Rice University


Rice University is a private, coeducational university in Houston, Texas. It was chartered in 1891 as Rice Institute and endowed by William Marsh Rice. It opened in 1912 as The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art. It was renamed as The William Marsh Rice University, commonly called Rice University in 1960.

The university is patterned after the residential college system. It has schools of architecture, engineering, humanities, music, natural sciences, social sciences and a graduate school of administration. It also has science and engineering laboratories as well as an institute for computer services and an institute for the arts. Moreover, the university's nuclear research laboratory has close ties with the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center at NASA.

Rice University is renowned for its elite undergraduate division and its superiority in applied sciences. It has been recognized for its pioneering efforts in such fields as nanotechnology, space science, structural chemical analysis and artificial heart research.

General Information

Rice University's motto is "Letters, Science, Art."

Located at Houston, Texas, the university stands on 285 acres of land.

As of 2006, the private university had a total endowment of US $4.1 billion. Its total undergraduates totaled 2,886 while its postgraduates numbered 1,922. The university has a faculty of 855.

The university's current president is David W. Leebron. Its mascot is "Sammy the Owl," while its website is Rice.edu.


While The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science, and Art was founded in 1891, there were some significant challenges to be hurdled before it could officially open. Perhaps no challenge was greater than the murder of its founder, William Marsh Rice in 1900. Rice, then 84, was living by himself in New York city when he was fatally poisoned by his valet.

After his death, authorities discovered that his will was changed and that much of his estate was left to his friend, lawyer Albert T. Patrick. Suddenly, the opening of the Rice Institute was put under great jeopardy. However, following extensive investigations, authorities discovered evidence that Rice's valet had conspired with Patrick in preparing the phony will. Subsequently, Patrick was convicted of murder in 1901.

Despite that, the legal challenges to Rice's fortune persisted. Finally, in 1904, the Rice Institute was awarded a $4.6 million funding endowment, which is equivalent to about $95 million based on 2005 values. This paved the way for the opening of the Rice Institute i 1912. By that time, the institute's endowment had increased to nearly $18 million, which was then the seventh largest endowment for a university in the United States.

Rice Institute's first president was Edgar Odell Lovett of Princeton. Before he finalized plans for Rice Institute, Lovett undertook extensive research, which included trips to 78 institutions of higher learning all over the world in 1908 and 1909. In 1911, the cornerstone for the inaugural building (now known as Lovett Hall) was laid and course work began in 1912.

Unlike most learning institutions, Rice was unique in the sense that it admitted both male and female students, with 48 men and 29 women comprising the first class. In 1916, the first commencement exercises were held. That year, the studentry also formally adopted the Honor System.

In 1930, a memorial statue in honor of its founder, William Marsh Rice, was dedicated. The statue is now one of the campus' leading landmarks. In 1957, Rice adopted the residential college system, following in the footsteps of Yale University, which had done the same thing about 20 years earlier.

The Rice Institute Computer went on line in 1959 and, a year later, the institute was renamed Rice University. In 1962, the university donated a large portion of its land to NASA for use as the Manned Space Flight Center, which is now known as Johnson Space Center. Shortly thereafter, President John F. Kennedy announced in a speech at Rice Stadium that the country's goal was "to become the world's leading space-faring nation."

While the original Rice Institute charter called for tuition-free education for "the white inhabitants of Houston, and the state of Texas," this changed drastically in 1963 when the university board filed a lawsuit that ultimately allowed students of all races to be admitted in Rice and allowed the university to charge tuition fees. The year 1965 marked the first time that Rice charged tuition.

In 1974, the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management and the Shepherd School of Music were founded at Rice. In 1979, the Rice School of Social Sciences was also founded.

The James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy was established in 1993, followed by the Edyth Bates Old Grand Organ and Recital Hall and the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology in 1997. The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology was established in 1999.

The year 1999 also marked a milestone for the university as the Rice Owls baseball team was ranked number one in the country for the first time ever. The university won its first baseball national championship in 2003, marking the university's first national championship in any sport.


The annual U.S. News & World Report ranked Rice University as number 17 among doctoral granting institutions in 2006. Meanwhile, the 2007 Princeton Review ranked Rice as number three in “Best Overall Academic Experience for Undergraduates” and among the Top 20 schools where students "Never Stop Studying." Moreover, the same study ranked Rice University as number one in the nation in two categories: “Best Quality of Life” and “Lots of Race / Class Interaction.”

Admissions into Rice on the undergraduate level continues to be exceedingly challenging as only 22% of total applicants for the Class of 2009 got through. Among the 727 enrollees, 76% ranked among the top five percent in their high school and 19% were class valedictorians.

The Economist reported that, according to the 2006 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Rice University ranked among the top 100 educational institutions around the world based on quality of scientific research. In addition, The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Rice University among the top 150 schools worldwide.





Infromation Technology, 6100 Main St - MS119
Houston TX 77005 US

Additional Information

Related Domains

External Links

Retrieved from "http://aboutus.com/index.php?title=Rice.edu&oldid=5795087"