Faculty and staff donors honored at Cohen House
Rice University is $50 million away from the $1 billion goal of the Centennial Campaign.
Campaign co-chair Susie Glasscock ’62 shared the new fundraising total with faculty and staff donors during a reception in their honor at Cohen House Thursday afternoon. A record-setting 970 Rice employees and retirees contributed $1.6 million during Rice’s centennial year.
“It’s appropriate that you should be the first to know that as of today, the campaign has reached $950 million,” Glasscock said. “You’re amazing. You share your life. You share your talent. You share your enthusiasm, your work with this university, and then you share your treasure.”
The names of the 970 faculty and staff members who contributed to the campaign in 2012 were unveiled on a poster that will be housed as a permanent record in Fondren Library, along with a resolution in their honor.
Vice President for Resource Development Darrow Zeidenstein said participation in the “For Rice. By Rice.” Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign in 2012 reflects a growth of about 130 to 140 people, or 14 percent, over the number of employees who contributed last fiscal year.
“It’s really spectacular,” he told the guests. “At Rice, faculty and staff all care so much, and that’s infectious. Alumni feel it and current students feel it, and that’s how we promote a culture of giving and participation and volunteership at this university.” He also gave kudos to the 100 volunteers for the faculty and staff campaign.
Glasscock, a trustee emeritus who is co-chairing the Centennial Campaign with trustee and newly elected board chair Bobby Tudor ’82, also commended the dedication of faculty and staff. “I take your story when I go to talk to trustees, alums and potential donors,” she said. “I want them to know that you, who know this university better than anyone, believe in and support the campaign.”
The $950 million milestone is important because it means that the $1 billion goal is attainable, Glasscock said. “It will take all of our efforts, not just conversations with donors, but all of us being here, being present, being Rice,” she said. “But even more important than that number is what this campaign has accomplished and will accomplish. It’s for today’s students and future students. It’s for you and your future.”
Glasscock noted that the Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, Tudor Fieldhouse, the BioScience Research Collaborative, Brockman Hall for Physics, James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace and Jaume Plensa’s “Mirror” sculpture were made possible by gifts to the Centennial Campaign. “Some of you will even take or teach a continuing studies class at the new Anderson-Clarke Center,” she said. “And hopefully each of you will find that special feeling knowing that a student got the books or the computer or the meal plan that they needed because of a HOOTS scholarship.”
President David Leebron, whom Glasscock introduced as “head cheerleader of Rice,” thanked the faculty and staff donors for their “remarkable effort” and noted that Rice is a “very special place.”
He said that preserving the unique qualities of universities is going to be challenging at a time when the world of higher education is changing dramatically, but Rice’s specialness “positions us extraordinarily well for the future.”
The faculty and staff represent “the heart and soul of our university,” and their gifts to the campaign, regardless of the amount, were a “symbol that we are a community that cares about the success of our university,” Leebron said.
“Thank you all so much for speaking so loudly about the nature of our community and our commitment to our future,” he told the faculty and staff donors.
Gifts to the Centennial Campaign can be made online at www.rice.edu/centennialcampaign.