Duncan College, Rice University’s eleventh residential college, is named to commemorate Charles William Duncan, Jr., who was U.S. Secretary of Energy on the Cabinet of President Jimmy Carter and former chairman of Rice Board of Governors, and his wife, Anne. Anne and Charles Duncan have been extraordinarily generous to Rice through helping establish the James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy and supporting the Shepherd School of Music. In 2007, they donated $30 million for Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, which included establishing new residential colleges to accommodate the need to expand the student body while keeping the characteristics that makes Rice distinctive.


Duncan is laid out in a U-shape. At each corner, there is a stairwell and a public bathroom.

The first floor contains public areas, offices, and the laundry room. Students live on floors 2 through 5. The fifth floor is an open deck with an incredible view and is an excellent place to hang out.

Singles and suites are located at the corners of Duncan while the hallways are filled with doubles.

Each floor contains a study lounge, a resident associate’s lounge and apartment, and a kitchen.


As strong supports of environmental awareness, Anne and Charles Duncan, requested for Duncan College to be an environmentally friendly building. Duncan College, designed by Hopkins Architect, is one of the first buildings in Houston to be awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification.

Green Features:

  • reduced energy and water consumption (at least 25% and 30% respectively)
  • monitoring system that shuts off lights when no motion is detected for 30 something minute
  • air conditioning that shuts off when windows are opened
  • rooftop gardens with low-maintainence plants that cut heating/cooling costs
  • runoff water collection system for reuse
  • pod bathrooms, minimizing construction waste and traffic
  • two flushing options to lower water consumption
  • lack of carpet, a product that when manufactured causes heavy CO2 emission and waste
  • use of green materials in construction and furnishing
  • recycling containers are located in each floor’s elevator bay and down in the servery