Verbal Identity

Unconventional Wisdom


At Rice, we believe nothing is impossible. There is no “what if” that cannot become “what is.” It just takes radical thinking to get there and a community of brilliant dreamers and doers to lead the way. That’s why we challenge convention at every turn: from the very way we live, to the teaching and research approaches we take, to the solutions we find, to the way we collaborate, to the way we insist on advancing tomorrow’s thinking, because today’s is not far enough. It sounds like a lot from a small university, but that’s what makes us special. That’s what gives us Unconventional Wisdom.


As a leading research university with a distinctive commitment to undergraduate education, Rice University aspires to pathbreaking research, unsurpassed teaching, and contribution to the betterment of our world. It seeks to fulfill this mission by cultivating a diverse community of learning and discovery that produces leaders across the spectrum of human endeavor.

Life Changing



Mission 1


Academic Departments
Mission 2
Steeped in Tradition
Mission 3
Not Elitist


Research Accomplishment
Mission 4


Metropolitan Campus
Mission 5
Small School


Global Vision
Mission 6
Mission 7


Proud of it
Mission 8
Residential College
Mission 9


Research Approach
Low Faculty


Student Ratio
Mission 10
Excellent Undergrad Education
Mission 11
Active Learning
Students at the Shepherd School of Music


Key Themes


Rice faculty, staff and students share values that are essential to our success as a healthy community. Those values guide our decisions and behaviors and shape Rice’s culture. They come through in the way we treat each other and the welcome we extend to our visitors. These values can be recalled simply by our name — RICE — Responsibility, Integrity, Community and Excellence.


Responsibility is something fundamental to a mission-driven academic community. We  take responsibility for making Rice better, and also for our own happiness and success. We take responsibility for our actions and words, and understand how they may impact our friends and colleagues. We especially take responsibility for our mistakes. That way we can learn from them and even translate failure into success.


Integrity is one of the strongest threads in Rice’s cultural fabric. In the classroom, office, lab, field of play, in our residential colleges and in our community engagement, we are guided by our commitment to honesty and doing what’s right.  This value is embodied in the notion of Rice’s honor and our Honor Code. We accept nothing less than complete academic and research integrity.


Our success as a community depends first and foremost on our respect for each other, and how we reflect that respect in our everyday interactions. That is especially important as we learn from and build friendships with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The Rice community cares about each member. We hope that individual acts add up to the culture of caring that we espouse. Our shorthand way of expressing this to others in need of some assistance: HCIH — How can I help?  As part of our values, we extend hospitality and help to every member of our community.


Excellence for Rice, means that we are never satisfied with a good result, because we can always find ways to do even better. “When I arrived at Rice for the first time ... I was struck by the beauty of the campus and the quality of the education, research and community service it produced. But I was surrounded by people — trustees, alumni, faculty members, students, staff — who believed that Rice could be better. I am proud to be part of a community that constantly strives to become better.” — David Leebron

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