Allison Thacker ’96 (Baker)
Chief Investment Officer, Rice University
Rice alumna Allison Thacker ’96 could not wait to tell her staff in the Rice Management Company, the office responsible for managing Rice’s endowment resources, about the university’s forthcoming plans to launch a new financial aid initiative. “This was the most exciting piece of news I have been able to share with my team about the impact that their work is having on students,” Allison says. “The Rice Investment is incredibly motivating for my team, and it is personally exciting for me as well.”
Like many Rice students, both past and present, Allison and her family relied on scholarship support to fund her education. “I come from a middle-class background, and being able to afford Rice really changed my life,” she notes. “It opened up so many different opportunities in my career, and that’s why I have been a very big believer in maintaining the affordability of Rice.”
“Having students from across the full spectrum of backgrounds is critical in an educational experience.”
She is looking forward to seeing how the new policy will impact students and our campus culture. “Rice is going to be that much better when we strengthen our already diverse population of students. Being exposed to people who come from all different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds will make sure that our students are well-equipped to go out into the world and make a difference,” Allison remarks.
As the university’s chief investment officer, Allison understands better than most how current-use funds are vital to getting The Rice Investment off and running. “I am proud that the university viewed this as so strategically critical that they decided it was a risk worth taking to move forward immediately, and that’s unconventional,” she says.
While the university will rely on financial aid endowments to continually fund The Rice Investment, current-use scholarships from the Annual Fund play a vital role in ensuring that this important commitment to access and affordability can take effect immediately. “This is why we're talking to our alumni, our faculty and our staff about the importance of this initiative,” Allison notes. “There are so many students who need our support before the endowments take full effect, and I hope our community shares my belief that we should start supporting these students now through the Rice Annual Fund.”