Moody X-Fest ’24 punctuates weekslong celebration of the Moody Experience at Rice

Moody X-Frest '24

The Rice University community gathered for the second year in celebration of the Moody Foundation’s historic $100 million gift to the campus. More than 1,500 students flocked to Founder’s Court April 19 for Moody X-Fest ’24, the signature event to capstone the weekslong celebration of the Moody Experience.

Moody X-Fest ’24 incorporated games, free food, music and swag items for one of the campus’ most eventful bashes. The evening’s entertainment included student music groups Los Búhos del Norte, Basmati Beats, Rice Philharmonics, Rice Lions, BASYK as well as headliner Jeremy Zucker.

Zucker is a singer-songwriter and producer known for his fusion of introspective lyrics with pop music. His music leans on conversation-starting lyricism and intimate sonic architecture as the bedrock of his distinct sound. In 2015, he released his first EP “Beach Island.” His breakout single “comethru” was part of a summer 2018 EP and quickly gained popularity on various platforms. His debut album “love is not dying” was released in April 2020.

As an event geared toward student satisfaction, the lead band or performer has traditionally been a reflection of Rice students’ preferences. Students participated in a survey and Zucker emerged as the top choice among the nearly 900 students who partook in the poll.

“Today is very special because Moody X-Fest allows every Rice student to celebrate our achievement as one community,” said Xin Tan, vice president of student advocacy for the Graduate Student Association. “Tonight is also very important for us to appreciate the wonderful gift from the Moody Foundation. Over the years, they have created so many opportunities, facilities and programs for every student on this campus.”

In 2021, the Moody Foundation made an extraordinary commitment to Rice to build a transformative student center and to create 12 endowments under the Moody Experience umbrella. It was the largest single gift in the university’s history. Since 1964, the Moody Foundation has contributed more than $125 million to Rice.

Freshmen Sneha Mondal and Madison James attended Moody X-Fest for the first time this year, and they shared their exuberance about the night’s programming.

“I think it’s super cool,” Mondal said. “Rice is a small school, and I feel like events like this bring everyone together.”

“It’s been a lot of work this year, so this is a treat to end the year and have fun before we study for finals,” James said.

Graduating senior Ethan Kao mirrored the excitement.

“I wanted to enjoy the last few opportunities that Rice presents,” Kao said. “This is a great one. There’s tons of food trucks and awesome music. We had a great time and a lot of fun.”

In its totality, this year's celebration of the Moody Experience ran April 9-23, and beyond the hallmark festival on April 19, it included more activities this year. New was Inquiry Weeks, a campuswide series of events celebrating ongoing research, design and creative works by Rice students that was sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry. Inquiry Weeks spanned 16 individual events across natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, humanities, music, civic leadership, creative writing and more.

In addition, the celebration continued via a partnership with Rice Athletics as the Rice baseball team took on the University of Alabama at Birmingham April 12-14 and the university hosted the J. Fred Duckett Twilight Track and Field Meet April 20.

Moody X-Fest
(Photos by Jeff Fitlow, Brandon Martin and Gustavo Raskosky)
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