Centennial Campaign raises $1.1 billion

Rice University exceeded the $1 billion goal for its Centennial Campaign by $100 million.

The $1.1 billion final tally in gifts and pledges was announced Sept. 18 at a dinner for major donors to the largest fundraising campaign in Rice’s 100-year history.

That figure includes $106 million that supports 251 new and 271 enhanced scholarships and $95 million for endowed professorships that supports 35 new or enhanced faculty chairs. The campaign also raised $135 million for faculty research, $280 million for buildings and equipment, $167 million for departmental endowments, $54.5 million for the Rice Annual Fund, $198 million for other departmental funds and $62 million in funding that is pending designation.


Susie Glasscock, Centennial Campaign co-chair

Before donors watched a video summarizing the numbers for the campaign, campaign co-chair Susie Glasscock ’62 highlighted several statistics, including the number of individual gifts (205,887) and the number of major gifts — $50,000 and above (1,187).

She also pointed out the total number of donors: 49,765. “The last time I looked, the total number of living Rice alums was somewhat short of 48,000, so we’ve got some really good friends,” she said.

“There’s one number you won’t see in the video because we just really didn’t know how to count it, and that’s the number of hours that the volunteers have given,” said Glasscock, a trustee emeritus. “It’s probably not a number we could all comprehend. This only happened because all of you were part of it.”

Campaign co-chair and current Board of Trustees Chair Bobby Tudor ’82 said the successful campaign would not have happened without the leadership of former board chair Jim Crownover ’65. “One of the hardest parts of the whole thing was determining what the goal should be in the beginning,” Tudor said. “It was really Jim who pushed us to stretch and go beyond what was really obvious that we would be able to do.”

Bobby Tudor

Bobby Tudor, Centennial Campaign co-chair

Tudor said Crownover kept the current trustees and trustees emeriti “enthused and engaged” throughout the campaign. “Our board responded in such an incredibly generous and enthusiastic way for Rice, and Jim made sure that fire remained lit over the course of the campaign. Many thanks to Jim and Molly, without whom we could not have accomplished this.”

Tudor also noted the leadership role of Rice President David Leebron in setting the goals and driving the themes. Tudor said Leebron made sure “that we never lost sight of the fact that what we were doing was about improving the institution, driving Rice forward, making it better for our children and grandchildren than it is today and it has been in the past.”

Leebron said a consultant had recommended $850 million as a campaign goal. “But the truth is, at Rice we know that our success, our continued existence, depends on our willingness to set our sights higher than anybody thinks a university of our size can achieve.”

Support from the board, alumni, faculty, staff, corporations, foundations and other friends of Rice contributed to the Centennial Campaign’s success. “Every gift to Rice counts,” Leebron said. He stressed the importance of a team effort and thanked the current and former trustees for their “total commitment” and “remarkable generosity,” the deans and vice presidents for their vision and Vice President for Resource Development Darrow Zeidenstein and his staff for their leadership.

President David Leebron

“Every dollar of this campaign goes to make a difference in the life of a student,” Leebron said. “Every dollar makes it possible for us to continue to have need-blind admission and to make it possible for every student regardless of the family circumstances that he or she may have to attend Rice. It makes it possible for us to have a student-faculty ratio of 6:1. It makes it possible for us to provide all the support services that students today need.

“It makes it possible for us to provide the breadth of programs that are truly remarkable at a university our size. It makes it possible to provide the campus and facilities that make us both joyful and proud every single day it is our privilege to go onto this campus. It makes it possible to do the research that changes the lives of people here in Houston, across the nation and across the world. That is what you have invested in, and for that we are extremely grateful.”

The Centennial Campaign Report, which includes the video highlighting the final numbers for the campaign, can be viewed at http://campaignreport.rice.edu.

About B.J. Almond

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