Rice University was founded in 1912 by William Marsh Rice, a businessman and philanthropist who left a bequest in his will to establish a university in Houston, Texas. Rice was born in Massachusetts in 1816 and made his fortune as a trader and investor in New York City. He later moved to Texas, where he invested in land and railroads and became one of the state’s wealthiest men.
Rice’s desire to establish a university in Houston was born out of a desire to give back to the community that had made him successful. In his will, Rice left the bulk of his estate to establish the Rice Institute, which he envisioned as a world-class research university that would provide a rigorous education and foster intellectual inquiry and creativity.
The Rice Institute opened its doors in 1912 with a small group of students and faculty, and it quickly became known for its high standards of scholarship and research. Over the years, the university has grown in size and reputation, and it is now considered one of the top universities in the United States, known for its distinguished faculty, innovative research, and outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs.
Today, Rice University is home to eight schools, including the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering, and the School of Social Sciences, and it offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of fields, including the arts, humanities, sciences, and engineering. The university is known for its commitment to academic excellence, interdisciplinary collaboration, and engagement with the wider community.