Raymond Brochstein ’56, Brochstein Pavilion namesake and trustee emeritus, dies at 89

Raymond Brochstein and wife, Susan Brochstein, at opening of Brochstein Pavilion
Raymond Brochstein and wife Susan at Brochstein Pavilion grand opening
Raymond Brochstein alongside wife, Susan Brochstein, at the grand opening of the Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion. (Photos by Tommy LaVergne)

Raymond Brochstein ’56, the philanthropist, millwork magnate and architect for whom Rice’s Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion was named, died March 25 at his home in Houston. He was 89.

Brochstein and his wife, Susan, are best known to the Rice community for their generous gift that made possible the Brochstein Pavilion, which has become the heart of the university’s Central Quadrangle and a beloved campus fixture in the years since its 2008 completion.

“Raymond was extraordinary contributor to the Rice community, and I will deeply miss his friendship and advice. Over these last decades he has helped assure that our university and our campus preserve the best of our past while boldly embracing our future,” said Rice President David Leebron. “The Brochstein Pavilion will be a fitting reminder of his much broader legacy at Rice.”

Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion at night
The Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion.​​​​

Raymond Brochstein portrait

Brochstein graduated from Rice’s School of Architecture with Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 1955 and 1956, respectively. In 1962, Brochstein joined Brochsteins Inc., the renowned custom architectural woodwork and furniture company his father founded in 1935. The family business — whose board Brochstein chaired — has worked on countless notable projects, including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas.

A devoted alumnus, Brochstein donated to numerous campus projects and endeavors over the years. He was a member of the Rice Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2002, serving on the Building and Grounds Committee. A lover of the arts, Brochstein remained an active member of Rice’s Public Art Committee until his passing.

“We shall sorely miss Raymond’s wise counsel, his keen eye and his unparalleled wit,” said Edward Djerejian, director of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, in a statement.

Brochstein received the Gold Medal Award from the Association of Rice Alumni in 2011, and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Houston chapter in 2012.

Brochstein is survived by Susan, son Benjamin Brochstein ’15, daughter Deborah Brochstein ’00 and granddaughter Rachel Hecht.