Rice will use funds raised from the Centennial Campaign to strengthen research, increase scholarship resources, expand undergraduate enrollment by 30 percent, build stronger connections to its home city of Houston and enhance its global presence.
"Four years short of a century ago, the founding president of Rice announced that this new educational institution would set no upper limit on our endeavors as a university," said Rice President David Leebron. "As we approach the century mark and look back with pride on what has been achieved, we continue to embrace that aspiration as we look forward to the next 100 years."
The campaign goal includes $400 million for undergraduate and graduate education, $310 million for research and $290 million for collaborations with leading institutions in Houston and initiatives around the globe.
Rice has already raised half of the $1 billion goal during the "quiet phase" of the campaign.
Some recent donations include more than $30 million each from alumnus Charles Duncan and his wife, Anne, and alumni Burton and Deedee McMurtry to construct two new residential colleges and $22.5 million from alumni John and Ann Doerr's private charitable organization, the Benificus Foundation.
Leebron said the campaign launch comes during the ongoing financial crises and as the Houston area continues to recover from Hurricane Ike, which hit the Texas Gulf Coast in September.
"We cannot ignore these considerable events that have affected the lives of so many in our community," he said. "But an investment in Rice -- in education and research -- is for the long term, with lasting dividends in the form of opportunities for our students and the production of new knowledge that helps foster economic growth and improved living standards."
The campaign will run through the 2012-13 academic year.
Slideshow archive | ABC13 wireless | Help solve crimes