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. The Duncans have a passion for environmental sustainability which was the motivation behind designing Duncan as Rice’s “green” college. As such, Duncan is one of the first buildings in Houston to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.
Duncan College opened its doors in 2009 to its first matriculation year. However, the official Duncan dedication took place November 19, 2010 in the Duncan quad. November 19th is now regarded as Duncan’s birthday, “Duncan Day” and the week leading up to it “Duncan Week”. Duncan’s first year also inspired the phrase “Somos equipo, somos familia” which is Spanish for “We are a team, we are a family”, the official Duncan motto. This fall Duncan will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of being a residential college.