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What is the 24-Hour Challenge?

The 24-Hour Challenge is Rice University’s annual day of giving! On April 4, 2023, the Rice community will unite once again for a shared purpose — to put their support behind the extraordinary young Owls who strive for excellence, the teachers who inspire and one brilliant community that seeks to build a better world. Gifts can be directed to a school, residential college, research initiative, student club or any area on campus that means the most to you.

To bolster our effort, David Courtwright Ph.D. ’79 and Shelby Miller, former Rice art librarian, have generously offered a supporting challenge: When 4,400 donors make a gift of any size on April 4, they will donate $300,000 toward need-based scholarships.

Why should I give to Rice?

Everyone has a unique reason for giving, whether you want to pay it forward, invest in excellence or enhance affordability for all deserving students.

Your gift is an investment in Rice’s people — the hard-working and creative students from all backgrounds who aspire to make a difference, the excellent faculty scholars who are producing urgently needed insights and technologies, and the staff who support Rice’s high-achieving community every day. Thank you in advance for your support!

What donations count toward the overall goal?

All gifts from undergraduate alumni, graduate alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends will count toward the 4,400 donor goal to earn the $300,000 in need-based scholarships.

How do I make my gift?

You can make your gift online on April 4 at or by calling Melissa Zuniga, Annual Fund Coordinator, at 713-348-4991.

Once I make my gift on April 4, how can I stay updated and involved?

Be sure to monitor the leaderboards on the 24-Hour Challenge website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get progress reports throughout the day to share with your Owl network. Tell your friends and family why you support Rice and encourage them to be one of the 4,400 needed donors, too!

Tag our social media accounts and use #1Day1Rice so that we can see your posts. (We might even share them, too.)

Why is my participation important?

Your gift of any size, each year, is part of a tradition of support that has helped Rice remain strong during challenging times. This powerful support generated by the Rice community is essential to advancing education, research and service.

In addition, gifts from undergraduate alumni count toward Rice’s annual alumni giving participation rate, which influences college rankings from publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings heavily influence how third parties view Rice and affect the university’s ability to secure grants from corporations and other organizations.

I’ve already committed to a pledge. Can my gift count toward the challenge?

Yes! Make this year’s payment toward your pledge on April 4 to be counted toward the challenge goal.

I don’t see my favorite area of support. How can I give to that fund or program?

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can still designate your gift to the area of your choice. When you give online on April 4, select the “other” category and type in the name of your fund.

Do my spouse and I need to make separate gifts to be counted in the challenge?

If you and your spouse are both alumni — or proud Owl parents — one gift will automatically count as two participants in the results.

Additional Questions?

The Rice Annual Fund is standing by to answer any questions you may have. Please call Melissa Zuniga, Annual Fund Coordinator, at 713-348-4991 or email us at for more information.