Student center

Rice rises with massive $100 million gift for innovative new student center

Rice University’s owls have been skyrocketing lately, with the school just named first in Texas and No. 7 in the United States. Now, the institution known as the “Ivy League of the South” is the recipient of a gigantic giveaway for a game-changing student center.

The Moody Foundation has awarded Rice University $100 million for its planned Moody Center for Student Life and Opportunity, which will replace Rice’s current Memorial Center (RMC) and become a new focal point for the 300-meter tree-lined campus. acres of the university, the school announced.

Notably, this new student center is designed by Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates; the acclaimed architect’s other works include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Scheduled to start in early 2022 and complete construction in 2023, the all-new Moody Center for Student Life and Opportunity will retain some elements of the old CMR, namely the chapel and cloisters. Students and staff can expect the remainder of the existing RMC to be demolished, according to a news release.

The $100 million grant from Moody’s sets the record for the largest donation in the university’s history. (Last year, the Robert A. Welch Foundation donated $100 million to the school to create the innovation-focused Welch Institute.) The Moody Foundation donated more than $125 million to Rice since 1964, notes a press release.

As part of Moody’s $100 million gift, a new Moody Fund for Student Opportunities will support a dedicated endowment for student programs “physically rooted in the new student center and elsewhere in the university,” according to the school.

All of this supports Rice’s recently announced plans for a 20% expansion of the undergraduate student body by fall 2025, as CultureMap previously reported.

“We are extremely grateful for this extraordinary philanthropy in support of Rice students,” Rice President David Leebron said in a statement. “This gift will allow our students to broaden their commitments and experiences at Rice in a way that will support their lifelong success. It will also allow us to connect more deeply with Houston and with the world. It will be the epitome of what an inclusive and outward-looking student center should be.

Elle Moody, Trustee of the Moody and Rice Foundation, added, “As an alumnus of Rice University, I know this gift will have a profound and lasting effect on campus and its students. This investment supports more than just a building. We invest in every student, so they have access to any endeavor, whether leadership, artistic, athletic, global or more.