The Association of
Retired Rice University Faculty

Welcome to ARRUF, where innovation and collaboration transform retirement.

Here, friends and colleagues join in discussions, workshops, and research projects to rethink the role of retired faculty in the University and invent new forms of participation. Members share interests through groups that meet via ZOOM and, in the future, with in-person events.


ARRUF Director Bart Sinclair congratulates newly retired Scott Cutler Lars with Eva Lerup with S. Klineberg Patricia Gruber chats with deans and Kulstad

A Reception Honoring New Retired Rice University Faculty 2020 and 2021 Concluded at the Turrell Skyspace and the Twilight Epiphany

On Tuesday, October 19th, a reception in the open-air Lummis Courtyard of the Alice Pratt Brown Hall (Shepherd School) launched a three-part event, "Ascending to ARRUF," a celebration of faculty retirees from 2020 and 2021. Ordinarily, the Provost holds a reception each May just before commencement to honor those who, like new degree holders at graduation, are moving up to emeritus status. Pandemic restrictions delayed those celebrations for the past two years. During the reception, ARRUF's newly elected directors, Dr. Bart Sinclair (George R. Brown School of Engineering), Dr. Steven Klineberg (Founding Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research), and Dr. Meredith Skura (Department of English) personally welcomed retirees.

The presence of several present and former deans as well as President David Leebron and Vice Provost C. Fred Higgs, III, contributed to the status of the celebration. Dean Matthew Loden, Shepherd School of Music; Dean Peter Rodriguez, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business; Dean Rob Bruce, Suzanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies; Dean Kathleen Canning, School of Humanities; former dean Lars Lerup, School of Architecture; and Mark Kulstad, ARRUF Director 2020-2021 and former Academic Director of Graduate Liberal Studies in the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, participated.

After the social hour, everyone moved to the Duncan Recital Hall. Director Skura called the names of all new retirees, and President Leebron and Vice Provost C. Fred Higgs III, addressed the group. President Leebron praised retired faculty for their contributions over the years, then emphasized a broad but important new challenge: to "Make Rice Better"  by redefining the role of retired faculty in the institution. Vice Provost Higgs picked up the theme and introduced a new member of his staff, Dr. Devon Jones, a faculty lifecycle specialist. Her new position will assist in rethinking the potential and opportunities for faculty over their careers at Rice, including as ARRUF members. Higgs concluded by inviting everyone to hear a string quartet of graduate students from the Shepherd School play as the gradual introduction of lighting transformed the Turrell Skyspace during its regular program, Twilight Epiphany. The evening was perfect. Many members expressed a desire to return to see the Skyspace's dawn program also.

Turrell Skyspace photo

 Several deans joined retirees and ARRUF members to celebrate the occasion, and President Leebron captured Mozart as well. 

deans rodriguez loden and canning quartet Rodriguez, Leebron, Canning

From the upper floor of the Skyspace, President Leebron (shown between Deans Rodriguez and Canning) captured the quartet playing Mozart. 


 Sam Davis on Walker

Sam Davis (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) recommends well engineered transportation, like his stable and speedy walker, to attend ARRUF events!

Got a hitch in your "get along"?  A wheelchair and an escort may be your solution. Others trust a sturdy cane or a motorized chair or scooter. ARRUF wants you to use the means that may work best for you. Choose your chariot!

We will do all we can to ensure your safety. Don't wait. Let the smiling friends who await you at ARRUF energize your participation.

Marcia Citron photographs opera theater

New Dean Welcomed ARRUF Tour Onstage, Behind the Scenes

Friday, Oct. 8

New Shepherd School Dean Matthew Loden welcomed ARRUF members for a tour of architect Allan Greenberg’s new 84,000 SF Brockman Hall for Opera. ARRUF gathered at Alice Pratt Brown Hall, walked across the connecting plaza to experience Brockman Music and Performing Arts Center, just west of the James Turrell Skyspace. . . . READ MORE

abstract owl with blue background

Cognitive and Brain Health during Aging 

Held Friday, Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to noon

What do senior adults value? Maintaining independence, sustaining relations with family and friends, and making beneficial decisions. What are the greatest fears? Can older people continue to learn, to keep up with job trends, to operate new equipment? Many fear cognitive loss, dementia, or other diseases of the brain. What are scientists discovering that can help us protect our own mental edge?

As with Covid-19, intersecting contextual factors--from health disparities to retirement—affect brain health. A group of researchers at institutions in the Houston area are investigating how cognition and the brain change in aging as well as risk factors and possible treatments to slow or stop the development of dementia.


Read more about the presenters and their talks (click here) . . . 


Three director candidates were elected in the spring for two-year terms:

Steve Klineberg, Meredith Skura, and Bart Sinclair

Their history at Rice in the departments of Sociology, English, and Electrical and Computer Engineering will enable them to represent three major fields and envision programs likely to engage participants from across the campus. Read more about ARRUF's new directors by clicking on their names above.


ARRUF usually holds general meetings once each month. Interest groups meet on a flexible schedule determined by their specific projects. Click on the interest group headings below to find out more.


committee at faculty club


Volunteers are needed for the following committees to support ARRUF's new directors as we expand into full operation again.  

The Activities Committee needs a new co-chair and additional members. 

* The Membership Committee, newly formed (Thad Logan and Meredith Skura, co-chairs) has produced a list of all current members and intends to expand this project. They could use your help! 

* The first Benefits and Privileges Committee, we hope you noted, succeeded in fostering changes in the library policies for retired faculty. Their survey is now over two years old; we need an update! 

Want to get involved in virtual committeee work? For more information, please contact Director Mark Kulstad at


The ARRUF ANNUAL REPORT for 2019-2020 

The ARRUF ANNUAL REPORT for 2020-2021.  

Use this website and its reports and newsletters to explore past events, resources, and members' profiles.

NUMBERS THAT MATTER: "Globally, the number of people age 60 and over is projected to double to more than 2 billion by mid-century. To ready for this demographic shift, the public and private sectors must adapt to the wants and needs of older adults. Now is the time to plan—and act." from the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging website. 

Photo of Viqui and Alfonso in front of cathedral   VIQUI'S BACK!  READ VIQUI ARBIZU-SABATER'S NEW NOTES:


Spring JAN-FEB 2021  MID-SUMMER JULY-AUG 2020  APRIL MAY 2020    Viqui and Alfonso's Recipe for Gazpacho Andaluz (a really top notch recipe!)

International ARRUF Ambassador Viqui Arbizu Sabater has been devoting her time to caring for Covid-19 victims in her family in Seville. Now, She's BACK. CLICK ABOVE on the most recent notes. Meanwhile, she and Alfonso DuLuc are sharing the leadership of the Travel Interest Group.

Join them at the JULY 21st Travel Group reception and meeting as ARRUF reopens its Fondren 412 headquarters!




Read this essay by Mark Kulstad on the options for new interest groups.

Fill out the form for proposing new interest groups

       Sample Filled-out Form


TRAVEL GROUP NEWS: ON JULY 21st, the Travel Group Shares Best Moments EITHER in FONDREN 412 or via ZOOM.

Coming up soon! 

Hawii landscape

Travel informs and indelibly imprints joy and beauty in marvelous memories. Tell ARRUF members about YOUR best moments as one of seven speakers with a tale to tell about great food, fabulous sunsets, hot bars, or other moments vivid in YOUR memory. Or listen from your own home via ZOOM. The Travel Group's new leaders, Viqui Arbizu-Sabater and Alfonso DuLuc, owners of a travel company in Seville, Spain, came back to Houston for a visit this summer.

MFAH floral display  ARTS GROUP NEWS

THE COLLECTING, ARTS and MUSEUMS GROUP will set up a meeting for November soon.      
In June, fortified with our best beverages or after-luncheon spritz, we came up with a long list of possibilities, which will afford the group many in-person and ZOOM adventures. By now, most in our age group will have been vaccinated, so we should be able to have  some ZOOM meetings to places across the country and across the world and some in-person attendance at neat Houston spots. 

To recall, the Arts Group had a single, delightful ZOOM pre-concert meeting in March, but it now needs to choose leaders and select places to go, things to see, and music to hear. (There are Schumann fans in the group.)

 Dines and Waters photo 

Where shall we go and hear or see when we're vaccinated and the pandemic ebbs? Join us in November to decide.


Associate Provost Higgs and Roger Baldwin, speaker

Associate Provost C. Fred Higgs III and Speaker Dr. Roger Baldwin


At ARRUF’s first conference, in 2018, Dr. Roger Baldwin reported on his study of retired faculty organizations across the country. His most serious criticism was that most programs fail to evaluate progress toward long-term goals. They underuse resources as a result. From the beginning, Rice University's provosts and associate provosts, including C. Fred Higgs III, (shown above) have urged ARRUF to develop a special role for retired faculty. 

The August 2021 conversation among members and our three new directors (Bart Sinclair, Meredith Skura, and Steve Klineberg) focused on what has “gone well” and “not so well.” Reacting to the constraints of the pandemic inspired constant reimagining evident in the ARRUF Annual Report for 2020-2021. Despite moving to an on-line format, a consistent set of themes was explored in ARRUF programs: Changes at the University; Longevity and Retirement Issues, and Political, Environmental and Social Justice. Three interest groups also enabled small groups to meet about travel, nature, and arts. Activities proposed for the coming year will help members maintain a close, beneficial connection to one another and the university community.


 kayaks and cliffs photo

HILL COUNTRY TRIP RESCHEDULED FOR SPRING 2022: ARRUF is going to be on the move in the year ahead as we use our vaccination status and shared goals to enjoy venturing together.  

In April 2021 the Nature Group held a session to hear Professor Emeritus Andre Droxler describe an area he has been studying in the Hill Country. The destination is of interest to NASA because of its similarities to an area to be investigated on Mars. A day trip to the site, planned for the fall, has been rescheduled. A spring trip is now planned. The trip should include a range of activities over a weekend, with a nearby resort serving as ARRUF headquarters. 
If you would like to be contacted about this trip, reply by clicking You will receive more details as they become available.