NASA chief to help Rice U. celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations

David Ruth

Amy McCaig

NASA chief to help Rice U. celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary

HOUSTON – (April 8, 2019) – Rice University will commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission on April 12 with two campus events and a visit from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Photo of the moon. Credit: 123rf.comApollo 11 was the historic spaceflight that landed the first two people on the moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin touched down on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.

The events will include the dedication of a plaque and “moon tree” commemorating former President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1962 “We choose to go to the moon” speech at Rice Stadium, and remarks from Bridenstine as part of the Rice Space Institute’s Houston Spaceport Frontiers Lectures.

Bridenstine’s appearance carries special significance on campus because the NASA administrator is a 1998 alumnus of Rice University.

Plaque and “moon tree” dedication at Rice Stadium.

WHEN:          5 p.m. April 12.

WHERE:       Outside Rice Stadium’s northeast gate, located near campus entrance 17 (intersection of Rice Boulevard and Shepherd Drive). To park, media should enter using Entrance 18 off of Rice Boulevard, and park in West Lot 2. A debit/credit card is required to enter the lot. Parking validations will be made available to members of the media. Campus maps are available at

DETAILS:     Rice will host a plaque dedication commemorating Kennedy’s speech and the dedication of a “next-generation moon tree” grown from a cutting of an Apollo 14 moon tree. The event will feature remarks from Bridenstine and Rice President David Leebron. Rosemary Roosa, president of the Moon Tree Foundation, and David Alexander, director of the Rice Space Institute, will also participate in the tree dedication.

“A Conversation with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.”

WHEN:          7 p.m. April 12. A reception will be held at 6:30. 

WHERE:       Keck Hall 100, located on the Rice campus. For more information, visit

DETAILS:     Hosted by the Rice Space Institute and part of the Houston Spaceport Frontiers Lectures, the event will feature a conversation with Bridenstine, who will discuss the impact NASA has on modern society. He will provide insight into NASA’s vision for traveling to Mars and returning humans to the moon. To RSVP, visit!view/event/date/20190412/event_id/37209. For information on campus parking, visit

Members of the media interested in attending any of the events should RSVP to Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or


This news release can be found online at

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Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

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About Amy McCaig

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