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Town Hall launches oneyear countdown to Centennial Celebration

first_imgShareBY B.J. ALMONDRice News staffWearing a “Celebrate Rice” T-shirt, President David Leebron celebrated the university’s successes during the Town Hall meeting held on Rice Day – Oct. 12 — in the Shepherd School of Music’s Stude Concert Hall.The event launched the one-year countdown to Rice’s Centennial Celebration planned for Oct. 10-14, 2012.“We’ve had a tremendous amount of progress, some of which is very visible,” Leebron said as he reviewed the key points of the Vision for the Second Century (V2C) adopted nearly five years ago.He gave as an example the expansion of the undergraduate student body, which he said is almost 30 percent larger and more diverse without sacrificing the legendary high quality of students at Rice. And the record 13,816 applications that Rice received for fall 2011 is likely to be broken again next year, he said.“One of the things that is really critical to us is our research,” Leebron said. “As part of the centennial, we want to make people aware of all the things that we have contributed to.”The dramatic growth in sponsored research funding, which totaled $115.3 million in fiscal year 2011, reflects both the large quantity of proposals written by faculty and the high quality of those proposals, he said.From the world’s first tunable lasers and the nanotechnology revolution to digital signal processing and artificial heart research, Rice has made the world a better place. “Every time you use a cell phone, remember that there’s stuff in that phone that was invented by people at Rice,” Leebron said.While a number of faculty members who made such research discoveries in years past are still active at Rice, “we have newer and younger faculty who are making their own pathway in building things for the future,” Leebron said.Identifying past accomplishments that have set the stage for current and future endeavors, Leebron noted that the Houston Area Survey began at Rice 30 years ago and now is housed in the Kinder Institute for Urban Research, where that research will be extended to other cities around the world. “The fundamental research of understanding human society will pay many benefits in the future,” he said.New buildings like the Brockman Hall for Physics and the BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) are facilitating more research progress, Leebron said. He noted that the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) recently chose the BRC as the site to present grant awards to Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Houston, Rice and other Texas Medical Center institutions – evidence that the BRC has become the hub of interdisciplinary medical and scientific research at Rice and the TMC.Campus vibrancy has improved dramatically, due to such factors as the new Rice Public Art program, Brochstein Pavilion and the renovated Coffeehouse in the student center, Leebron said. “The new Rice Coffeehouse will transform the RMC and turn it into a more welcoming, dynamic space.”Progress also has been made toward the V2C goal of increased engagement with the city of Houston, he said. Leebron cited the Glasscock School for Continuing Studies’ and other Rice K-12 programs, Rice’s growing collaborations with the Houston Independent School District, research by faculty and students on the city’s problems and the volunteer work done by the Rice community. “We’re not perceived as sitting behind the hedges; we’re seen as being engaged with the problems of Houston,” he said.100 Centennial Stars to be honoredFROM RICE NEWS STAFF REPORTSNow that the one-year countdown to the Centennial Celebration has begun, Rice University will be honoring 100 staff members throughout the year as “Centennial Stars.”This designation will be given to staff members who go above and beyond their job duties, who support the university’s goals, who have a positive impact on Rice culture and who contribute to a better future. Each will receive a Star award and a certificate.Human Resources will accept nominations from peers, colleagues, co-workers and supervisors. Nominees must be in a benefits-eligible position for at least two years as of Jan. 1, 2012 and have no current disciplinary or performance concerns.To nominate someone as a Centennial Star, go to https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG14412.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more