Calendar of Events
Campus Wide Events
TunaFEST: Back Tuna Future
June 29, 2018
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University
Open to all Rice Affiliates, the Texas Medical Center and Houston Innovation Community

TunaFEST is one of the best science and tech summer festivals at Rice - with free food, fun and science exhibitions! This year's theme is “Back TunaFuture,” and we’re showcasing the best and brightest future science and tech from the brilliant minds at Rice University.

This event is FREE to all our friends at Rice University, the Texas Medical Center and the Houston Innovation community (e.g. tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, business leaders, Makers, and nerds).

This year also marks the retirement of Prof. Wade Adams, the founder of TunaFest.


About the Rice TunaFEST:

Wade Adams “retired” as Chief Scientist of the Materials Directorate in the Air Force Research Lab, and in January 2002 became head of Rice’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, working for Rick Smalley. Later that year, Wade and his wife, Mert, returned to Houston from fishing – off of the Carolina Outer Banks – with TOO MUCH TUNA. Quite naturally for Wade and Mert, “too much tuna” became “let’s have a cookout,” and TunaFEST was born. The critical elements were hospitality and fun, and the result was a tradition that the entire Rice community looked forward to every year – on the last Friday before the Fourth of July.

By the time we held the most recent TunaFEST (TunaFinity and Beyond!!!) in 2011 – with upwards of 2,300 people – the traditions of the party had grown to include live music from The Blaggards – featuring Rick Smalley’s eldest son; plus a piñata, special T-shirts, beer from St. Arnold’s, and – of course – tuna, burgers, hot dogs, brownies, door prizes... Mainly, an excuse for Rice workers, students, staff and faculty, and friends from the Rice and Med Center community, to get together and celebrate before scattering for Independence Day.

Plus, seemingly by accident, TunaFEST has always been productive. No accident, really, because when you get that many bright people together, good ideas come out.

When Wade retired from the Smalley Institute, TunaFEST retired…until now! We are bringing TunaFEST back – keeping all of the fun, putting it in a better location (more accessible to the Texas Medical Center) and adding new things: art and technology.

Campus Wide Events
President's Lecture Series Ft. John Doerr
Dec. 4, 2018
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Alice Pratt Brown Hall, Stude Concert Hall
Open to all Rice students and alumni

The Rice University President’s Lecture Series presents: Measuring, Finding and Developing Successful Tech Innovations to Change the World 

Featuring John Doerr ’73, engineer and acclaimed venture capitalist

For more than 37 years, John Doerr ’73 has served entrepreneurs with ingenuity and optimism — bringing ideas worth spreading to disruptive leaders and teams. In 2018, Doerr authored the New York Times bestseller “Measure What Matters,” a handbook for setting and achieving audacious goals. Through his book and platform,, he shares valuable stories and lessons from innovators.

Paid parking is available in the Central Campus Garage and West Lot 2.

Admission is free, but seating is limited. Please register.

The President’s Lecture Series, which is sponsored by the Office of the President and supported by the J. Newton Rayzor Lecture Fund, was created to enrich the intellectual life of the Houston community by bringing to the Rice campus “celebrities of substance,” speakers of both high intellectual distinction and broad public appeal. If you would like to nominate future speakers for this series, please submit your nomination here. To learn more about the President’s Lecture Series and view past events, click here.

Campus Wide Events
Owlspark Applications Due
March 3, 2019
Liu Idea Lab,
Open to Rice Community

Applications for OwlSpark Class 7 (Summer 2019) will be open! If you have an innovative technology or business idea, and you’re interested in spending your summer launching your startup, this is a great opportunity. Applications close on Sunday, March 3 at 11:59 p.m.

*About the OwlSpark Accelerator Program*
OwlSpark is a premier accelerated learning experience for promising startup teams to validate and refine business models in preparation for launch. OwlSpark helps build and shape the entrepreneurial capacity of Rice entrepreneurs by providing a robust curriculum, co-working space, and a diverse mentor network over 12 weeks during the summer.

*Eligible Team Composition*
OwlSpark is open to students, staff, and faculty across all schools and all disciplines, as well as alumni within five years, who have an interest in building leadership skills and capacity as innovation-driven entrepreneurs. Eligible startup teams must have two to five founders, and at least one founder must be affiliated with Rice University. International students are eligible, but must secure authorization from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) prior to the start of the program.

*Preparing for the Application Process*
To prepare your startup team for the application process, we have laid out important information surrounding the accelerator program, team composition, and expectations. Be sure to review the information thoroughly.

*Learn more, review the application questions and pitch video criteria, and apply at If you have any questions, please reach out to us at!