David L. Rice Library joins the University of Southern Indiana in mourning the loss of and celebrating the life of Betty Fordice Rice. Mrs. Rice earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in home economics education from Purdue University, where she met her husband, David L. Rice. In 1967, they moved to Evansville where Dr. Rice became the founding president of what is now the University of Southern Indiana, and the love affair between Betty Rice and USI and Evansville began. She was a full partner in the establishment in the formation of community support for the University, and a very gracious hostess to many. She and a cadre of volunteers provided the meals for early Madrigal Feastes as well as cooking dinners for countless numbers of faculty, staff, and students. When the University Home opened in 1984, her belief that the home belonged to the larger university and that everyone was welcome was very evident. Her green thumb helped create the 25-acre Bent Twig Outdoor Learning Environment on the USI campus. USI women’s athletics, Greek life, religious life, Girl Scouts of Raintree Council, American Association of University Women, United Way, YWCA, Evansville Home Economists, Extension Homemakers, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Keep Evansville Beautiful, Westwood Garden Club, the USI-New Harmony Foundation, and the Posey County Community Foundation all benefited from the attention, efforts, and largesse of Betty Rice.
USI would be a much different, poorer institution without the loving attention of Betty Rice. Thank you, Mrs. Rice!