Why I Volunteer: Francine Di '03

In what roles have you volunteered for Rice?

In 2012, I was approached by Cecil Fong and others to serve on the board of the Rice University Community of Asian Alumni. It's a great group, and I have been involved ever since.

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

My experience at Rice was multifaceted and unforgettable. Given my family’s background, we would not have been able to absorb the financial burden without generous scholarship assistance from Rice donors. What I learned at Rice, and the people I met across all functions of campus, opened my world in profound ways, and I will always be deeply grateful for that incredible opportunity. I am even more excited, however, about the many lives that the Rice community continues to touch and inspire, and I am proud to be a small part of it.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Rice?

Even years after graduating, I am constantly reminded of the expanse and range of the Rice universe. As a volunteer, I have had the pleasure of meeting extraordinary people from all over the world who are involved in almost every discipline, and we are brought together by a shared passion for the mission of the university. Being part of that community has been very enjoyable to me.

What's a fun Rice fact about you?

On the eve of Esperanza in my sophomore year, I shunned superstition and walked out of the Sallyport. Apparently, she was forgiving: not only did I graduate with dual degrees, but I also worked at Rice prior to becoming a volunteer.

What would you say to your fellow alumni/parents/friends to encourage them to volunteer for Rice?

I believe people are drawn to strong communities. For me, few things make me feel happier or more fulfilled than being part of a great community, one that pushes me to accomplish more than I could by myself and challenges me to contribute to the world beyond my own life scope. I love how volunteering for Rice has nurtured these qualities, and I encourage alumni, parents and friends of the university to join us.

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