Dear Rice Families,
Dear Rice Parents and Families:
With Convocation and Commencement weekend still a fresh and
inspiring memory, Matriculation of the entering class of 2015 is rapidly
approaching. This juncture provides an
excellent opportunity for us to capture the experiences of our newest alumni
and then to share their lessons with our new and continuing students.
This Spring, President Leebron launched the Initiative for
Students, an ambitious set of objectives to respond to the evolving needs and
interests of our students. We are
creating programming in some areas and expanding programming in others to
provide new and greater opportunities for students to develop and grow their
experiences and skills, including leadership, professional development, civic
engagement, and scholarly and creative work. These are the opportunities that our
graduating students told us are what they believed to have been the most
important from their Rice years. We
agree with that assessment and are working to provide these opportunities to
every student who is interested and motivated.
Interesting, this expansion of opportunities comes with a
challenge for each and every student.
Specifically, it will be more and more important for our students to
make wise choices about how they will invest their time, energy and attention. The temptation is very strong to try to take
on every opportunity and meet every challenge.
The most important advice I can convey from our new alumni is to resist
this temptation. You can help us convey
this advice to your student.
Here is the advice I give to all students. Instead of trying to do everything with
little time to focus on any of these activities, choose just a few
opportunities, very wisely, and do them very well. Work with your faculty advisors in your residential
college and in your field of study to narrow your choices. Your Rice experience should not be about
racking up a pages-long list of accomplishments or demonstrating your
performance with a long list of majors or minors which add little in the long
run. Rather, your time at Rice will be
best spent by focusing on your personal growth.
Invest yourself fully in the programs for which you have genuine
passion; take chances on activities or studies that you might not be good at;
allow yourself to experience failure along with success; then take the time to
reflect on your experiences. What can
you learn and what will you learn that will help you become the person you want
Rice offers a vast and open landscape, but each must choose
their own path. The Rice faculty and
staff are here to help.
Congratulations again to the graduates of 2015! And to all new and returning students, we
look forward to seeing you in August!
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