men in cap and gown holding diploma

About Our President, Dr. Larry Rice

The Investiture of Dr. Larry Rice as the 14th president of Rogers State University was held during the RSU Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at the Claremore Expo Center. The Investiture – a traditional academic ceremony officially commemorating the beginning of the tenure of a new president – was an integral part of the commencement ceremony and featured remarks by various individuals associated with the university.

Dr. Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State System for Higher Education, provided the formal charge of office to Dr. Rice as the new president. Dr. Rice, who became president of RSU on July 1, 2008, was formally invested as the institution’s 14th president and also provided an Investiture and Commencement address to graduates during the baccalaureate commencement ceremony.

An Oklahoma native, President Rice has 30 years of experience in higher education. President Rice began his academic career in 1979 as a full-time faculty member right here at Rogers State University (then known as Rogers State College) where he taught classes in criminal justice, psychology and sociology. He was Director of the Applied Science Division from 1979-1986 and Associate Director of Academics for the Pryor campus from 1986-1991.

He received a doctoral degree in education from Oklahoma State University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northeastern State University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on “Eighty Years of University Preparatory Education on College Hill,” a history of the institution presently known as RSU.

Before he was named president of RSU, he served as Executive Assistant to the President at the University of Tulsa. At TU, Rice was chief of staff for the president with responsibilities for government relations and the Presidential Scholars Program for high-achieving students. He joined TU in 1991 as a member of the advancement staff and served as interim vice president for advancement from 1997-1998 and director of public affairs from 1991-2004.

He served the citizens of Oklahoma as a state representative in House District 8 from 1986-2004.

Dr. Rice has been dedicated to community service since 1975 when he worked as a Detective for the Pryor Police Department. He has also served on a wide variety of boards for various organizations, including service as president and founding member of the Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools Foundation. He is an ex-officio member of the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Green Country and a former member of the board for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Tulsa.

Dr. Rice was part of Leadership Oklahoma Class 13 and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Academy since 1992. He was appointed to the Claremore Regional Hospital Board of Directors in 2009.

He has received many awards and commendations for his public service and commitment to higher education. His honors include the “Lifetime Friend Award” from the Higher Education Alumni Council of Oklahoma and being recognized as Legislator of the Year by several organizations including the Oklahoma Rural Water Association and the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.

Dr. Rice and his wife, Peggy, live in the President’s Residence on the RSU campus in Claremore.

About Our First Lady, Peggy Rice

Peggy Rice

Peggy Rice served as President and CEO of the Small Business Capital Corporation, which has a loan portfolio of approximately $48 million and has helped create more than 2,600 jobs.

In 1996, she was named the National Small Business Administration’s Financial Advocate of the Year by President Bill Clinton.

Previously, she served as Director of Existing Business Development for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending and Marketing Officer for First National Bank and Trust Company in Stillwater, Okla. While living in Stillwater, she served on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, United Way and the Stillwater Public Schools Foundation.

Today, she is active in numerous civic and non-profit organizations in northeast Oklahoma, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma. She also volunteers her time at Rogers State University, where her husband Larry Rice serves as President.