With its pastoral landscape and century-old architecture, few would use the term "unconventional" to characterize Rice University.

But the revered institution of higher education is embracing just that term. As part of its centennial year celebration, Rice is opening its campus up to all Houstonians April 12-14 for a massive open house it's calling an UnConvention.

From a display of inventions by student engineers and an Asian Film Festival, to Shepherd School of Music concerts and a lecture about the role of civic scientists, the UnConvention is designed to give campus visitors several days of education and entertainment.
"In honor of Rice's centennial year, we're opening our doors and hedges to the people of Houston so they can experience firsthand the unconventional wisdom that has become the motto of our university," says Linda Thrane, the university's vice president for public affairs. "We want to invite families and friends from throughout the city to help us celebrate our centennial." Thrane says the hope is that people will learn something they didn't know and keep coming back.

Tours, lectures, research demonstrations, concerts, athletic events, theater and dance performances, art exhibits, competitions, films, activities for children and other events are on the UnConvention schedule posted at www.unconvention.rice.edu. Most are free, and the descriptions on the website indicate those for which tickets must be purchased. Rice is providing free parking during the UnConvention.