Longtime professor Mary-Alice Rice officially retired from Christendom College on June 29 after nearly forty years of teaching at the college. The college paid tribute to her at a special retirement luncheon, with the college’s staff and faculty gathering to thank her for her decades of service to the college and its students.
“The college and generations of students owe you heartfelt thanks and gratitude for all you have done for the college,” said college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell at the event.
Rice is the one of the last faculty members originally hired by college founder Dr. Warren Carroll to retire from teaching at Christendom. Over nearly forty years of service, Rice taught hundreds of students French and grammar, leaving a profound impact on generations of alumni and on the college as a whole.
At the retirement luncheon, many stories were shared about Rice, ranging from humorous stories about her tremendous wit to tearful tributes to her kindness, loyalty, and the wonderful example of marriage and fidelity shown by her and her husband, professor emeritus Dr. Robert Rice.
As a tribute to her, the college’s faculty made her a Professor Emeritus on the occasion of her retirement as well, “in grateful thanksgiving for her decades of service to the Christendom community.” She now joins her husband, Robert, in receiving this special honor.
Rice earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Arkansas and her Masters Degree from the University of Oregon. In September of 1981, Rice, along with her husband, joined Christendom’s faculty. They were among the initial group of professors at the college, helping to shepherd the school from its humble beginnings to where it now stands today. Rice served under all three of Christendom’s presidents, teaching courses such as Elementary and Intermediate French I and II, French Composition and Conversation, French Medieval Literature, and the Grammar Workshop. In the early years of the college, she also gave generously of her time as the college’s gardener, beautifying the campus for the students, faculty and staff.
For years now, Rice has lived right across the street from the college, welcoming students into her home for movie nights, dinners, and for holidays.
Rice will be greatly missed at the college, but her legacy of service and fidelity to Christendom will continue on for generations to come.