President’s Message

In his 1912 inaugural address, Rice University president Edgar Odell Lovett set forth an ambitious vision, proclaiming, “The new institution … aspires to university standing of the highest grade… For the present it is proposed to assign no upper limit to its educational endeavor.”

Rice has followed Lovett’s vision even as it has transformed over the years. As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice continues to aspire to pathbreaking research, unsurpassed teaching and contributions to the betterment of the world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

Over the past decade, the university has significantly increased the size and diversity of its student population, enhanced its educational and research missions and funding, increased the capacity and vibrancy of the campus with $900 million in new construction, created a campus art program and added to its arts offerings, deepened its relationship with its home city of Houston, built strong international relationships and programs, and earned greater visibility locally, nationally and across the globe.

Our focus on teaching is evident in an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1, while our emphasis on research excellence is bolstered by approximately $140 million in annual research expenditures. Rice encourages both undergraduate and graduate students to engage in the creation of new knowledge and technology, and 65 percent of our undergraduates participate in research during their time on campus.

In the spirit of Lovett’s ambitious vision, accessibility and affordability are among Rice’s core commitments. About half of our annual endowment distribution is spent on undergraduate and graduate aid. We seek students of keen intellect and diverse backgrounds who not only show potential for success at Rice, but who will also contribute to the educational environment of those around them. Roughly half of our students hail from out of state, and 13 percent from other countries. We were recently ranked No. 5 for diversity on Priceonomic’s list of top 100 universities ranked by diversity; the Princeton Review ranked us No. 1 for race/class interaction. We firmly believe that diversity increases the intellectual vitality of education, scholarship, service and communal life at Rice.

David W. Leebron