R Association Names William Roberts ’17 As New Executive Director

R Association Names William Roberts ’17 As New Executive Director

Rice University has named alumnus William Roberts ‘17 as the new Executive Director of the R Association. The R Association represents and provides support for over 7,000 letterwinning alumni from Rice University. Roberts, a member of the men’s track & field team from 2012-17, falls into this category.

“When I left Rice after graduation, I knew that I eventually wanted to end up back here on campus,” Roberts said. “I kept in constant contact with the alumni I knew and made an effort to talk with other alumni that I had yet to meet. I spent the next year getting as much experience as I possibly could while continuing to volunteer for events at Rice.”

William Roberts '17 hired as new "R" Association Executive Director

Originally from Sanderson, TX, Roberts has worked for a number of sports organizations in Texas throughout his career. During his time as a student athlete at Rice, Roberts interned with The Sports Marketing Group and National Athletics League. In 2017, he stayed involved upon graduating as the Volunteer Assistant Track & Field Coach before moving on to work in roles for FC Dallas and Peak Sports Management at West Texas A&M University. In 2019, Rice offered Roberts the opportunity to become involved with the university once more.

“The most exciting bit for me is being back at Rice. This place is home to me,” Roberts said. “Now that I’m back, I see life at Rice from a different angle, and that gets me excited to be here every day.”

As Executive Director of the R Association, he hopes to further accomplish the motto of the club itself: Letterwinners Helping Letterwinners.

“My dream is that when people think of our alumni network, it carries just as much weight as mentioning the Aggie Network,” Roberts said. “It goes beyond just networking to get a job straight out of school. When you graduate from here, I want you to think of Rice Alumni for everything you need.”

As of Spring 2013, the R Association pledges to award membership to all letterwinners in order to connect and honor as many active members as possible. Currently, the R Association’s outreach stretches far and wide across the country, from Texas to California to New York. Roberts hopes to emphasize the value of this network to current students.

“Use the resources you have available to you here,” Roberts advised. “A degree from Rice carries a lot of weight and will open a lot of doors, but you have to know where those doors are. The faculty and staff are here to help you, but you have to take the first step and tell us about your goals so that we can help you!”

Sophie Call, a sophomore from Louisville, Kentucky, is majoring in Sport Management with a concentration in Sport Leadership.