the privilege of serving with two extraordinary chairs of Rice’s board, and I know Bobby will carry on that legacy of superb leadership,” Leebron said.
“It’s been a real pleasure to serve on the board with an outstanding leader like Jim, and Rice has never been better positioned to handle the challenges before us and to have an even greater impact on the lives of our students and on the vitality of our community,” Tudor said.
A 1965 Rice alumnus, Crownover became a Rice trustee in 1999 and led the team that recruited Leebron as Rice’s seventh president. Crownover is in his second term as board chair, a period during which Rice launched its Centennial Campaign, implemented the 10-point Vision for the Second Century that included a 37 percent increase in the undergraduate and graduate student population and $800 million in campus construction and renovation, and recently celebrated its centennial.
The university will honor Crownover’s many contributions to Rice in the spring.