List of Rice University people
The list of Rice University people includes notable alumni, former students, faculty, and presidents of Rice University.
The names of Distinguished Alumni Award recipients is available online (the list is arranged alphabetically and includes recipients of other Rice University awards)
- Daniel Albright, 1967, Harvard University English professor
- Walter L. Buenger, Ph.D. 1979, historian at Texas A&M University
- Nancy Cole, 1964, educational psychologist
- Gwynne Dyer, 1973–1977, Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
- Cristle Collins Judd B.M./M.M. 1983, 11th President of Sarah Lawrence College
- R. Bowen Loftin, Ph.D. 1975, chancellor of the University of Missouri
- Namita Gupta Wiggers, 1989, expert in the field of contemporary craft, curator, educator and writer
Arts and letters
- E. Fay Jones, Master of Architecture degree 1951, architect, named in 2000 by the American Institute of Architects as "one of the ten most influential architects of the twentieth century"
- Charles Renfro, BArch 1989, architect, partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro
- Karen Cook, BArch, architect, founding partner of PLP Architecture
Film and television
- Elizabeth Avellán, 1992, film producer and co-founder of Troublemaker Studios
- Amy Hobby, 1986, Academy Award-nominated producer
- Howard Hughes (attended), filmmaker known for Hell's Angel's (1930) and Scarface (1932); life and career served as the basis for the 2004 film The Aviator
- Tim League, 1992, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a high end theatre chain, and Drafthouse Films, film distributor
- Mike MacRae, 1999, voice actor, comedian
- Gus Sorola (attended), Machinima artist and founding member of Rooster Teeth.
History and journalism
- William Broyles, Jr., 1966, founder of Texas Monthly; former editor in chief at Newsweek; screenwriter of Apollo 13, Cast Away, Unfaithful, Flags of Our Fathers
- Gwynne Dyer, M.A. 1966, journalist, syndicated columnist and military historian; Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1973–1977)
- John Graves, 1942, nature writer, Goodbye to a River
- Jo Ling Kent, 2006, NBC News correspondent
- Michael Noer, 1992, executive news editor for Forbes.com
- Steve Sailer, 1980, writer for Taki's Magazine and VDARE
- Rosa Levin Toubin, Jewish Texan historian, civic leader and philanthropist
- Lamar White, 2005, investigative journalist known for his work on racism and political corruption in the Deep South
- Zack Kopplin, 2015, political activist, journalist, and television personality who came to fame during high school for publicly campaigning against the Louisiana Science Education Act, a creationism law. He currently serves as an investigator for the Government Accountability Project.
- Candace Bushnell (attended), author of Sex and the City
- Eva Hoffman, 1967, author, Lost in Translation, Shtetl: The Life and Death of a Small Town and the World of Polish Jews, The Secret: A Novel, After Such Knowledge
- Larry McMurtry, M.A. 1960, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, known for Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show, and Terms of Endearment; won Oscar for Brokeback Mountain screenplay
- Elizabeth Moon, 1968, author, The Deed of Paksenarrion, Winning Colors
- Joyce Carol Oates (attended), author; Princeton creative writing professor; dropped out of English PhD program after publishing in Best American Short Stories
- Lola Astanova, Master's 2005, summa cum laude, Russian-born classical pianist
- Rebecca Carrington, Masters in Music, British "music comedian"
- Carl P. Daw Jr., Episcopalian priest; director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada; researcher and authority on sacred music
- Caroline Shaw, 2004, Pulitzer Prize-winning musician
- Kate Soper, 2003, Pulitzer Prize-finalist musician
- Robert S. Martin, 1971, librarian; member of National Council for the Humanities; former director of Institute of Museum & Library Services; 2008 recipient of Presidential Citizens Medal
- Mark Flood, 1981, contemporary artist
- Brian Armstrong, 2005 and 2006, founder and CEO of Coinbase
- George R. Brown, 1920, founder of Brown and Root, one of the world's largest construction firms
- Jack Boyd Buckley, 1948, civil engineer from Houston who designed many tall buildings throughout the world and the air conditioning system of the Astrodome
- Thomas H. Cruikshank, former chairman and CEO of Halliburton
- Ted Dintersmith, (attended), author, film producer, venture capitalist, philanthropist, educational reformer
- L. John Doerr, 1973, venture capitalist at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers; CEO of Silicon Compilers; co-founder of the @Home Network; on the board of directors of Intuit, Amazon.com, PalmOne, Sun Microsystems, Google, and Segway
- Charles Duncan, 1947, former president, Coca-Cola; former Secretary of Energy under Jimmy Carter (1979–1981)
- Mark Dankberg, 1976, co-founder and CEO, ViaSat
- Mark Durcan, 1984, CEO of Micron Technology
- Lynn Elsenhans, chairman and CEO of Sunoco
- Meg Gentle, president and CEO of Tellurian Investments
- Howard Hughes (attended), richest man in the world in 1976
- Steve Jackson, 1974, founder of Steve Jackson Games
- Ken Kennedy, 1967, founder of Center for Research on Parallel Computation, the High Performance Fortran Forum; co-chair of the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee with Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems
- Yıldırım Ali Koç, 1990, Koç Holding member; Turkish multisport club Fenerbahçe S.K. vice-president
- Fred C. Koch (attended), founder of Koch Industries, one of the largest private companies in the United States
- James E. Lyon, Houston developer and Republican politician
- Arun Netravali, 1969 and 1971, pioneer of digital technology including HDTV; former president of Bell Laboratories and Chief Scientist for Lucent Technologies
- David Rhodes, 1996, president of CBS News; former head of U.S. television for Bloomberg.
- Hector Ruiz, 1972, president and CEO of AMD
- James Treybig, 1963 and 1964, founder of Tandem Computers
- Jim Turley, 1977 and 1978, chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young
- Dilip Venkatachari, 1983, technology executive
- Jim Whitehurst, 1989, president and CEO of Red Hat
- Pampee Young, 1990, CMO of the American Red Cross
Government and politics
U.S. Cabinet Secretaries
- James Baker, former Secretary of State and Treasury, chair of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy
- Charles Duncan, 1947, U.S. Secretary of Energy (1979–1981)
- Alberto Gonzales, 1979, United States Attorney General (2005–2007)
- Edward Djerejian, Ambassador to Syria (1988–1991)
Other federal officials
- Patrick G. Carrick, member of the Senior Executive Service
- Josh Earnest, 1997, press secretary for President Barack Obama
- Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
- Benjamin J. Rhodes, 2000, speechwriter and national security adviser to Barack Obama
U.S. Senators and Congressmen
- Bill Archer (attended), United States Congressman
- Jim Bridenstine, 1998, U.S. Representative, Oklahoma's 1st congressional district
- John Kline, 1969, United States Congressman
- Pete Olson, 1985, United States Congressman
- Samuel B Cole, 1995, Immigration Judge, Chicago Immigration Court
- Ed Emmett, 1971, former Harris County administrative county judge (2007-2019); member of the Texas House of Representatives (1979–1987)
- Anuraag Singhal, 1986, is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
- Leslie H. Southwick, 1972, Federal Judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
- Roy Hofheinz, 1932 (attended), mayor of the City of Houston
- Annise Parker, 1978, mayor of the City of Houston
- Starke Taylor, 1943, mayor of the City of Dallas, 1983 - 1987
State and local officials
- George P. Bush, 1998, commissioner of the Texas General Land Office; son of Florida Governor Jeb Bush; nephew of former President George W. Bush; grandson of former President George H. W. Bush
- William P. Hobby, Jr., Lieutenant Governor of Texas (1973–1991); former chancellor of the University of Houston System; former president and executive editor at The Houston Post'
- Scott Hochberg, member of the Texas House of Representatives
- M.J. Khan, Master of Business Administration, former Houston City Council member
- Eliot Shapleigh, 1974, Texas state senator
- Mitch Bainwol, 1983, former chair, Republican National Committee
- Doug Harlan, 1964, political consultant, lawyer, educator, public official from San Antonio; endowed at Rice the Douglas S. Harlan Program in State Elections, Campaigns and Politics
- William Luther Pierce, 1955, National Alliance founder
- Gary H. Stern, chief executive of the Ninth Federal Reserve Bank, at Minneapolis
- Rt. Rev. Scott Field Bailey, 1938, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas
- Rev. Carl P. Daw Jr., Will Rice 1966, executive director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada
- Rt. Rev. Claude Edward Payne, 1954, 1955, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas
Science and technology
- John S. Bull, 1957, BS in mechanical engineering, NASA astronaut
- Takao Doi, PhD 2004, NASA astronaut
- Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Masters in materials science, 1988, NASA astronaut
- Tamara E. Jernigan, PhD 1988, NASA astronaut
- James H. Newman, 1982 and 1984, NASA astronaut
- John D. Olivas, PhD 1996, NASA astronaut
- Janice Voss, graduate work in Space Physics 1977–1978, NASA astronaut
- Shannon Walker, Baker 1987, MA 1992, PhD 1993, NASA astronaut
- Peggy Whitson, PhD 1986 NASA astronaut
NASA flight directors
- Kwatsi Alibaruho MBA 2011, first African-American flight director in NASA history and the lead flight director for the last space shuttle mission
- Wayne Hale, Hanszen 1976, mechanical engineering, Space Shuttle Flight Director for 40 missions between 1988 and 2003
- Robert Woodrow Wilson, 1957, co-discoverer of cosmic microwave background radiation
- Robert F. Curl Jr., 1954, co-discoverer of fullerenes
- Jay Bailey, BA 1966, PhD 1969, pioneer of biochemical engineering
- Andrew Dessler, Lovett 1986 climate change meteorologist
- Mark Durcan, 1979–1984, Master of Chemical Engineering and a BS chemical engineering, chief executive officer at Micron Technology
- David Eagleman, 1993, neuroscientist at Stanford University and author of Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives
- James E. Gunn, Baker 1961, astronomer at Princeton University, 1977 National Academy of Sciences 2009 recipient of the National Medal of Science
- Wanda Gass, 1978, electrical engineer who helped develop the first commercially viable digital signal processor at Texas Instruments
- He Jiankui, PhD 2010, widely condemned geneticist who claimed to have created the world's first genome edited babies, Nana and Lulu
- Dave Hyatt, Baker 1994, browser developer at Netscape and Apple
- Howard Johnson, PhD 1982, electrical engineer
- James A. Kahle, Will Rice 1983, IBM Fellow and chief architect of the POWER4 and Cell microprocessors
- Riki Kobayashi, 1943, B.S., chemical engineering.
- Larry Lake, PhD 1973, petroleum engineer and member of the National Academy of Engineering
- Amy Leventer, 1988, Ph.D., geology, marine biologist, micropaleontologist, Antarctic researcher
- George Whitelaw Mackey, 1938, mathematician, 1962 National Academy of Sciences
- Diana McSherry, 1967, M.A., 1969, Ph.D., computer scientist, biophysicist
- Jack Morava, 1968, mathematician
- John Morgan, 1968, mathematician, 2013 National Academy of Sciences
- Harold E. Rohrschach Jr., professor of physics at Rice (1952-1993), was the chairman of the physics department three times and principal investigator of the NASA interdisciplinary laboratory at Rice
- Steven Schafersman, 1983 PhD in geology, president of Texas Citizens for Science
- Dorry Segev, Israeli-born Marjory K. and Thomas Pozefsky Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Professor of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Associate Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Fred I. Stalkup, 1957 BS in chemical engineering, 1961 Ph.D. chemical engineering noted for work in enhanced oil recovery, member of the National Academy of Engineering
- Dennis Sullivan, 1963 BA in mathematics, mathematician at Stony Brook University and CUNY grad school; recipient of the 2004 National Medal of Science; 2010 Wolf Prize in Mathematics
- Powtawche Valerino, PhD 2005, mechanical engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory who worked on the Cassini mission
- David Aardsma, 2003, MLB pitcher, 22nd overall pick of the San Francisco Giants
- Lance Berkman, 1997, retired All-Star Major League baseball player for the Houston Astros
- Norm Charlton, 1984, Major League Baseball player
- Bubba Crosby, Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees
- José Cruz, Jr., 1993, Major League Baseball player
- Tyler Duffey, Major League Baseball player for the Minnesota Twins
- Brock Holt, 2009, Major League Baseball utility player for the Boston Red Sox
- Philip Humber, 2004, Major League Baseball player, 3rd overall pick of the New York Mets; pitched a perfect game in 2012
- Jeff Niemann, 2004, Major League Baseball pitcher, 4th overall pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
- Anthony Rendon, 2011, Major League Baseball first-round draft choice of the Washington Nationals
- Morris Almond, 2007, NBA guard, 25th overall pick of the Utah Jazz
- Egor Koulechov (born 1994), Israeli-Russian professional basketball player for Israeli team Ironi Nahariya
- Ricky Pierce, 1983, NBA guard, 1983–1998; NBA All-Star 1991; NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award 1987 and 1990
- Mike Wilks, 2001, NBA guard 2002–09
- Tony Barker, 1992, former NFL player for the Washington Redskins
- O.J. Brigance, 1991, former NFL player
- Chris Boswell, NFL placekicker, Pittsburgh Steelers
- James Casey, NFL tight end/fullback for the Houston Texans
- Patrick Dendy, NFL player, Green Bay Packers
- Buddy Dial, end, College Football Hall of Fame inductee 1993, All-Pro 1961, 1963
- Jarett Dillard, 2008, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver
- Michael Downs 1981, NFL All-Pro safety, Dallas Cowboys
- Emmanuel Ellerbee, 2018, NFL linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons
- Courtney Hall, 1989, NFL offensive lineman, 1989 2nd round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers
- King Hill, quarterback, top pick in first round of 1958 NFL Draft
- Billy Howton, NFL's former all-time receiving leader, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys
- Weldon Humble, guard, College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1961
- Larry Izzo, 3 time Pro Bowl LB/special teams captain for the New England Patriots, Super Bowl Champions 2002, 2004, 2005
- N.D. Kalu, NFL defensive end for the Houston Texans
- Tommy Kramer, NFL quarterback, named to Pro Bowl while playing for the Minnesota Vikings
- Dicky Moegle, 1954, halfback, inducted into Cotton Bowl Classic Hall of Fame in 1998; College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1979
- Don Maynard, wide receiver, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee
- Will McClay, coach of the Dallas Desperados, an Arena Football League team
- Vance McDonald, 2013, NFL tight end
- Cheta Ozougwu, defensive end for Chicago Bears, 2011 Mr. Irrelevant
- Tobin Rote, quarterback of 1957 NFL Champion Detroit Lions and 1963 AFL Champion San Diego Chargers
- Frank Beall Ryan, 1958, PhD 1965, NFL quarterback; textbook author; Yale athletic director; appeared on cover of Sports Illustrated, January 4, 1965
- James Williams, end and kicker
- Luke Willson, 2013, NFL tight end
- Adi Bichman, 2001, Israeli freestyle and medley swimmer
- Andrea Blackett 1997, Barbados Olympic hurdler and 1998 Commonwealth Games 400 m hurdles champion
- Jason Colwick, 2010, two-time NCAA champion in pole vault
- Fred Hansen, 1963, NCAA champion in pole vault, gold medalist at 1964 Summer Olympics, world record holder
- Robert L. Leuschner Jr., 1957, graduated as a chemical engineer, but after joining the NROTC at Rice, pursued a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of rear admiral
- Sam Match (1923–2010), tennis player; won the NCAA doubles championship with Rice University in 1947
- Sam McGuffie, 2013, member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's Bobsleigh Team as a push crewman for the four man bobsled and brakeman for the two-man bobsled
- Dave Roberts, 1974, bronze medalist in pole vault at 1976 Summer Olympics, and former world record holder (twice) in pole vault
- Harold Solomon, professional tennis player ranked as high as number 5 in the world
- Sean Wade, Master runner of the Year and Coach of the Cross Country team at The Kinkaid School
- Bill Arhos, KLRU station manager, program director; Austin City Limits executive producer
- John Bradshaw, author and motivational speaker
- Amanda Goad, Scripps National Spelling Bee champion
- Henry Masterson III, National Medal of Arts recipient
- L. Bob Rife, fiber-optics monopolist and villain in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash
- Louis Holland, protagonist and KTRU station manager in Jonathan Franzen's Strong Motion
- a mathematician from William Gibson's novel Pattern Recognition
- Andy Carpenter, Mississippi native working on his history Ph.D. in Dean James's novel Death by Dissertation
- Carla Walton, a software engineer in the television show Silicon Valley.
Faculty and staff
- Robert F. Curl Jr. (also an alumnus of Rice), professor of chemistry, awarded 1996 in chemistry for the discovery of fullerenes
- Hermann Joseph Muller, professor of biology, awarded 1946 in physiology or medicine for discovery for X-ray mutagenesis
- Richard Smalley, professor of chemistry, awarded 1996 in chemistry for the discovery of fullerenes
- Robert Woodrow Wilson, senior scientist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; awarded 1978 in physics for discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation
- Hanan Ashrawi
- Richard Baraniuk
- Tani E. Barlow
- Earl Black
- Elias Bongmba
- Douglas Brinkley
- Solomon Bochner
- Bun B (guest lecturer)
- C. Sidney Burrus
- B. Jill Carroll
- Suchan Chae
- Franklin Chang-Diaz
- Justin Cronin
- Rajdeep Dasgupta
- Gerald R. Dickens
- Edward Djerejian
- Elaine Howard Ecklund
- Paul Ellison
- Mark Embree
- Ariel Fernandez
- Naomi Halas
- Julian Huxley
- Ken Kennedy
- Anne C. Klein
- Riki Kobayashi
- Jeffrey Kurtzman
- Sydney Lamb
- Neal Lane
- Robert Lewis
- Qilin Li
- Cho-Liang Lin
- D. Michael Lindsay (former)
- Andreas Luttge
- George Marcus
- William Martin
- Guy T. McBride
- Ann Saterbak
- Scott Sonenshein
- Monroe K. Spears (1916-1998), Libbie Shearn Moody Professor of English at Rice University from 1964 to 1986.
- Robert M. Stein
- Robert B. Stobaugh
- Yizhi Jane Tao
- Richard Tapia
- James Tour
- Frank Vandiver
- Moshe Vardi
- William F. Walker
- Martin Wiener
- Peter Wolynes
- Susan Wood
- Stephen A. Zeff
- John Heisman, for whom the coveted Heisman Trophy is named; football coach, 1924–1927, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, 1954
- Jess Neely, football coach 1940–1966, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, 1971
Presidents of Rice
- Edgar Odell Lovett (president founding to 1946)
- William V. Houston (president 1946–1961)
- Kenneth Pitzer (president 1961–1968)
- Norman Hackerman (president 1970–1985)
- George Rupp (president 1985–1993)
- Malcolm Gillis (president 1993–2004)
- David Leebron (president 2004 to present)
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