Abigail Grayson finds joy at Rice

When Abigail Grayson came to Rice University in the fall of 2016, she was a self-admitted “studying nerd.”  That lifestyle has greatly changed.

“High school was really intense and I didn’t really have a choice,” she said. “The second I had a choice, I wanted life experience and to do things that make me feel fuller than what this is because there was kind of an emptiness in academia for me.”


The senior from Memphis, Tennessee, found joy in the Rice Theatre Program housed in the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts. “I love it,” she said. “I love all of it. Performance gives me special joy because I learn in an environment that’s so exciting and creative for me.”

Grayson also enjoys the small size of Rice because it has allowed her to be involved with different aspects of theater and other academic areas, such as working in the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). “Rice felt really homey in a lot of ways, whether that was the nature or the kind of people who were here, because everyone was coming excited about something,” she said.

Abigail Grayson at kickboxing classGrayson also found time to pursue another passion, kickboxing. “It was one of the really important things here that helps me kind of feel grounded,” she said.

Adding it all up — theater, the OEDK and honing her muay thai skills — Grayson could be the poster child for experiential learning at Rice. 

“It’s been lovely,” she said. “I’ve said a lot of times I don’t think I’d be graduating right now if it wasn’t Rice.” 

About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!