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Houston philanthropist Fayez Sarofim leads funding for new Rice arts facility

Houston's Fayez Sarofim leads funding for new Rice arts facility

Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center
The new, Sarofim facility will be near Rice's Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center. Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University

A new arts facility at Rice University has just received a major boost, thanks to one of Houston’s most generous philanthropists. Local businessman and benefactor, Fayez Sarofim, has made a lead gift to create a 50,000-square-foot facility located next door to the Moody Center for the Arts.

The $25 million building will be named in honor of Sarofim and will seek to amplify the arts on campus and in the community. Financing will come from a combination of university funds and philanthropic donations, including the lead gift from Sarofim, according to a press release.

“Fayez Sarofim has once more made a tremendous difference for the arts in Houston, and we are incredibly indebted and proud to be able to recognize his support with a building named in his honor,” Rice University president, David Leebron, said in a statement.

The building, once completed, will cement the southwest corner of campus as an arts district that will serve as a resource for Rice students and faculty, as well as the larger Houston community. Nearby facilities include the Moody Center for the Arts, the Shepherd School of Music’s Alice Pratt Brown Hall, and the newly built Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center.

The facility will also support increasing enrollment in the Visual and Dramatic Arts (VADA) department and provide new opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, per a release. VADA serves 900 students a year, roughly a quarter of the school’s undergraduate population. Demand for more classes through VADA continues to grow in a variety of majors, including engineering, computer science, and architecture, according to the school.