A statue of Rice University founder William Marsh Rice will be moved to a different location under an Academic Quadrangle redesign plan.
Rice University has announced plans to redesign its Academic Quadrangle later this year—changes that include the relocation of the founder’s statue to a less visible spot on campus. On Monday, the university announced that landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW) was chosen to lead the project because their vision “aligns with aspirations to enrich student experience, foster inclusivity and celebrate Rice’s evolution and values while respectfully recognizing the founding gift of William Marsh Rice.”
At the heart of the Academic Quadrangle, which is anchored by Lovett Gall and Fondren Library, is the Founder’s Memorial, which features a statue of William Marsh Rice. For years, the iconic space has served as the site of commencement ceremonies and other events. The need to “recontextualize” the Academic Quadrangle arose following years of discussion surrounding the founder’s history as a slave owner, per the release.