The Way I See It: Rice is No. 1 in US House of Representatives

The Way I See It:
Rice is No. 1 in US House of Representatives

As the Class of 2019 settles in on campus, they will quickly take great pride in the “unconventional wisdom” the world sees in Rice. Nobel Prizes for nanotechnology at the Smalley-Curl Institute, breakthroughs in cancer therapies at the BioScience Research Collaborative, the Kennedy Institute’s “white graphene” structures designed to keep small electronic devices cool, and Pulitzer and Grammy winners from the Shepherd School of Music are a few examples.

Photo of Pete Olson making the Owl sign in front of the Capitol

Rep. Pete Olson

In the realm of public policy, the world knows the Baker Institute is without peer. But most don’t know that Rice dominates another institution in public policy and government – the United States House of Representatives! Currently there are three Rice graduates in Congress: John Kline ’69 from Minnesota, Jim Bridenstine ’97 from Oklahoma and me.

So three of the 435 members in the U.S. House are Owls. UT and A&M have a few more in Congress than we do, but when you consider the fact that they crank out more diplomas on one hot day in May than we do in a decade, they fall short of us. Omitting one school in New Hampshire and one in Tennessee, per total number of graduates, Rice is No. 1.

Our only competition is the United States Military Academy – Army. Three of their graduates are in the House, and their annual number of graduates is close in numbers to ours. But they are losers to us in football. We went to West Point last year and whipped Army 41-21. It gets better: John, Jimmy and I are all former U.S. naval aviators, and Navy is riding a 13-year winning streak against Army.

Game, set, match – Sammy is No. 1 in the United States House of Representatives.

Unconventional wisdom, indeed.

— Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, of Congressional District 22 graduated from Rice in 1985.


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