Plans for the extensive makeover of the home of the Rice Owls basketball and volleyball teams were set into motion in 2007 with a $7 million gift from trustee and alumnus Bobby Tudor ’82 and his wife, Phoebe. Since then, the total amount of gifts and pledges for the Autry Court renovation has increased to nearly $20 million.
The redesign by noted sports architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum includes provisions for an academic center where student-athletes can go for tutoring, academic counseling, skill-development workshops and leadership training geared toward their career. The center will give student-athletes greater flexibility for scheduling study time around classes, practice, individual workouts and the team’s schedule of games.
“Autry Court is such an integral part of the athletic life of Rice University,” the Traubers said. “It also provides an important connection to the Houston community as it hosts athletic events and kids sports camps. In its current condition it does not adequately represent the excellence that we all expect from Rice University. We are proud to be able to contribute to this very important project and we hope to help inspire other friends of Rice to do the same.”