Rice Parents
Parents and Families Newsletter
Issue No. 29 - Fall 2020
A message from Dean Gorman

Dear Rice Parents and Families,

As we all settle into the fall semester, attending Zoom classes and meetings from across the globe, I hope this newsletter can serve as reminder of the many ways to stay connected with the Rice community. In this newsletter, you’ll find stories from campus life, information about a reimagined Families Weekend as part of a larger virtual event called Owl Together, and additional virtual programming through VirtuOwl Connections.

I encourage you to take advantage of these exciting ways to engage with the university and with Rice families and friends. Whether you are near or far, I look forward to working together to provide the best experience for our Owls.

Sending my best wishes,
Bridget Gorman, Dean of Undergraduates


News Around Campus

Rice rises to No. 16 in 2021 U.S. News rankings

Rice University moved up to the No. 16 ranking among the best national universities in the 2021 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guidebook. Rice, which ranked No. 17 nationally last year, tied for the No. 16 position with Washington University in St. Louis. It remains the guidebook’s highest-ranking university in Texas.

Alexander Byrd appointed Rice’s first Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

History professor Alexander Byrd ’90 has been appointed Rice University’s first Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The position’s creation was announced by President David Leebron and Provost Reginald DesRoches as part of a plan of action aimed at improving the university and the broader community.

Campus Kindness: Chinese Parents Association donates PPE to Houston institutions

As a token of appreciation to Rice and Houston for educating and hosting their children, the Rice University Chinese Parents Association has donated 65,000 disposable masks and 250 face shields to Memorial Hermann hospital and the Harris Health System.

Rice Magazine highlights Owls’ perspective on COVID-19

The summer issue of Rice Magazine highlights voices from the Rice community as they navigate the pandemic through personal essays, visual art projects and more.

New building for visual and dramatic arts students and faculty at Rice to be named in honor of Fayez Sarofim

A new facility that will serve the needs of visual and dramatic arts students and faculty at Rice University is closer to being realized thanks to a generous lead gift from Houston businessman and philanthropist Fayez Sarofim. The building, to be named in honor of Sarofim, will be a 50,000-square-foot facility situated next door to the Moody Center for the Arts and will seek to amplify the arts on campus and in the community.


Student Life

Preserving the spirit of O-Week

Amidst an unprecedented campus environment, student directors and coordinators worked hard to provide an exceptional O-Week experience for the Rice Class of 2024.

Remote control: CTE’s Adaptive Course Design Institute prepares professors for teaching online

When Rice professors learned the university would be offering a dual-delivery system for courses during the fall 2020 semester — a combination of in-person and online classes due to the ongoing pandemic — they did what you’d expect at an institution renowned for its commitment to quality teaching. Across the university, professors learned everything they could about designing and teaching courses online, thanks to the Adaptive Course Design Institute offered by Rice’s Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).

Service opportunities available from the Center for Civic Leadership

The Center for Civic Leadership has gathered a list of resources, service opportunities and ways for students to stay creatively engaged while staying safe during the pandemic.

Architecture students win first place for pandemic-proof dormitory design

An elegantly imagined college dormitory designed for use during a pandemic has won top honors for a duo of Rice University students in the 2020 American Institute of Architects Houston (AIAH) Gulf Coast Green Student Competition.

Association of Rice Alumni welcomes new students virtually

This summer, the Association of Rice Alumni welcomed incoming Owls and their families to Rice University through Virtual New Student Celebrations! More than 1,000 members of the Rice community all over the country joined us for these unique events, bringing together new students, current students, parents and alumni. Watch a video where alumni, current students and parents share advice for the class of 2024.


Parent Involvement

Save the date for Owl Together 2020

While Rice is unable to hold large-scale, in-person events this semester, the university is bringing the intellectual vibrancy, culture and creativity of campus life to you. Save the dates for Owl Together 2020, a new and exciting virtual event that combines the best of Families Weekend and Homecoming & Reunion into one exciting week, Oct. 26–Nov. 1!

Show off your Rice pride with new masks

Our campus store now sells face coverings for you and your Owl to express your Rice spirit. Check out the store website to see these new offerings.

Learn alongside your Owls with courses at the Glasscock School

The Glasscock School for Continuing Studies has a robust program available to explore the arts, humanities, creative writing and more. Now is a great time to explore online offerings and take advantage of exciting learning opportunities open to the Rice community and beyond.

Support student life with the Rice Annual Fund

Rice students deserve to have the best possible undergraduate experience, and the university is committed to creating an environment where they can feed their curiosity and actively contribute to solutions. You can help meet this goal. Your gift to the Rice Annual Fund will help ensure that all students have the opportunities to make the most out of their time at Rice.

Host an OwlEdge Externship

The Center for Career Development is excited to continue offering the Owl Edge Externship, a job-shadowing program. During the university's winter recess and spring break, students will be matched to a host (you!) to learn more about a career path. We invite you to help Rice students gain a professional advantage —build their "Owl Edge" — by serving as a career mentor! This can be done through a 1:1 conversation, multiple conversations with various team members or even a small virtual group session. We are accepting hosts through Oct. 14.

Stay engaged with VirtuOwl Connections

Join the Association of Rice Alumni in making #VirtuOWLConnections with the Rice community of students, alumni, parents and friends as we adjust to a new normal in the wake of COVID-19. While we can’t be together in person, we can always stay connected with our global Rice family through virtual events and connections.




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