George Lui '21 (Will Rice)

Biological Sciences and English

As a high school student living in small-town Georgia, George Liu ’21 knew he wanted to explore the advantages of a top-ranked university in a big city. During a late-night internet search, he discovered Rice. “It checked all of the boxes,” he remembers. “Houston is so different than my hometown of Warner Robins in all of the best possible ways, and the opportunities for students to do research and other cool things outside of the classroom really appealed to me. And because Rice offered me the most generous financial aid package, I knew I’d have the ability to explore all of those opportunities.”

Without my scholarship, I would have been missing out on something that I’m really passionate about. — George ’21

Though he had heard about Rice’s great social culture, George admits he was still nervous when he matriculated. That changed quickly when he received a warm welcome at O-Week. “I was wowed that everyone at Will Rice seemed to know my name as soon as I got out of the car,” he says. “The colleges are so great in almost forcing you — in the best way — to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. It was really comforting knowing I could just walk across the hall and have someone there to support me.”

Inspired by the culture of care at Will Rice, and all of the residential colleges, George felt called to support his fellow Will Ricers in any way he could. He now serves as secretary of the Will Rice Executive Council, helps his friends with chemistry, statistics and English as a Will Rice academic fellow, and helps new students feel welcome at the university as an O-Week coordinator.

He is equally driven in his academic pursuits. With dreams of being a surgical oncologist, George initially thought he would take a traditional pre-med path. After hearing professors, as well as Rice President David W. Leebron, encourage interdisciplinary study, he was inspired to pursue a biological sciences and English double major. “At Rice, you really can do it all. I’ve worked as an undergrad researcher and read the works of the greatest writers in history. I don’t think I could have had this same experience anywhere else.”

George credits scholarship support with allowing him to be heavily involved in his residential college and expand his academic horizons. “For example, this summer I was able to come back to Rice early to prepare for O-Week with the other coordinators,” he notes. “Without my scholarship, I would have been missing out on something that I’m really passionate about. And I know that my scholarship wouldn’t even be possible without Rice donors, and I am so grateful for their support.”

Because of the generosity of Rice donors, the Rice Annual Fund continues to be able to support a number of important areas of campus, including scholarships, teaching, research and residential college life. Learn more about how your gift to the Rice Annual Fund can make an impact for students like George.


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