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Rice University: Cool Happenings

Haley Kurisky
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James Harden with Dance Team

James Harden attended Rice University's first men’s basketball game of the season. Here, The Rice Owls Dance Team is pictured with James Harden and Sammy the Owl. 

As many readers know, I’m currently a senior at Rice University. While Rice is often thought of as that little enclave in the city nestled in the Med Center that is only available for students and avid joggers, it’s so much more than that! So many cool things have been happening at Rice recently that are open to the public, so if you’re looking for a great way to get involved with one of the premier colleges in the city or with young people, look no further than Rice!

At our first men’s basketball game, held on Friday, Sept. 11, James Harden showed up! Our current head men’s basketball coach, Scott Pera, coached Harden in college at ASU, and Harden gives back to his mentor by attending Rice games every so often! He’s been to a few, and he is always willing to take pictures with students.

Rice also recently hosted part of the Houston Cinema Arts Festival. The Rice Media Center, known for its movies and films it screens, hosted rapper Bun B and Joseph Kahn, the director for many of Taylor Swift’s music videos, just the other day as part of the series. Although the festival took place this past weekend, there are tons of events like this going on at Rice all the time.

Waiting on a Prime-Time Star by Mickalene Thomas

Waiting on a Prime-Time Star by Mickalene Thomas is on view through Jan. 13, 2018 at Moody Center for the Arts. (Photo: Nash Baker) 

Speaking of art, Rice’s new Moody Center for the Arts is in full swing with art exhibitions and classes. This space, located on the edge of campus near the Media Center and the baseball field, is home to a new temporary exhibit called Waiting on a Prime-Time Star by Mickalene Thomas. The exhibit features amazing paintings, collages, and even a 70s-style living room set up in the middle of the Moody Center. It will reside at the Moody until Jan. 13. Admission to the Moody Center (which also hosts other cool spaces and a new cafe) is free, and it is open Tuesday-Saturday to the public.

Additionally, Rice has had some really interesting speakers stop by campus recently. Last year, Joe Biden dropped by to talk about his Cancer Moonshot program. Last month, Al Gore came to talk about climate change. Many times, these events are free or tickets are cheap, so these opportunities are really amazing. Most of the events will be announced on the Rice website.

It can be easy to fall into the “dinner and a movie” trope when going out, so it’s important to keep in mind all areas of exploration in our city. The Rice Bubble is real, but I always encourage others to come check out our campus and all that it has to offer. Rice students want to connect to the community, and when the community participates in some of the amazing opportunities on campus, everyone wins.

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