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Issue No. 6—Winter 2013
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Proud Parents Establish a Scholarship to Honor Their Son

When Sharon and Charlie Shaver’s son Ryan ’12 transferred to Rice at the beginning of his junior year, the proud parents had high expectations but weren’t intimately familiar with the school. Sure, they knew of Rice’s stellar academic reputation, but the real question was, Would Ryan thrive here? It didn’t take long to get their answer, and what began as a wonderful experience for Ryan soon became a wonderful experience for Sharon and Charlie.

In fact, although Ryan graduated last year, the couple’s connection to Rice continues to deepen. Since Ryan’s graduation, Sharon and Charlie have hosted a high-energy send-off party for future Owls and their families, and Charlie, who holds a degree in chemical engineering, volunteered to judge an undergraduate engineering competition at Rice. But to date, their most lasting connection to Rice is the Ryan M. Shaver Humanities Scholarship that they recently endowed in their son’s name.

“Endowing a scholarship is our way of thanking Rice for doing so much for Ryan,” Sharon explained, “and it’s a great way to honor our son, while also helping future students and maintaining our connection to the university.”

“Ryan’s education at Rice made him a world citizen,” Charlie said. “His time at the university challenged him and encouraged him to explore all sorts of opportunities.”

Among the most memorable of these was an Alternative Spring Break trip, through which Ryan and his fellow students traveled to Colorado to volunteer with the visually disabled. The history major also researched public memories of the Cold and Civil Wars under the guidance of history professors Allen Matusow and Caleb McDaniel, who inspired him to pursue a graduate degree in history.

Sharon and Charlie watched Ryan flourish as a result of such experiences, and thanks to the Shaver Scholarship, they’re giving future students the chance to flourish, as well. Endowed scholarships such as the Ryan M. Shaver Humanities Scholarship continue in perpetuity, allowing their donors to leave a legacy benefiting generations of students.

In fact, endowed scholarships are so important to the university’s long-term accessibility and affordability that Rice named its $100 million Centennial Scholarship Initiative a strategic priority of the Centennial Campaign, which culminates this summer. All gifts and pledges made by June 30, 2013, will count toward the campaign goal.

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, please contact Kathy Duplessis, director of Development, Parents and Families, at 713-348-4619 or kdup@rice.edu.