Class of 2021 moves to campus Aug. 13

Rice’s newest Owls will flock to campus Aug. 13 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.

O-Week Move-In Day

Students move to campus on the first day of O-Week. Photo by Tommy LaVergne.

The 1,049 students who make up this year’s matriculating class were selected from a pool of 18,063 applicants. This year 16 percent of the applicants were admitted.

Forty-two percent of incoming students had a perfect academic record in high school. Twenty-five percent of incoming students had a combined SAT score above 1560, and 75 percent of incoming students had SAT scores above 1450. A perfect SAT score is 1600.

“The Class of 2021 is an exceptional group of students, and we know they’ll achieve great things during their time at Rice,” Dean for Undergraduate Enrollment Julie Browning said.

Texas is the home state of 436 new students, while 473 members of the incoming class hail from other parts of the country. The entering class also includes 112 students from 20 foreign countries and 28 U.S. citizens living abroad. The Class of 2021 has 288 students who are underrepresented minorities, an increase of 23 percent over last year.

Move-in day will kick off around 7 a.m. Aug. 13 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 Justin Onwenu 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 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. 14.

Other activities scheduled for the week include a pep rally at Tudor Fieldhouse and block parties Aug. 15, the annual Associates’ Dinner Aug. 16 and college-specific bonding activities Aug. 18. O-Week will conclude Aug. 19 with the Welcome Back Day Festival in the Central Quad. Fall classes begin Aug. 21.

Public Affairs will collect students’ photos, videos and tweets from O-Week to share the experience on Students have been asked to include #RiceOWeek17 on their posts, videos and tweets; a compilation of their communications can be found by clicking on #OWeek17 on

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.