The Sunday before finals week, I went ice-skating with a bunch of my friends from McMurtry, my residential college. McMurtry had reserved the ice rink in the Galleria, one of Houston’s largest malls. We had the whole ice rink to ourselves, and we skated, laughed, fell (well, those who had never been ice-skating before, like me, did), and created memories. With the help of my roommate and another friend, I learned how to ice-skate! I managed to go around the rink six times without falling – progress!

McMurty was not the only residential college that had an ice-skating outing. Residential colleges do events like this – off-campus and on-campus – at various times during the year. There are study breaks, cultural events, etc.

What the residential colleges do is an extension of what Rice does for its students. In between all of the tests, papers, and projects, there is fun – room to relax and enjoy being with friends. During finals week, Rice brought dogs to Fondren, the library. I, along with many other students, got to pet adorable dogs to de-stress.

Whether it’s ice-skating at the mall or petting dogs in the library, at Rice, there are plenty of opportunities to have a great time with people you care about.

Salman Khan’s Rice Commencement Speech 2012

Salman Khan was the commencement speaker this year at Rice University’s 99th commencement ceremony. “Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and not-for-profit organization that has made waves in the field of education. In 2004, Khan’s online tutorials for a young cousin gained a wider audience, and five years later he turned his collection of free educational videos into the online Khan Academy. Today, his more than 3,200 online tutorials attract 6 million viewers every month, and Time magazine recently named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people.” — Alyson Ward (writer in Public Affairs at Rice University, the full article is listed below).

Article: Khan urges graduates to ‘increase the positivity in the world’

YouTube Video: Salman Khan at Rice University’s 2012 Commencement

Congratulations to the Class of 2012!

Here’s to the Rice University Class of 2012! Each and every one of you deserve nothing but the highest commendation and respect. What an honor it is to graduate from such an amazing University!

Graduation from Rice is full of tradition: Every year since Rice was established in 1912, students matriculate into Rice by walking through the Sally Port (the main entrance of the most recognizable building on campus) from outside to inside, into the academic quad, representing the student’s entering into Rice. Furthermore, as per tradition, the graduating students walk back under the Sally Port after commencement, completing the cycle – graduating from Rice (photo to the right).

Below is a photo collage I’ve created complied of photographs from the graduation commencement this year at Rice. As you look through the collage, you will see various small ‘neck-bibs’ that the Rice graduates are wearing, the different colors here represent the different schools people are graduating from: George R. Brown School of EngineeringSchool of HumanitiesShepherd School of MusicWiess School of Natural SciencesSchool of Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary and Other Academic Programs (eg. Cognitive Sciences, Applied Physics Program, click here for more examples). The different colored sashes people have draped around their neck represent which of the eleven colleges they are graduating with. Congratulations Class of 2012, you did it!

Photo credit belongs to: Chelsea F, Jacqueline R, Annie B, Zachary F, & Mathison I.