History and Namesake

The Rice Center for Teaching began in July 2022. Faculty interest for a teaching center was articulated in the 2021 Williams College Strategic Plan, which envisioned the Center as “a place that allows faculty to realize their fullest potential as teachers and mentors.” The Center was designed to “serve as a hub for resources and services and a space where faculty could reflect on their own teaching practices, learn about new strategies and approaches, and benefit from peer mentors and conversation partners.”

The Center was officially dedicated in June 2023 and the physical location of the Rice Center opened in Stetson Hall in Spring 2024.

The Rice Center for Teaching is named in honor of Joseph L. Rice III ’54, distinguished alumnus and Trustee Emeritus, for his lifetime of service to Williams. Joe has consistently supported Williams faculty through numerous endeavors including establishing endowed professorships, creating community spaces such as the Hollander faculty lounge, and endowing the Center for Teaching in perpetuity. Along with his wife, Franci Blassberg, Joe has made an indelible mark on learning and scholarship at Williams for generations to come.

Photograph of Joseph L. Rice III '54 and Franci Blassberg
Joseph L. Rice III ’54 and Franci Blassberg