Rice dedicates new Anderson-Clarke Center

Glasscock School of Continuing Studies building will benefit Houstonians

(From left) Glasscock School Dean Mary McIntire, Rice trustee emeritus Susie Glasscock, Rice Board of Trustees Chair Bobby Tudor, Rice trustee emeritus Robert Clarke, Linda Anderson, Rice trustee emeritus Kent Anderson, Mel Glasscock and Rice President David Leebron take part in the ribbon-cutting for the Anderson-Clarke Center. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

Rice University’s Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies celebrated the dedication of its new home, the D. Kent and Linda C. Anderson and Robert L. and Jean T. Clarke Center, May 22.

The center, also known as the Anderson-Clarke Center, is situated on the west side of Rice’s campus at Entrance 8 at Stockton and University Boulevard. The building will benefit Houstonians, who account for most of the school’s nearly 20,000 enrollments in continuing studies each year.

The building’s construction was made possible by a naming gift from Rice trustee emeritus Kent Anderson ’62 and his wife, Linda Anderson, and Rice trustee emeritus Robert Clarke ’63 and his late wife, Jean (“Puddin”), and more than 400 other donors.

“If there’s one point at which we know that William Marsh Rice‘s vision and Edgar Odell Lovett’s vision intersected, it was around this idea that this institute, which became this university, would be something great for the city of Houston,” said Rice University President David Leebron. “So this is truly an extraordinary day for us, as a little over 100 years later, we have put a permanent building on our campus dedicated to the School of Continuing Studies. This is a project of people with a vision for the School of Continuing Studies and sustained that vision for a very long time. I want to thank, in particular, Mel and Susie Glasscock, who have brought not just vision, but heart and passion to the project. I also would like to thank the Anderson and Clarke families.”

Additional speakers at the ceremony included Glasscock School Dean Mary McIntire ’75, Rice Board of Trustees Chair and co-chair of the Centennial Campaign Bobby Tudor ’82, trustee emeritus and co-chair of the Centennial Campaign Susie Glasscock ’62 and her husband, Mel Glasscock ’61, Kent and Linda Anderson’s son, Clarke Anderson ’01, and Clarke.

The dedication ceremony was attended by several hundred Rice and Houston community members. Photo by Jeff Fitlow

“This great building unites Rice and the Houston community,” McIntire said. “It will serve as the heart of continuing education in our broader community. Continuing studies is not a luxury, it is a necessity — in good times and in bad, in small ways and in revolutionary ways. It helps people advance themselves personally and professionally.”

Clarke Anderson conveyed the deep appreciation and connection his family feels to Rice in his remarks. Like his father, he had met his future wife, Elle, at Rice. “On behalf of my father and I, thank you to Rice for helping us find our wives,” Anderson said.  “And on behalf of the Anderson family, thank you to Rice for helping shape all of us, and for providing us with so many dear friends.  We are honored to be a part of this building and a university that will educate and inspire us to live our lives with ‘No Upper Limit.'”

The Anderson-Clarke Center is a three-story, 55,000-square-foot facility that houses 24 state-of-the-art classrooms, conference rooms, a language center, a freestanding auditorium and a commons area and terrace for events. Construction on the $24.2 million facility began in December 2012, and the center was built to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for silver certification.

To preserve the spirit of Rice’s historic buildings, the center’s architects, Overland Partners, used the campus’s original architects’ design of a vertical to horizontal ratio with long, low buildings, a tripart division of windows and an arched entryway.

The Anderson-Clarke Center is a three-story, 55,000-square-foot facility that houses 24 state-of-the-art classrooms, conference rooms, a language center, a freestanding auditorium and a commons area and terrace for events. Photo by Jim Pomerantz

The center also features an art installation, “In Play,” by Houston-based international artist Joseph Havel, director of the Glassell School of Art. An additional installation by French-American artist Stephen Dean, “Black Ladder,” will be completed later this summer. A student gallery is named in honor of Peter T. Brown, a longtime photography instructor for the Glasscock School as well as an accomplished photographer whose work has been featured in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Menil Collection, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Amon Carter Museum, among others.

The Glasscock School offers personal and professional development classes, online and hybrid courses and certificate programs with additional offerings from the Center for College Readiness, the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, the Foreign Language program, the English as a Second Language program, the Master of Liberal Studies, the Master of Arts in Teaching and School Literacy and Culture. The Glasscock School attracts students from more than 100 countries. The Anderson-Clarke Center will allow the school to increase its scope and continue to expand its service to Houston and beyond.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.