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The 1891 Charter of Incorporation for Rice University provided for the "establishment and maintenance in the city of Houston of a Public Library." This library was founded in 1913 with a beginning collection of fewer than 200 volumes. Today, Fondren Library is a research library with over 1.9 million volumes, 2.4 million microforms, 12,000 current serials and periodicals, and 83,000 titles on audio tape, video tape, and compact disc. The library is also a selective depository for U.S. and Texas government publications and for U.S. patents and trademarks. Fondren is an invaluable resource to the university and is also regularly used by citizens of Houston. In 1996-97, approximately 690,000 people visited the library; on an average day, about 22% of the patrons were from outside Rice. The library's holdings are broad, reflecting the various interests of the university community.

Rare book and manuscript collections of note in Fondren Library's Woodson Research Center include:
NASA's Johnson Space Center History Archive
Public Service Archives of James A. Baker, III, 61st Secretary of State, 67th Secretary of the Treasury, former White House Chief of Staff, and former Undersecretary of Commerce
Papers of William L. Clayton, author of the Marshall Plan
Papers of Julian Huxley
Masterson Collection of Texana.
Benjamin Monroe Anderson Collection on the History of Aeronautics


In addition to providing a library for students and citizens, Rice's charter charged the new institute with cultivating other means of instruction for the inhabitants of Houston and Texas. While the scope of Rice's educational endeavor has long since surpassed the boundaries of city and state, the university remains committed to public service.


More than 400 of the year's arts events are open to the public and are either free or of minimal charge. An estimated 10,000 people annually view the art and photography exhibits of the Rice University Art Gallery and Rice Media Center and attend the Media Center's film screenings; more than 65,000 people attend the free operas, concerts, and recitals offered by the Shepherd School of Music.

In addition, modern dance performances by Rice Dance Theater, theatrical productions by the Rice Players and residential colleges, and a wide variety of annual lectures and symposia are offered. The current month's events are listed weekly on the back page of the Rice News, or in the online calendar.

Conference rooms are available for reservation.

Free campus tours are given by University Relations for school field trips and foreign visitors.

The Career Services Center offers a variety of career testing and advising to the general public.

Both the student newspaper, Rice Thresher, and the faculty/staff newspaper, Rice News, are available for free on campus and in the surrounding area. Sallyport magazine presents feature stories and articles about the university. Owlmanac features news and alumni profiles and chronicles classes by year. The student magazine flux highlights literary submissions from both professional and nonprofessional writers, while The Rice Undergraduate is a student-run academic journal. Also staffed by students, The University Blue magazine features original poetry, prose, art, and photography by students, faculty, and alumni.

General information about Rice is offered through the Office of Admission, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Institutional Research. Current academic/special interest publications, such as the Rice Historical Society's Cornerstone, are offered through their parent departments/centers/institutes; for a more comprehensive look at faculty output, check the current year's Scholarly Interests and Activities of the Faculty and Faculty Fellows.

KTRU 91.7 FM is the 50,000-watt campus radio station broadcasting an eclectic mix of music, news, sports, and educational programming; it also sponsors campus concerts.

The Rice University internet homepage, known as riceinfo, is a global link to the campus community and campus events. This website contains a wide range of information that varies from club sports to faculty research. Viewers can take a campus tour, browse the library catalogs, check admission information and course schedules, find out what's for dinner in the residential colleges, and review the infamous T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project results.

More detailed information about Rice's many and varied outreach programs can be found in the Educational Outreach homepage and in the departmental homepages; the Office of Institutional Research also has available a printed general summary. The Rice Facts booklet and the 1997 Fact Sheet (a summary offering quick facts at a glance) are also available in printed form from the OIR.


The Houston Area Survey, now in its seventeenth year, was created, conducted, and reported by Sociology professor Stephen Klineberg. The survey explores the experiences, attitudes, and beliefs of Houston area residents in a time of extraordinary social change: the new global knowledge-based economy is creating an increasingly two-tiered society, polarized on the basis of education and skills, and the new immigration is rapidly transforming the region's ethnic makeup. Contact: Dr. Stephen Klineberg, 713.527.4831, slk@ruf.rice.edu.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biological Sciences Initiative. This program includes a summer science camp for middle school girls and a teacher training program (both conducted at the Rice/HISD School) and curriculum efforts at several high schools. Contact: Dr. Fred Rudolph, 713.527.4017, fbr@rice.edu.

Gulf Coast Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (GCAME). This program encourages minority students in the 8th grade to pursue college degrees and careers in engineering. Contact: Scott Granlund, 713.527.8101(x3653), granlund@rice.edu.

Mathematical and Computational Sciences Awareness Workshop. Honored as a model program by the National Science Foundation, this workshop educates teachers from Houston area elementary and high schools about mathematical and computational science careers that their students, especially underrepresented minorities, might productively pursue. Contact: Theresa Chatman, 713.285.5180, tlc@cs.rice.edu.

Rice University Summer School. Student teachers from Rice's education department and master teachers from the Houston area teach enrichment and regular credit courses to children in grades 6 through 12. Contact: Dr. Lissa Heckelman, 713.527.4967, heckel@rice.edu.

South Texas Science Academy. This joint program with the Science Academy of South Texas provides summer intern programs and curriculum development support. Contact: Dr. Fred Rudolph, 713.527.4017, fbr@rice.edu.

Spend a Summer with a Scientist Program. Undergraduate students from historically underrepresented ethnic groups work on research projects with Rice faculty. Contact: Theresa Chatman, 713.285.5180, tlc@cs.rice.edu.


The Rice University Women's Resource Center details research issues affecting women, promotes a safe and supportive campus, facilitates learning opportunities in the Houston area, and provides an open forum for social justice. Contact: Ramona Hicks, 713.527.4096, rhicks@ruf.rice.edu.

Rice Emergency Medical Service (REMS) provides medical care to the Rice community in the event of an emergency. This is a volunteer program involving students, faculty, and staff who are certified Emergency Medical Technicians. REMS also provides emergency medical care for special events, as well as an EMT training course every spring. Contact: Mark E. A. Escott, 281.433.1189.

The Rice Outdoors Club (ROC), run by students with a faculty sponsor, plans outdoor activities for weekends, academic breaks, and summers, including rock climbing, hiking, flat-water canoeing and white-water rafting, caving, and biking, for Rice students, faculty, and staff.

The Rice University Wellness Center Aerobic Program is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community; each semester, yoga, strength training, aqua aerobics, and circuit training are among the options offered. Contact: Margaret Brown, 713.527.4058.

The Naval Science department, which administers Rice's ROTC program and is given by Rice ROTC alumni, will demonstrate to current midshipmen that the values stressed for military life are also relevant to civilian life. Contact: Captain W. O. King, Jr., 713.527.3394.

Work projects, field trips, special events, program lunches/dinners are integral parts of the Rice Historical Society, which is committed to collecting and preserving Rice University's history. Contact: Greg Marshall, 713.527.4057, gmarshal@ruf.rice.edu.


ADVANCE (Advocating Diversity and Assisting Career Exploration), funded by Texaco, provides a truly diverse group of Rice students with an opportunity to master the necessary skills for leadership and career success, while actively working to create a campus environment that embraces individual differences and emphasizes the unity of humankind. Contact: Catherine Clack, 713.285.5124, clack@ruf.rice.edu.

SOAR (Students Organized Against Rape). Concerned men and women work to decrease the incidence of acquaintance rape and other forms of sexual assault by promoting awareness through education at Rice and in the community. Contact: Dr. Cynthia Lanier, 713.285.5194, clanier@rice.edu.

Community Involvement Center

The Community Involvement Center (CIC), an office within the division of Student Affairs, strives to develop a culture of service within the University by advocating community service and social responsibility. Further information can be obtained by calling 713.527.4970. Programs and services include:

1. Volunteer Referrals. As a clearinghouse of resources and referrals on community agencies and service opportunities, the CIC offers easy access to volunteer opportunities within the Houston area. Information on national and international services are available, as well.

2. Resource Library. A growing collection of information on community service, English as a Second Language, literacy, and other social issues is available.

3. Outreach Days. Sponsored by the Rice Student Volunteer Program, this tri-annual event organizes several hundred students, faculty, and staff to participate in a day of service activities.

4. Urban Immersion. This program is designed to orient incoming students to community service and the urban issues and social needs in the Houston area through an intensive week of service projects, visits to local social service agencies, and structured reflection sessions.

5. Good Works Volunteer and Career Fair. Provided in conjunction with Career Services, this event is an opportunity for students to learn about volunteer positions, internships, and employment with local, national, and international nonprofit public service agencies.

6. ESL Tutoring Program. The English as a Second Language Tutoring Program trains and coordinates Rice students to work one-on-one with University employees and community members.

7. International Service Project. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to spend two weeks each summer living and working as international volunteers in a project planned and coordinated by the CIC.

8. Service Learning Advocacy. The CIC works with faculty and students to design service-learning components for existing classes and to develop new service-learning courses in order to link academic theory with practical experience and to encourage students to use their education to respond to human needs.

9. Alternative Break Program. During academic breaks, students participate in a variety of national and international service project trips planned by the CIC or one or more student organizations.

Student Service Organizations

The CIC works with and advises a number of student-run volunteer programs:

1. Amnesty International Chapter. The Rice Campus Chapter of this national organization meets weekly to write letters on behalf of persons imprisoned for their political or religious beliefs and to raise awareness of worldwide human rights issues.

2. Best Buddies. The Rice Chapter of Best Buddies matches Rice students with adults from the Center for the Retarded.

3. Friends of Young Minds. Members of the Rice community have organized to find and ship older computers from the U.S. to students in India.

4. Habitat for Humanity Chapter. Rice's chapter of Habitat for Humanity works every Saturday alongside homeowners to build and rehabilitate houses in the Houston area for the purpose of eliminating substandard housing and alleviating homelessness. The chapter also offers an annual Spring Break service trip to Honduras.

5. Headstart. In this federally funded preschool program for children from low-income families, Rice volunteers assist teachers by working with children at a local center.

6. Junior Achievement. Rice students volunteer to teach business skills and concepts to at-risk elementary school students in order to show them the applicability of what they are learning in school to real life.

7. One-on-One Tutoring. Each Saturday, Rice volunteers work as tutors and role models for boys from low-income families.

8. Operation Success. Rice volunteers provide after-school tutoring and mentoring for students at Jack Yates High School.

9. OUTReach. Volunteers spend time each week at Yzaguirre School and Queen of Peace Middle School. The volunteers and youth discuss issues such as goal setting, peer pressure, and respect for themselves and others.

10. Project Apple. Students serve as volunteer substitute teachers for first, second, and third grade teachers in HISD while the teachers attend professional development programs.

11. Rice Student Volunteer Program. The university's largest student service organization, RSVP works to heighten student awareness of social issues and to increase the community involvement of Rice students by organizing a wide range of service projects by providing funding for other student service groups. RSVP has formed committees to address issues related to children, education, hunger and homelessness, the environment, and health. Projects include Outreach Days, clothing drives, Project Pumpkin, Hunger Banquet, and Beach Clean-ups.

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Copyright © 1998 by Rice University. A publication of the Office of Institutional Research. (Email: instresr@ruf.rice.edu).

Last updated 20 February 1998.