Message from the President

Rice University prides itself on our contributions to our world, the excellence of our teaching and research, and our distinctive and supportive culture. Now six years into our second century, Rice University has changed a tremendous amount since 59 students and 12 faculty members participated in the first matriculation in the early fall of 1912. We have remained true to our founding ideals and ambitions, building over the course of a century one of the great universities of America. Rice’s mission and aspirations are captured in our mission statement:

As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to pathbreaking research, unsurpassed teaching, and contributions to the betterment of our 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.

We are indeed an unusual university. We are among the renowned research universities of the world. Despite our comparatively small size, we are committed to a wide spectrum of endeavors ranging across our eight schools and many inter-disciplinary institutes and centers. Our success is built on the contributions of every part of our community: graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, alumni and other supporters across our city and around the world. 

We strive to be bold in our aspirations and entrepreneurial in our approach. We seek to make a distinctive contribution to our home city of Houston while achieving a global impact through education, research, and service. We are committed to enriching understanding, creating opportunity, discovering knowledge, and improving our world. Reflecting these ambitions, we have recently adopted a new strategic plan, the “V2C2”, which you can learn more about at

The General Announcements of the University sets forth the immense array of opportunities for our students, as well as the rules and policies which govern their participation as students in the university. But we demand more of each other than just adherence to rules and policies. We expect that all members of our community will be guided in all their endeavors by the core Rice values: Responsibility, Integrity, Community and Excellence. These values are just as important as the academic offerings and rules included in these announcements. If you have questions about how rules and policies may apply to you, we urge you to seek advice from one of the many sources available to you.

We take great pride in the diversity of our community in every aspect, even while recognizing we must continue the work of building a more diverse community across the university. Our success requires thoughtfulness and respect in every interaction on our campus, whether with members of the Rice community or the visitors we welcome. Each of us has a role to play in helping to assure access and inclusion for all members of our community. Our “culture of care” demands not only that we not cause harm to others, but also that we look out for each other and provide or seek help when needed. 

We are pleased that you have chosen to become a part of this dynamic university as it embarks on its second century of excellence and achievement. On behalf of our faculty and staff, I wish you every success as you pursue your educational endeavors. We take pride in the special community of Rice, and look forward to working with you as you seize the opportunities of Rice to achieve your aspirations and dreams.

David W. Leebron
Rice University