H.T. Than '87

Why I Volunteer

H.T. Than

In what roles have you volunteered for Rice?

I am a member of the board of directors for Rice Engineering Alumni (REA) from 2017-2021, and served as the REA president during the 2019-2020 academic year.

I also volunteered as a RAVA interviewer for the Admission Office.

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I hold a great deal of affection for Rice.

Near the completion of my undergraduate studies in New England, unexpectedly I needed to move to Houston to assist my elderly father and had to forgo employment and graduate school opportunities elsewhere. I had always knew about Rice's excellent reputation, and as a Hail Mary I applied to be a graduate student at School of Engineering (SoE). Fortunately, I was accepted and granted a full tuition scholarship and a stipend. This was such a timely and generous life line!

In addition to the fantastic education, Rice's reputation helped me land a number of job offers before graduation, and opened many doors for me many years after graduation.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering at Rice?

I enjoy meeting the students at SoE. They remind me that the tradition of excellence continues. I am humbled by their intelligence and buoyed by their energies.

I also enjoy meeting the faculties and my friendship with the former Dean DesRoches (now Provost) and acting Dean Griffin, as well as the staffs in the Dean's Office. I also appreciate the patience and professionalism of the officers from the Department of Alumni Relations who have assisted REA during my term.

What's a fun Rice fact about you?

During a cold, breezy afternoon way back when, I stood outside a Post Office in Boston with a pen trying to finish my Rice application for admission before the Post Office closed on the last day to submit the application. If my children ever try this trick, they would get an earful from me. This is one of the instances where following my footsteps is not acceptable!

Why should others volunteer for Rice?

The rewards from volunteering far outweigh the efforts. As a bonus, volunteering allows me to relive some of my youth.