Student center

Rice University to build new student center with historic $100 million grant

A $100 million grant from the Moody Foundation will allow Rice University to build a new student center and create endowments supporting student programs, university officials announced Sept. 22.

The new center, which will be dubbed the Moody Center for Student Life and Opportunity, will replace the current Rice Memorial Center, which was built more than 60 years ago at a time when Rice’s student population was one-fifth the size of what officials plan for 2025, according to a Sept. 22 press release. The Moody Center is designed by Sir David Adjaye of the London-based Adjaye Associates, whose achievements include the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

The $100 million grant is the largest donation in Rice University’s history, the statement said.

“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.

The center is expected to open in early 2022 and construction will be complete in late 2023. Design plans involve keeping several elements of the Rice Memorial Center intact, including the chapel and cloisters, according to the statement.

Rice University’s 300-acre campus is on Main Street in Houston near West University Place.