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Rice Athletics Launches $100 Million Capital Campaign

Posted: October 29, 2021 -- 3:59 p.m. CT

Friday afternoon, on the heels of the historic move to join the American Athletic Conference, Rice Athletics has launched a comprehensive capital campaign to raise $100 million by the end of 2025 as a facet of Rice University's recently announced $2 billion "Be Bold: The Campaign for Rice."

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of President Kennedy's landmark "We choose to go to the moon" speech at Rice Stadium. "Be Bold: The Campaign for Rice" is inspired by Kennedy's declaration that for the U.S. to land men on the moon "we must be bold."

"Athletics is an important component of student opportunity at Rice, and therefore has a key place in our campaign. The campaign will enable Rice to boldly pursue excellence in all our endeavors, and that includes on the fields and courts, around the tracks and in the pools where our athletes compete," said Rice President David Leebron. "Rice's Be Bold campaign will, with the support of our alumni and fans, enable us to fully and boldly seize the opportunity presented by joining the American Athletic Conference."

Rice was picked to finish eighth in Conference USA. UAB was selected to win the league, followed by Louisiana Tech and WKU.

"Today's announcement of our $100 million athletics campaign is another monumental step in our efforts to be the destination of choice for elite student-athletes," said Joe Karlgaard, Director of Athletics. "The momentum on campus is palpable and I couldn't be more thrilled about what the future holds for our department."

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The campaign launches with nearly $40 million committed to the athletics department. Recent facility upgrades, including the Robert L. Waltrip Indoor Training Center and Cunningham Family Volleyball Lounge, in addition to other philanthropic investments across the department, have propelled early campaign efforts.

"Rice Athletics is a great asset for our university," said Robert Ladd, the chairman of Rice University's board of trustees. "Our Be Bold capital campaign, together with our move to the American Athletic Conference, represents our commitment to excellence in athletics at Rice in the years ahead."

The $100 million landmark campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort in athletics history, consists of three strategic priorities, all of which are critical as the department begins the move to The American:

A renovation of historic Rice Stadium, which celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2020, will be at the forefront of campaign efforts to modernize athletics facilities. More details on the stadium renovation will be released in the upcoming months.

"The campaign presents an opportunity for every member of our Rice Family to get involved and provide support as we compete for championships in a new conference," Karlgaard said. "There is a green light mentality across our programs. We need our fans and supporters to embrace that mentality as well. The time is now… let's go!"

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