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Alumni National Awards



RiceDr. Jennifer King Rice, Arts ’90, and Dr. James W. Rice, Arts ’90
Annapolis, Md.

Jennifer and Jim may work in different industries, but their career goals are the same: improving the future for today’s youth.

Jennifer, currently Dean of the College of Education at the University of Maryland, was appointed in May 2021 to serve as the university's next Senior Vice President and Provost. She enjoys teaching future educators and conducting research to shape policies that promote a more effective, equitable education system. She also sits on the board of an urban college preparatory charter school that emphasizes leadership, academic excellence, and enrichment for young women.

Jim works as a pediatrician in Annapolis and serves on the board of an integrated health network, where he advocates for changes that bring the needs of patients and families back to the focal point of health care.

“Marquette taught me to focus on structuring my life to serve others,” Jim says. “The great secret is that a lot more happiness is found in this than pursuing other goals.”

The couple met during their sophomore year at Marquette. For their first date, they saw a movie at Varsity Theatre. When Jim left shortly after to study abroad in Madrid, their friends collected loose change from sympathetic students to send Jennifer to Spain for spring break.

Jim and Jennifer strive to model Marquette’s values, particularly social justice and service to others, for their five children. The family has gone on several service trips to Honduras, where they volunteer with a group that provides free medical care and educational services to rural communities.

“If we can help leave our communities, and even the world, better than we found it,” Jennifer says, “we have been successful.”

Fun Fact:

Both Jim and Jennifer committed to Marquette at the recommendation of family members. Jim’s father graduated from Marquette in 1950 (although Jim says watching college basketball in 1977 was also a factor in his decision). When Jennifer was applying to colleges, she remembered her grandma saying that some of the nicest people she ever met came from Marquette. “The rest is history,” Jennifer says, “and it turned out that my grandma was right!”