Rice mourns loss of undergraduate Ryan Dullea

Ryan Dullea
Ryan Dullea
Ryan Dullea. Photo by Naomi Doron

Jones College sophomore and chemistry student Ryan Dullea died Oct. 4 at the age of 19.

Dullea, a San Antonio native who used the pronouns they and them, was a friendly, welcoming presence on campus who was always willing to lend a hand, according to those who knew them.

Dullea served as a Jones College O-Week adviser this past summer, just one example of their efforts to support and mentor fellow students. A nature enthusiast, Dullea also worked with the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center as a Rice Outdoor Program and Education trip leader to organize off-campus treks with their fellow Owls.

“I hope that each of us will take a moment to remember and think of Ryan, to be glad for their wonderful presence in our community and grateful for the time that so many were able to spend with Ryan,” said Bridget Gorman, dean of undergraduates, in a message to the Rice community.

Zachary Ball — professor of chemistry and Jones College magister as of fall 2022 — recounted the kindness and dedication Dullea exhibited through their contributions to Jones and to Rice as a whole.

“Since I had some prior interactions with Ryan from the chemistry department, I immediately latched on to Ryan as a comforting and familiar face at a time when I was completely new to Jones,” Ball said. “Ryan was a warm, welcoming and hard-working member of our O-Week team, and they performed admirably in the adviser role. Ryan was also an outstanding member of the club water polo team and the head of the Kitchen Committee at Jones, in addition to many, many other ways that they participated in and impacted our college and our university.

“Ryan was an inquisitive, intelligent and dedicated student who excelled both in the classroom and in the research lab,” Ball continued. “The outpouring of grief that I have seen this week is evidence of the many and diverse friendships and relationships that Ryan built in their time at Rice.”

“For our students, remember that counselors in the Wellbeing Office and the Rice Counseling Center are available to assist anyone who may need support,” Gorman wrote. “You can stop by their offices without an appointment, or you can contact them anytime (day or night) at 713-348-3311 or wellbeing@rice.edu. For staff and faculty, please contact Rice’s Employee Assistance Program at 713-500-3327.”