Evan Meeks ’02

Why I Volunteer

Evan Meeks '02

What activities have you undertaken as a Rice volunteer?

I volunteer through membership in the R Association. I have served as a board member, vice president, president and now as past president. In that capacity, we help put on reunions and numerous other functions. We are always working to recruit and inform Rice’s student-athlete alumni on ways that they can help give back to the Rice community.

Students and student-athletes who are members of the surgical community also shadow me at my clinic and in the operating room. I am also involved in helping at several of the interview-training evenings at the R Room and networking events. 

Why do you volunteer for Rice?

I volunteer out of gratitude for those who spent their private time to help me when I was a student-athlete. I feel a great sense of loyalty to the university, and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to grow and learn at such a prestigious and trying school. I want to continue to help Rice grow and succeed by supporting current students and new alumni as they pursue their goals and by showing them how to continue to give back to the school that made them.

What is an "unmatched moment" you've experienced as a volunteer that epitomizes the value of the Rice community?

One story comes to mind. I was sitting in the chair of my dental hygienist that I’ve known for a total of 10 minutes, and it comes out that her husband is a Rice grad and now finishing up his MBA at the Jones School. He was looking for employment but didn’t really have any great leads at the time. I reached out to a Rice alum that I hadn't seen or spoken to in over a decade who worked at a prominent consulting firm, and I told him the story. He took the husband’s information, called him, met him, and now the husband is climbing the ladder at one of the most respected consulting firms in the world. It just shows how we take care of one another without hesitation.

Another story showing “unmatched” assistance comes from the medical field. A family was looking for help in getting treatment for their child in Dallas as they were moving and had no connections. I asked around and found a Rice physician in the Dallas area who was a pediatrician but was not specialized in treating this child’s condition. She gladly helped in getting the family into the correct offices, and I thought all was finished. What I didn’t find out until later was that the Rice pediatrician called the family repeatedly to make sure they were able to get the answers and treatment that they needed, and she continued to check on them for weeks. It's another example of Rice alumni going above and beyond.

What's a fun Rice fact about you?

A fun Rice fact about me is that the whole reason I ended up at Rice comes from another Rice graduate teaching me in my youth the excellence of Rice. He is a former running back, Rice Athletics Hall of Famer Roland Jackson. He is the only reason I chose Rice over Tulane. Also, my counselor at Fellowship of Christian Athletes football camp at Rice University was none other than College Football Hall-of-Famer Trevor Cobb. The week I spent at Rice at the age of 13 had a huge impact on me for the rest of my time in junior high and high school until I made it back to the beautiful oak-lined streets on Main.