Talk:Rice University

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Needs a better tone[edit]

This is written like an advertisement. " Rice alumni are prominent in every sector of society today. " I mean, come on. And its not cited, nor is there any real standard for statements like that. Also "It was ranked first in the world in materials science research by the Times Higher Education (THE) in 2010." I don't think that's what people care about, at least when they're trying to get an overview of the college. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:38, 31 December 2012 (UTC)


The new Leiden University rankings for 2011 are out and Rice is ranked 4th in the world. This needs to be added to the Wikipedia page somewhere. See — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:47, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Donation of land to NASA[edit]

According to the "fact or fiction" sallyport page which this article already cites, Rice did not donate any land to NASA. I will change this to reflect this text from that sallyport article: "Rice didn’t actually own the 1,000-acre plot 22 miles southeast of downtown but simply acted as a temporary intermediary in its transfer. Humble Oil and Refining Company gave the property to Rice in 1961 on the condition that the university offer it to the government to draw NASA to Houston. The free land sweetened a package put together by NASA board member and Rice alumnus Representative Albert Thomas ’20 and sealed the deal in bringing a manned space flight center to Texas." Sunbeam44 (talk) 03:18, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Opening Line[edit]

First, the Princeton Review ranking is for the collegiate division only. Second, Rice came in third, which would not make it the highest. Needs revision.

Rankings info has been moved and taken care of. AniRaptor2001 (talk) 19:35, 4 April 2009 (UTC)


After reading this page today (May 21, 2006), I made a number of edits to correct factual errors and to tone down the boosterism and overstatement that marred parts of the article. I am not finished, but posted these to be sure they were saved. Examples of changes include numbers: Reliant Park is 2 miles, not 5 miles, from Rice; there are 14 museums in the Museum District area, not "twenty or so"; and the campus is not 1/4 mile from Hermann Park, but directly adjoins it.

The "neo-Byzantine" architectural reference, while a familiar reference, is much more accurately replaced by a term like "eclectic Mediterranean." Ralph Adams Cram, the architect of Lovett Hall and the other buildings in the original set, referenced "eclectics" as his philosophy of design, and said that the original buildings he designed at Rice were concieved by becoming "familiar with what had been done around the shores of the Mediterranean: Syrian, Constantinean, Byzantine, Lombard, Dalmatian, French, Italian and Spanish Romanesque with a covert glance at the Moorish art of North Africa. . . ."

       What the article terms academic "quadrangles" are actually courts. (Dutchdictionary (talk) 09:55, 5 July 2008 (UTC))

A number of factual corrections were taken from the Rice website, such as the current size of the endowment ($3.3 billion, apparently down from $3.7 billion), as is 20% (actually 18+%) of Rice students being National Merit Scholars. I identify "Rice Village" for those unfamiliar with Houston. Also, calling the Medical Center the largest "on the planet" is a claim not even the Medical Center itself makes, so I substituted something more accurate.

I changed language, probably inadvertent, suggesting that Rice excluded ethnic minorities prior to the mid-1960's charter change. In fact, the exclusionary clause was only applied to African Americans, according to "A Brief History of Rice" (Revised Edition), by John B. Boles, Boles states that "In keeping with the spirit of the times in which he lived, William M. Rice had specified in the 1891 charter that The Rice Institute was to provide a variety of means to educate the 'white inhabitants of the City of Houston, and state of Texas.' While out-of-state students had been accepted from the first and international students soon thereafter, Asian and Hispanic students—according to the racial protocol of the South—had been subsumed under the category of white. No black students had ever been admitted."

I also corrected various errors regarding the murder of William Marsh Rice. In particular, Albert Patrick was never Mr. Rice's lawyer, but was the New York lawyer representing Mr. Rice's opponents in a will contest over his late wife's estate. Additionally, Patrick was not the sole legatee under the will, which would been too obvious. Rather, he cleverly included Rice's natural kin in an effort to create natural allies to the will he and Mr. Rice's valet forged.

I felt compelled to mitigate in some way the article's puffing of Seventeen magazine's "coolest college" rating. U.S. News and World Report's articles are bad enough, but at least they are widely treated as relevant. Quoting Seventeen as some kind of authority on anything but lipstick, by comparison, has to be a bit excessive. I'm not sure it's toned down enough, but edited it enough to place some distance between the University and Seventeen.

I was embarrassed by the claim that Rice's colleges are similar to those at Oxford and Cambridge. If you don't believe this, do some reading and visit them. Rice has adapted some of their features, as have the Yale Colleges and the Harvard Houses, but the Oxbridge analogy is too strained to make sense. Additionally, the descriptions of college traditions are interesting but but a bit gushy, such as overuse of "unique." The writer of the original text appears to have been a Baker College student and someone totally immersed in college loyalties, so a little more balance in future edits would be a help.

I still need to change references to Baker College being the first college, and Will Rice being the first building constructed as a residential college. The original four men's colleges--Baker, Weiss[eidtor please note: correct spelling is Wiess], Hanszen and Will Rice--were all founded at the same time in the 1950s, incorporating existing as well as new buildings.

There is a lot more that should be said about Rice. I have a lot more editing and expansion to this article in mind, but have to get back to other things.

I think that the line about the first artificial human heart should be removed until some discussion takes place. The only sites I could find that mentioned Rice in association with the artificial heart were this document and documents internal to Rice. claims that some of the first work done in this area was by Houston surgeon Michael E. DeBakey at the Baylor College of Medicine, with help, the articile claims, from engineers at Rice. So perhaps for now the article should say "Some of the first work on artificial hearts was done with the help of Rice faculty." What do you think?

This page has some issues. Take for instance the NPOV violation: "Rice is considered one of the nation's elite universities...". Also, "It is also distinguished by having one of the most selective student bodies in the nation" might do better as "Rice accepted X% of those who applied in 2003." Additionally some sentences could just be worded a little better: "...consistently ranking amongst the top echelon of national research universities". Finally, several of the people listed as Rice "alumni" dropped out without graduating. Frankly, as a Rice student, this page is a bit embarassing. I'll work on it a bit when I get a chance.

Re: Rice Alumni: Rice considers anyone who completed 2 semesters as an alumn, so those are probably okay.

I did my best to remove POV from the article. Feel free to tell me where I have erred. -Bih

As noted in the page history, I replaced references to 45/90/180 and the Institute's original name as these are all factual, interesting items that do not violate NPOV.

Mention of the sculptures is meaningless without a picture, and the MOB is not cool, but it's a fair comprimise. -Bih

What! No mention of Willy's Pub nor Valhalla!? For shame! Valhalla has its own website, should be linked. Unless things have changed, Baker 13 finishes at Valhalla. And the story of Willy's Pub burning down & being rebuilt is worth recounting also. -JJR (MA-'97)

Added some material on Willy's & Valhalla. -JJR (MA-'97)

Mentioning a flat percentage of accepted applications is a misleading way to report selectivity, since it assumes that applicant pools everywhere are of similar size and quality. While one could argue about better measures of selectivity (e.g. quality of freshman classes), just the percentage is insufficient absent more context. Rice generally admits a freshman class with similar statistics to those in an average Ivy League school, for instance, but Rice's acceptance rate is higher because it receives fewer applications (or rather, Ivy schools receive unusually high numbers of applicants).

It's worth noting in the article that Rice was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as the #1 ‘Best Value’ Private College. I added this to the reputation but someone will need to add a reference (if I don't get around to it later)

--Substantiate 04:35, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

List of Rice University people?[edit]

What do people think about moving the list of notable students, alumni, and faculty to a separate writeup as I've done for Case Western Reserve University (see List of Case Western Reserve University people)? Either way seems to be OK, just thought I'd suggest it, as many other universities are doing the same (Princeton, Harvard, MIT, etc). See Category:Lists of people by university affiliation for a full list of other schools with such lists. - Mark McCartney (talk) 17:33, 2005 May 25 (UTC)


I would really appreciate any insight into the history of the beanies (and the Slime parade?) back when Rice was known as Rice Institute. Does anybody have that information? 02:14, 5 May 2006 (UTC)Mysticfeline

Thre is some info at this link:

You should check out "A History of Rice University: The Institute Years" Riceplaytexas 05:44, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


I think that recent playboy reference could use some citation. I just want it for the article, I swear. --Evan7257 21:42, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I second this. When I visited Rice, my first experience at Baker as a prospective involved my host preventing me from entering his room because his roommate was having sex. This allegation is balderdash until someone can properly cite it! --Substantiate 03:57, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

McMurtry College?[edit]

Anything else to add about McMurtry College? They haven't started construction yet, but there should be more to add soon. Evan7257 22:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

McMurtry College now has its own article, and is referenced in the university's article, along with Duncan.AniRaptor2001 (talk) 19:59, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Miscellaneous Stuff[edit]

Turning of the Statue[edit]

Baker'88 - I don't remember any comments about a protest concerning tuition. At the time, our tuition was much lower than it might have been at other similar schools. I do however, remember more than a few references to wanting to have a picture of Willy with Lovett in the background. I don't recall if the picture was taken; but numerous comments about the less than attractive library building were made.

I have no idea where one might hunt down a real citation...

TShirst were sold, fine was paid, contractor damaged the statue putting it back.

When I was at Rice (1997-2001) I was told that the pranksters were upset about something the administration did, and they wanted to turn Rice's back on Lovett Hall. But according to the "fact or fiction" page by the sallyport which the article already cites, they just did it for fun. Sunbeam44 (talk) 03:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

The university has a way of... misrepresenting the opinions of dissenting students. Sadly, unless there is another source that states their true intentions, the article will have to show the university line. AniRaptor2001 (talk) 19:55, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

No problem - in this case, the "university line" is correct: it was done just to show that it could be done. What Sunbeam44 was told as a student ten years later is (like a lot of oral history) false. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:18, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I think it bears mentioning the reason the administration was so upset by the statue turning - that Willie's ashes rest in the pedestal - so this particular jack resulted in the desecration of his grave. Rklawton 03:50, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

They don't seem too upset about the statue having bunny ears during easter, but that's not a very reverent way to treat a grave. (talk) 01:32, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Baker 13[edit]

Baker 13 was much more disogranized and I don't recall any running on the 31st.

I'll be back. Rwwff 09:21, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Baker 13 definitely ran on the 31st 2000-2002, as my roommate was a regular. HFH '04 -- 13:25, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Baker 13 continues to be run on the 31st as of 2008-09, with the 27th serving as the second date if

References section[edit]

Can anyone else see the references section and all the sections below that? I'm not able to see them when I read the article, but when I try to edit it, I can see all of them. --Blueag9 (Talk | contribs) 20:50, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

That was freaking me out, too, so I took a look. There was a missing </ref> tag at the end of the Trivia section. Fixed it. JFMorse 16:49, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Opening Sentence[edit]

That first sentence is pretty long. Most Wikipedia articles would probably put a period after "Houston, Texas, USA". The part of the sentence after that probably should not be in the first sentence of an international encyclopedia. Maybe create another sentence for that. I put the other names for the university in parenthesis (see the article on UT Austin). Just some suggestions.

This has been corrected since.AniRaptor2001 (talk) 20:00, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Needs more academic substance, less trivia[edit]

The article here needs far more fleshing out of the academic programs of the university. This article gives readers the impression that Rice is all about booze, sex and mayhem, which is a grossly inaccurate portrait of the institution.

Also, many of the facts and figures are either years out of date or just plain wrong. The admission statistics for the current class (class of 2011) are not correct. The rankings statistics from the Times Higher Education Supplement (and others) are outdated.

I'd like to suggest that the authors consider the formats of better articles in this category as guidance. The articles for Johns Hopkins University and Duke University are particularly good.

Jlalbee 16:06, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Campus Media[edit]

There is currently an edit war going on over the entries here for "Rice Standard" and "Open". They occasionally appear again, and then somebody comes along and deletes them, usually without giving an explanation. I have tentatively reinstated the passages on "Rice Standard" and "Open". The editor who deleted them commented "wikipedia is not free pr", but at this point we are not dealing with PR but with established magazines; if there is any PR going on here, it's probably in the RTV section, where we formerly devoted a whole paragraph to a show about cocktail-making (a show which is hosted by a regular Wiki editor). The "Standard" pretty famously has several enemies on campus, including the previously mentioned cocktail-brewing Wiki editor, which may be part of the trouble with the edit wars here.

Let's have a discussion here about the "Standard" and "Open" sections. I also suspect the "Thresher" part needs cleaning up ("small, dedicated staff" reeks of bias), and the overlong RTV5 passage (RTV5 is far from the most important of campus media) can be shortened. As currently written, with sources, the "Standard" and "Open" sections certainly seem worthy of inclusion in the Wiki, especially if we are also including things like UBlue (UWho?)... "Catalyst" receives a mention in the intro paragraph to the media section now, as well. (talk) 17:02, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

This is Matt Schumann. I updated the Rice Standard portion of the Campus Media section given our new format. I'm unaware of any sort of editing war that's been going on, so I hope my changes don't offend anyone. I removed the statement about our funding by 'politically oriented organizations' as that is no longer the case. I also added a paragraph about our new website, which, though new, is established. I feel its important that this page accurately represent the state of student media at Rice, and I feel my changes do so.


I demoted the article from B-class to C-class because it was in an embarrassingly poor state before and still need substantial work towards improving it to a minimum level. As a result, I've completely overhauled the article to bring it in line with WP:UNIGUIDE as well as Wikipedia-wide policies on notablity, style, and verifiability. Gone (and never to return!) is the vastly disprortionate emphasis and wispy romanticizing of not-uncommon college traditions of pranking, streaking, and drinking as well as that catch-all "Reputation" section that was conspicously placed at the front of the article and missing important information that doesn't necessarily portray Rice in a positive a light. I've begun to revamp the lead to bring it in line with WP:LEAD insofar as it should summarize information in the rest of the article. Missing information that I've begun to introduce: degree programs, organization and administration, research and development, faculty awards, etc. I've dredged up some news citations from the Houston Chronicle to back up the student tradition stuff, but everything could stand to improve by introducing more references as sections are expanded. Madcoverboy (talk) 22:52, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

There are still a ton of red-links in the article that need to be either created, edited out, or redirected elsewhere as well. Madcoverboy (talk) 22:58, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, please use the standard ref tags and the citation templates I've introduced. They make things look prettier! Madcoverboy (talk) 23:12, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


In general, good trimming.

  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (numbers), there should be a non-breaking space - &nbsp; between a number and the unit of measurement. For example, instead of 12 ounces, use 12 ounces, which when you are editing the page, should look like: 12&nbsp;ounces.[?]
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style (headings), headings generally do not start with articles ('the', 'a(n)'). For example, if there was a section called ==The Biography==, it should be changed to ==Biography==.[?]
  • The script has spotted the following contractions: don't, if these are outside of quotations, they should be expanded.
  • As done in WP:FOOTNOTE, footnotes usually are located right after a punctuation mark (as recommended by the CMS, but not mandatory), such that there is no space in between. For example, the sun is larger than the moon [2]. is usually written as the sun is larger than the moon.[2][?]
  • There are serious problems with NPOV throughout.
  • LOTS of red links could just disappear.
  • The simplest way to do all of the above is to just start at the first paragraph after the lead and begin fixing it one paragraph at a time. Hope that helps. — BQZip01 — talk 07:30, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

New to the page. I initially just wanted to edit and clarify the Valhalla section, but I got ahead of myself and revamped a bunch of stuff. Still needs a lot of work. Let me know if any of it is disagreeable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aldo137 (talkcontribs) 08:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

New Edits[edit]

New to the page. I initially just wanted to edit and clarify the Valhalla section, but I got ahead of myself and revamped a bunch of stuff. Still needs a lot of work. Let me know if any of it is disagreeable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aldo137 (talkcontribs) 08:42, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


Can we get some more pictures of campus? There appear to currently be 4 different perspectives of the same courtyard and buildings. Madcoverboy (talk) 23:14, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

I will tour the campus and take images within the next few weeks, now that the weather has improved.AniRaptor2001 (talk) 20:02, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Rice University template[edit]

I made a Template:Rice University that is common to many other university articles. I populated it with as many topics as I could find, but I'm sure I missed some. Also, please go and add {{Rice University}} to the bottom of other Rice University-related pages. Take a look and add more! Madcoverboy (talk) 16:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Nice job with both the template and the edits to the article. My only worry is that some of the info that was appropriately slimmed down in the main article probably belong somewhere in more specific articles, and I just hope they end up there and not lost in the wiki-limbo of deletion. Evan7257 (talk) 03:59, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Junk "number" in Infobox[edit]

In the {{Infobox University}}, there is a line that says
"|coor = 29|43|7.82|N|95|23|48.55|W"
and I do not understand what it is supposed to do, but what is apparently happening now, (probably unintentionally!), is that the number 29 is appearing, -- with no label or "field name" -- in the middle of the {{Infobox}} -- (between "Location" and "Campus"). Could someone who understands how this ("|coor ") field is supposed to work, please take a look at it? ...Thanks! --Mike Schwartz (talk) 02:08, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Loooking in to the history, the above appears to have been OK up until this revision: and then after that, I do not know what happened... --Mike Schwartz (talk) 02:14, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
This is supposed to give the latitude and longitude coordinates for the campus so that you could link through and see a map. It can be implemented as a standalone template as it was done before or integrated with the infobox university. It appears that the infobox version is broken or I did it wrong. I've reverted it back to the previous geolocator template and it should work now: [1] Madcoverboy (talk) 02:24, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


There is no evidence to support that claim that Todd Graham was negotiating with the University of Tulsa at the same time he was negotiating with Rice University. There is also no evidence that Todd Graham has ever forced players to play regardless of the level of their injury. Furthermore, Rice University and Todd Graham have both confirmed that while a contractual agreement was reached, no documents were ever signed. Come on, fix that crap. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jerandlaur (talkcontribs) 05:03, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

The allegations have been removed, but the section is still poorly written. This needs to be tended to. AniRaptor2001 (talk) 20:03, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Pre-college residences[edit]

Prior to the formation of the residential colleges in the late 1950s, only male students could live on campus. Female students could live off campus in apartments on Banks Street. On campus dorms were called East, South, West and Weiss. There was no North Hall, and I have corrected the article accordingly. The first three were among the original campus buildings. Weiss Hall (since replaced) was built much later.ChemE50 (talk) 16:22, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

University seal[edit]

The image currently displayed for Rice is the University's academic seal. I believe this should be changed to Rice's shield instead. This change is in line with other university pages on Wikipedia. It is their shield, not their seal, that is displayed.

Furthermore, according to Rice's Identity Standards book, "The Rice University seal, also known as the academic seal, is the official business emblem of Rice University and is not intended for general use. It is reserved for selective purposes, and its use by anyone other than the Rice Board of Trustees and the president is not permitted." ( See

Therefore, we must change the image to the Rice shield, which I uploaded here —Preceding unsigned comment added by Owl2014 (talkcontribs) 18:19, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

I see no problem with this plan. Rklawton (talk) 15:54, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
This discussion has come around a number of times; see [Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Universities/Archive_6#Infobox_logos.2Fimages]. The standard practice for university pages on Wikipedia, particularly American ones, is to use the academic seal at the top of the infobox, and the current marketing logo at the bottom. Examples include Harvard University, Stanford University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan, and University of Chicago, to point out just a few. I imagine that most if not all universities include a similar line in their identity guidelines reserving the use of the academic seal for official, selective purposes. As the Rice guidelines themselves say, the seal is the official business emblem of the university, and as such would be used to represent it on Wikipedia under fair use of non-free media. Rodface (talk) 17:03, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I undid this revision without first noticing the above comment. However, I think it's inappropriate to disregard an explicit and cited request. "Imagining" that other universities have similar policies is not the same as ignoring a real one. And, all things considered, there's no harm in honoring the university's request regarding the use of their intellectual property. Rklawton (talk) 21:34, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
The shield is displayed at the bottom of the infobox. I believe the seal is more appropriate for the top of the infobox. Either switch them but don't have duplicate images. Postoak (talk) 19:08, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Jan. 2011 clean up and revision[edit]

I've just completed updating the facts and figures and cleaning up the content of the main wiki page. This was based on the style and structure of the pages for similar institutions. Please let me know of any comments or suggestions. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 19 January 2011 (UTC)


I've gone ahead and written a section for Rice University people. I've also added a gallery of some notable Rice people, both past and present. Alephlamedyud (talk) 16:57, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm new to editing a talk page so sorry if I do it wrong. I noticed that the picture of John F. Kennedy on the Rice page is labelled "John F. Kennedy Jr." John Jr. was President Kennedy's son, who died in a flying accident in 1999. The link goes to the son, not the father. Could someone change the name, and link it to President Kennedy's page instead of his son's page ? Cogni (talk) 06:53, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

OK, I've gone ahead and made the change. Thanks for noticing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alephlamedyud (talkcontribs) 20:17, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Tobin Rote[edit]

Tobin has a section all to himself. This makes him look absurd. We've already got an alumni section and a whole article devoted to notable alumni. However, the editor who keeps adding him is willing to edit war but unwilling to discuss the matter even in his or her edit summaries. I'm posting a note about it here in the event any other editors care about Tobin and don't want to see him look ridiculous. Rklawton (talk) 12:25, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

No I fully concur. SpencerT♦C 19:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

"Asymmetrical Lovett Hall?"[edit]

The "Campus" section contains the phrase "the asymmetrical Lovett Hall." This building is quite symmetrical as the photograph in the "Academics" section shows

Take a closer look at the windows. Cheers, SpencerT♦C 07:47, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

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