ARUBA Partying

Rice celebrates 50 years of black undergraduate life with grand awards gala

Rice celebrates 50 years of black undergraduate life with awards gala

Rice Black Alumni gala 10/1 Rodrigo Barnes, Joseph Branch, Janis Scott, Alex Byrd, Andrea Ehlers and Roland Smith
Rodrigo Barnes, Joseph Branch, Janis Scott, Alex Byrd, Andrea Ehlers and Roland Smith. Photo by Jerren Willis Photography
Rice Black Alumni gala 10/1 David Leebron
Rice University president David Leebron. Photo by Jerren Willis Photography
Rice Black Alumni gala 10/1 Akilah Mance
Akilah Mance. Photo by Jerren Willis Photography
Rice Black Alumni gala 10/1 Rodrigo Barnes, Joseph Branch, Janis Scott, Alex Byrd, Andrea Ehlers and Roland Smith
Rice Black Alumni gala 10/1 David Leebron
Rice Black Alumni gala 10/1 Akilah Mance

What: Association of Rice University Black Alumni (ARUBA) "Blueprint for Excellence" gala.

Where: The Bell Tower.

The scoop: The gala is part of Rice's year-long celebration of a half century of black student life at the private university. More than 300 attended the black-tie evening presided over by Rice president David Leebron and ARUBA president Akilah Mance.

“This is truly a celebration of both diversity and excellence, and a recognition that diversity is indeed part of the blueprint for excellence,” Leebron said. “And that we at Rice are committed to that blueprint.”

Who: Alex Byrd and Andrea Ehlers, recipients of the Outstanding Achievement in Service and Contributions to the University Award; Joseph Branch, recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Career Award; Janis Scott, Outstanding Achievement in Civic and Community Service Award; and Rodrigo Barnes and Roland Smith, recipients of the Legacy Award.