A 'To Rice Be True' Story
George J. Hirasaki '67 and his wife, Darlene, were married in the golden glow of Rice Chapel in the summer of 1993. Like many couples over the years, they wanted Rice to play a key role in their love story - a story that now includes a bequest supporting the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
"I first set eyes on the campus in 1963," says George, who became enamored with the university as a graduate student. "Thanks to a mind-expanding experience, I learned so much, and my education made so many things possible."
After earning his Ph.D., George launched a 26-year career with Shell Development and Shell Oil Company. He returned to Rice in 1977 as a part-time faculty member. He started full time in 1993, teaching conduction research in nuclear magnetic resonance. Today, as the A.J. Hartsook Professor Emeritus and Research Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, George continues that work and conducts research in enhanced oil recovery, while co-supervising Ph.D. research and collaborating with younger faculty.
Along the way - it was on a ski trip, Darlene recalls - George met his future wife, who also worked for Shell Oil. As the two great adventures of George's life intertwined, Darlene, too, fell for Rice. She and fellow Rice volunteers maintain the Graduate Student Loan Closet - a lending service that loans out everything from pots and pans to furniture for new students who cannot bring much with them to campus.
Through gift planning, George and Darlene carry their passion for students and research forward, so that future generations will have similarly exceptional experiences at Rice.
"Rice is already a world-class university. And we know from experience that Rice is No. 1 for happy students and quality of life! We would like Rice to continue to be one of the top universities in the world. A bequest in our will is one way we can contribute to that aspiration."