Mike Carter's Rice journey started on an extraordinary and inspiring note. A few days into his freshman year in 1962, he joined his new classmates at Rice Stadium to witness President John F. Kennedy's famous speech declaring his intention to send men to the moon and inviting the American people to support this quest.
Though Mike graduated with a degree in economics and moved on to a successful career as an actuary, he credits this call to action — as well as the unique Rice experience and education — with setting him and his classmates up for a lifetime of success.
"I think many of us have always felt that there was something special about our class," Mike says of the class of 1966, whose members are celebrating their Golden Reunion this year. "Our class was one of the last graduating classes at Rice to have no tuition, and what I got for what it cost is unbelievable. I have a very deep appreciation and love for my university."
This devotion to Rice led Mike and his wife, Lynette, to establish a fellowship for postdoctoral candidates in economics. Then when it came time to finalize something in a will, Mike says, continuing to fund his fellowship seemed a natural choice.
"I've always felt like the quality of the education I received and the foundation that Rice gave me in those four years enabled me to do what I have done in my career, and I feel a debt to Rice for having given me that opportunity."
These days, Mike is happy to provide to others the same sort of inspiration — and challenge — that Rice gave to him from the very beginning of his education.
"Look at how you think having gone to Rice has benefited you and the directions you've gone," he says to his fellow alumni. "If you think that Rice is helping you, then start by just giving back."