Rice Alumni: Your gift could be your ticket!

Now could be your chance! The Rice Annual Fund and the Traveling Owls have teamed up for a special opportunity for Rice alumni: When you give to the university before June 30, you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a free 11-day adventure (for two!) to Iceland. Your gift could be your ticket to a life-changing experience — and you’ll impact an area of campus you care passionately about.

Don’t delay: Make your gift right now to support Rice Owls and earn the chance to discover the remarkable land of Iceland!

See below for  Terms and Conditions.

Make a Gift

Where you'll go and what you'll see
  • Days 1-3: Borgarnes

    Upon arrival in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, enjoy a scenic drive to your hotel in Borgarnes. Explore the thermal areas of Deildartunguhver and see Hraunfossar Falls. Visit the Reyholt Cultural Centre, a historic site based on the life of saga writer Snorri Sturluson. Encounter the Snaefellsnes Peninsula’s stupendous scenery. Walk along a shell sand beach and explore the bizarre rock formations at Arnarstapi, where cliff birds nest.

  • Days 4-6: Akureyri

    Travel to Akureyri, Iceland’s northern capital. En route, visit a Gauksmyri farm to see famed Icelandic horses, then stop at the 17th-century Vidimyri sod church. Tour the urban gem of Akureyri. Embark on a dramatic bird-watching cruise to Puffin Island to thousands of seabirds. Encounter incredible Ásbyrgi canyon in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. Discover beautiful Lake Myvatn and its environs of bubbling mud flats, lava fields and volcanic craters, and see Godafoss the “waterfall of the gods.” Drive across the rugged Myvatn Desert to witness Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall.

  • Days 7-8: Selfoss

    Fly in the morning to Reykjavik and then drive to scenic Thingvellir National Park, a place of historic and geologic significance. Depart for Great Geysir, Iceland’s most famous geyser, and the immensely popular Gullfoss waterfall. Stay in the beautiful agricultural area of Selfoss. Tour the folk museum in Skogar, followed by a walk to nearby Skogafoss waterfall, known for its rainbows. Visit the lovely southernmost village of Vik.

  • Days 9-10: Reykjavik

    Return to Reykjavik via “saga” country, the setting of one of Iceland’s cherished medieval stories. Embark on a city tour of the sophisticated Icelandic capital, including the country’s largest church, the city’s oldest street, and the harbor. Enjoy a day at leisure to further explore the city on your own, or join in an optional visit to the Blue Lagoon for a soothing bath in the geothermal waters. Celebrate your adventure over a farewell dinner.

  • Day 11: Depart Reykjavik

    After a morning at leisure, depart for the airport and your early afternoon return flight to the U.S.

Value of your trip

Traveling Owls - Win a trip to Iceland
Valued at approximately $5,742 per person, this trip includes:

  • Round-trip air transportation from any major U.S. airport.
  • Nine nights’ accommodations in first class and unrated hotels.
  • 20 meals: 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners.
  • Extensive sightseeing as described above, including all entrance fees.
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director.
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip.
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person.  
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

See Terms and Conditions below.

Rice Alumni Traveling Owls

The Rice Alumni Traveling Owls program serves as a catalyst for lifelong learning and strengthens bonds between Rice University alumni and friends. With a commitment to education, engagement, exploration and excellence, the Traveling Owls program is designed to create exciting intellectual itineraries unlike any other travel opportunities, while sustaining enthusiasm for knowledge and building relationships among fellow Owls.

How a gift to the Rice Annual Fund supports the Owl Experience

Current-use contributions to the Rice Annual Fund go to work immediately and wherever they are needed most. Hover over (tap on your mobile device) each area of support to see how gifts supported the Rice experience in 2015-16!


The Rice Annual Fund provided nearly $5.3 million in undergraduate scholarships and graduate student support for today’s Owls.


Approximately $729,000 was provided for the student center, club sports and recreation programs, as well as residential college life and campus beauty and safety.


Fondren Library, visiting professorships, travel stipends and community outreach initiatives were supported with $1.7 million.


$194,000 supported student development programs and retention activities, first-year programs and academic advising.

Terms and Conditions

To enter, make a gift of any size to anywhere at the university between June 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017. You may also enter by sending your name and address by email to giving@rice.edu with the subject line “Traveling Owls.” While you may make multiple gifts, you will receive only one entry in the drawing.

The winner will be chosen based on a random drawing of all those who either make a gift or send in their information. If you have given on or after June 1, 2017 (including during the 24-Hour Challenge on June 1), you have already been entered in the drawing. Only Rice University alumni are eligible. Employees of Rice University Development and Alumni Relations and Odyssey Tours are not eligible. A winner will be selected by July 31, 2017 and recognized by email and through social media if applicable. The winner is also responsible for paying income taxes on the value of the trip and will be issued a 1099-MISC tax form by Rice University to report its value. 

The probable value of this trip, including airfare, taxes and surcharges will be approximately $5,742 (from Houston, TX) per person. Round trip air transportation from any U.S. city will be available. Business class upgrades on the round-trip international flight will also be available on request made by the winner directly to Odysseys Unlimited. The fees associated with these upgrades will be billed to the winner by Odysseys Unlimited and will be the sole responsibility of the winner and his/her travel companion. All dates, prices and itinerary details for 2018 tours are subject to change. Final pricing will be ma de available approximately eight months prior to departure.

At this time, elements of the tour are still being finalized. Our tour operator, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., will be in touch with the winner when the final tour details and tour brochure are available.  At that time, you will have two weeks to decide whether you would like to confirm your booking. Once your booking is confirmed, you will receive a complete confirmation packet.

Additional Questions?

The Rice Annual Fund team is standing by to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to call or email us at 713-348-4991 or giving@rice.edu.