Rice University’s newest parliament of Owls will flock to campus Aug. 14 to participate in O-Week, the weeklong orientation program to familiarize incoming students with their new campus, residential colleges and classmates. O-Week is coordinated by the Office of Student Success Initiatives at Rice.
The 981 students that make up this year’s matriculating class were selected from a record pool of 18,236 applicants – the highest number of students who have ever applied to Rice in its 103-year history. This year 15 percent of the applicants were admitted, down from 16 percent in 2015.
This year 43 percent of incoming students had a perfect academic record in high school. Twenty-five percent of incoming students had a combined SAT score above 1540, and 75 percent of incoming students had SAT scores above 1430. A perfect SAT score is 1600.
“Once again, the students in our incoming class are truly exceptional,” Vice President for Enrollment Chris Muñoz said.
Texas is home to 417 of the new students, while 439 members of the incoming class hail from other parts of the country. The entering class also includes 109 students from 20 foreign countries and 18 U.S. citizens living abroad. And 23 percent of incoming students are underrepresented minorities, up from 20 percent in fall 2015.
Move-in day will kick off around 7 a.m. Aug. 14 when upperclassmen greet the new arrivals and help them move their belongings into their residential college rooms. Parents and family members are invited to participate in New Families Orientation, which will include presentations by Rice President David Leebron and other faculty, staff and student representatives as well as information sessions on subjects ranging from academic advising and financial aid to wellness and college life.
After saying goodbye to their parents, the new students will gather for matriculation at 7 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse, where Leebron, Dean of Undergraduates John Hutchinson and Student Association President Griffin Thomas will welcome them to their next four years on campus. Later in the evening, the freshmen will make the ceremonial march through the Sallyport into the Academic Quad to mark the official beginning of their college career. Tradition holds that students should not pass through the Sallyport again until their graduation day.
Activities and presentations throughout the week will introduce new students to the ins and outs of life at Rice by providing assistance with class registration, introductions to Rice values and policies, small-group discussions, faculty lectures, community outreach and opportunities to explore Houston. In addition, the new Owls will enjoy traditional Texas cuisine and the company of their classmates during a barbecue dinner at the president’s home Aug. 15.
Other activities scheduled for the week include a pep rally at Tudor Fieldhouse and block parties Aug. 16, the annual Associates’ Dinner Aug. 17 and college-specific bonding activities Aug. 19. O-Week will conclude Aug. 20 with the O-Week Closing Carnival/Tailgate and the Welcome Back Day Festival in the Central Quad. Fall classes begin Aug. 22.
Public Affairs will collect students’ photos, videos and tweets from O-Week to share the experience on rice.edu. Students have been asked to include #RiceOWeek16 on their posts, videos and tweets; a compilation of their communications can be found by clicking on #RiceOWeek16 on rice.edu.