In March, the Builder's Awards Celebration honored Akilah Mance ’05 (Jones) and Kate Gunn Pagel ’05 (Lovett) for all that they do as Rice alumni and volunteers to strengthen the alumni community and the university.
Akilah currently serves as co-chair of Rice’s 50th anniversary of black undergraduate life, for which she is helping coordinate a yearlong series of events, leading a campus-wide volunteer effort and strengthening outreach to the Houston community. As president of the Association of Rice University Black Alumni, she has helped increase engagement in cities around the U.S., while strengthening ties with Rice’s Black Student Association. She also is a member of the Association of Rice Alumni Board of Directors, the Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission and the Rice President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusion.
Kate is known for her tireless enthusiasm and active, personal outreach, both of which have had a deep impact on Rice’s campus and alumni communities alike. Described by one nominator as the “epitome of a Rice leader,” Kate is a constant and visible presence in the Houston community. As the former chair of the Houston Young Alumni Committee (2008-09), she led an engaged group of young alumni volunteers who organized several social gatherings around the city and planned signature young alumni events. Along with her husband Garner, she serves as a Lovett College associate.