The Rice University Young Alumni Committee records, 1977-2005 consists of meeting minutes and records of activities during each of the earliest years of the committee. It includes documents distributed to recruit new members, reaching out to Houston area alumni roughly within ten years of graduation. There is also information about the decision to establish and annual award to be made to an alumna or alumnus with the graduation year in the Young Alumni range. The Young Alumni Committee became the Young Alumni Host Committee and continues as part of the Association of Rice Alumni.
1977 - 2005
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Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713-348-2586. This material is open for research.
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Permission to publish material from the Rice University Young Alumni Committee, 1977-2005 must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Lbrary, Rice University, Houston, Texas.
The Rice University Young Alumni Committee developed from an ad hoc committee of the Association of Rice Alumni in 1977. The intention was to organize a special group for graduates of the years 1965 through 1978 living in the Houston area. An initial get-together occurred on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 in the R Room at the south end of Rice Stadium. Respondents organized a 25-member steering committee, and on March 16, 1978, this group met for the purpose of planning activities. The most ambitious undertaking in the first year was a Friday-to-Saturday canoe trip on the Guadalupe River. 25 young alumni participated. By the spring of 1979, the committee decided that it would meet regularly on the second Thursday of every month at 7:30 in the Alumni Office. Membership recruitment materials over the years emphasized that the purpose of the organization, for which there were no dues, was to have fun and that it was not connected with fund-raising for the university.
The variety of activities increased year by year. In many of the years there was a tubing trip modeled after the first year’s canoe trip. Another early idea with a long history of continuation was a monthly networking gathering at Han’s Bierhaus in Rice Village. Outing sponsored by the organization included a night at the Houston Rodeo (35 participants in 2005) and attendance at one of the summer Shakespeare plays at Miller Theater in Herman Park. At the time of Beer Bike there was a Young Alumni tent, which drew many for beer and pizza in addition to actual “regular” members. Another ticketed event was a crawfish boil linked to one of the baseball team’s Saturday games. The records indicate that the steering committee had a budget to work with, presumably from the Association of Rice Alumni. The total for 2004-05 was $15,000. Expenditures were for printing and postage for mailed information, refreshments at pre-game gatherings, professional services like bartenders and security at Beer Bike, Beer Bike tent rental, service awards, and the like.
The idea of establishing an award began with the purpose of recognizing outstanding service in the work of the Young Alumni Committee. It became officially named the Builders Award, which was given for the first time in 2005. Currently selection is determined by a twelve-member committee of young alumni who have made distinctive accomplishments in their careers and/or in service both to Rice Young Alumni or the University in general, and to the broader community. Awardees are announced at a Young Alumni event specifically for this purpose.
The records constituting this collection end with the 2005 material, but Young Alumni continues as an organization within the Association of Rice Alumni. The A.R.A. website states, “Everyone who has earned an undergraduate degree from Rice within the last 11 years is considered part of the Young Alumni group of Rice University.” Leadership is provided by the Young Alumni Host Committee, and “Social and celebratory events […] are planned for Young Alumni across the nation…” The A.R.A. website also states that Young Alumni are 25% of the total alumni base and “represent an essential and rapidly growing subset of the Association of Rice Alumni.”
Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University 6100 Main St.
Rice University Young Alumni Committee Records, 1977-2005, UA 352, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University http://archives.library.rice.edu/repositories/2/resources/903 Accessed January 27, 2023.