Issue No. 41—Fall 2023
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A Message From Dean Gorman

Dear Rice Parents and Families,

Last month, we had the distinct honor of welcoming new and returning students to campus. Each Owl brings their unique traits and characteristic enthusiasm, eager to take on new challenges and explore new paths. As they navigate this fresh start, my office is focused on making sure every student has the resources to succeed academically and to grow as an engaged community member.

As part of this commitment, we are delighted to have launched our new pre-matriculation program, Owl Access. Through the collaboration of student leaders, faculty and staff, Owl Access was created to provide first-generation and/or limited-income students and their families with the resources to excel in college. The program, which took place over two-and-a-half days prior to O-Week, hosted over 100 incoming freshmen and their families. As students formed connections with their peers and advisors while parents simultaneously participated in programming that introduced them to resources designed to support their Owl. Owl Access will continue to support and encourage students throughout their undergraduate studies with year-round programming. Those interested in learning more about Owl Access can watch this video and hear from student participants and families directly.

Owl Access is one of a handful of pre-matriculation programs that Rice offers incoming students as part of our ongoing effort to ensure a transformative undergraduate experience. Research has shown that these programs help students transition to college life more successfully by allowing them to familiarize themselves with campus, engage with and build connections to peers, faculty and staff, and explore the myriad of academic and experiential opportunities they can pursue. We look forward to enhancing opportunities for students to participate in pre-matriculation activities through these new and already established programs.

This semester is sure to be a success, and my team and I are working hard to ensure all of our students can take advantage of Rice’s resources and opportunities to thrive at Rice. It is my privilege to work with your exceptional students, and I am eager to see the incredible things they will accomplish this year. Thank you for your ongoing support, and I hope to see you on campus during Families Weekend September 29-30.

Sending my best wishes,

Bridget Gorman, Dean of Undergraduates