Rice to celebrate dedication of Kraft Hall Feb. 27

Social Science Building


Amy McCaig

Rice to celebrate dedication of Kraft Hall Feb. 27

HOUSTON – (Feb. 20, 2020) – Rice University will celebrate the dedication of the Patricia Lipoma Kraft ’87 and Jonathan A. Kraft Hall for Social Sciences Feb. 27.

The 2 p.m. ceremony at the new, 78,000-square-foot home to Rice's School of Social Sciences will feature remarks from campus leaders and will be followed by a reception. The building is named for Patti and Jonathan Kraft, lead donors for the project.

A generous gift from the Kinder Foundation established the permanent home for the Kinder Institute for Urban Research on the building’s third floor. The Cullen Foundation and more than 35 individual donors provided additional support for the building.

WHAT: Patricia Lipoma Kraft ’87 and Jonathan A. Kraft Hall for Social Sciences dedication.

WHEN: 2 p.m. Feb. 27.

WHERE: Kraft Hall.

Interim Dean of Social Sciences Susan McIntosh said that Kraft Hall marks an important new phase of increased visibility and opportunity for the Social Sciences at Rice. As part of the "policy corridor" with the Baker Institute for Public Policy across the street, Kraft Hall houses two academic departments engaged in research related to policy issues and several policy-oriented institutes and research labs.

"The School of Social Sciences is dedicated to providing both classroom learning and real-world experiences in research and policy analysis for our students," McIntosh said. "We aim to equip them for the leadership needed to address some of society’s most urgent social and political challenges, and Kraft Hall is the physical manifestation of Rice’s commitment to this endeavor."

Kraft Hall is home to the School of Social Sciences’ Sociology and Economics departments, the dean’s office, sociology lab space and the Texas Policy Lab. It also houses the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, the Religion and Public Life Program, the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance and the Houston Education Research Consortium, which is part of both the School of Social Sciences and the Kinder Institute.

It is the first structure on Rice’s new South Axis, which will eventually extend from McNair Hall south to the corner of University Boulevard and Main Street. The building’s design combines some of the more traditional Rice elements, such as the iconic St. Joe brick seen on many campus structures, with new concepts. The design features materials and detailing at a human scale on the ground level and facades of glass above, flooding the program areas with natural light and reflecting the rich green canopy of adjacent live oak groves.

Inside the four-story building is an interconnected mix of spaces: classrooms of varying sizes, conference rooms and offices, including the dean of Social Sciences’ suite featuring its own balcony. The windows in Kraft Hall — a feature of every office — fill the structure with natural light, and the building has a large staircase and areas for work and lounging.

The architect for the project was Rogers Partners, and the general contractor was Tellepsen Builders.

The dedication will be a part of the festivities planned to commemorate the School of Social Sciences' 40th anniversary. For more information on other events related to this celebration, visit https://socialsciences.rice.edu/40th-anniversary.

Members of the media are invited to attend the dedication and may RSVP to Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu. For more information on the building, visit https://socialsciences.rice.edu/kraft-hall.


This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu

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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. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.