World Renowned Professor William R. Rice Passes On at 79


Professor William R. Rice
Professor William R. Rice

Because headlines can only be so long, we used “Professor” for the interest of keeping  it under 50 words.  We’re going to attempt to keep it short, but, Professor Rice lived the life of five people.

He spoke five different languages:  french, Spanish, Portuguese, german and English.  He taught  in Albany State University’s English department in Mass Communication and Modern Languages for 41 years. He also served in the armed forces for 38 years in active duty and reserves.  He travelled the world personally and professionally.

During his time in the Air Force, he taught in North Africa and in Guatemala.   He vacationed and travelled as part of delegations to give speeches in Singapore, Copenhagen, Russia, and the Caribbean to name a few.  

He was a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Inc. for more than 50 years.  He was an avid Obama supporter who spearheaded and assisted with the opening of the Albany, Ga. campaign headquarters. And atop his illustrious career, he had five children and one of them, Yanick Rice Lamb, an Award-winning journalist and author who is the Editorial Director of Heart & Soul Magazine.  She has also worked as an editor for Essence, Emerge magazine and worked at The New York Times in various roles for 10 years.  And if that wasn’t enough, Professor Rice has been known to cut a rug or two as well as frequent more than a few Soul Train Lines.

Mr. Rice is such an instrumental member of the community there will be several services over the course of the weekend.  Services will begin with a visitation Saturday, May 2, a prayer vigil and tribute Sunday and the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. on Monday at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church.  His burial will be followed by full military honors at Andersonville National Cemetery in Andersonville, Ga.

The local news in Albany also recognized Professor Rice.  Watch this video where you can see him express his thoughts on Obama’s win.  Thank you for the example you have left us all.  You will be immeasurably missed.

-J.C. Brooks

4 thoughts on “World Renowned Professor William R. Rice Passes On at 79”

  1. What a great tribute to someone that appears to have been such a profound pillar in our history. Sorry, I am just learning about him.

  2. Wow, JC, just a beautiful tribute. Yanick, my condolences on losing such a wonderful father. My heart goes out to you and your family, and know that Alana and I will pray for you all.


  3. Professor Rice was a person who shared and served all those he knew. Each time I spoke to him he offered encouragement, and shared information about his daughter serving the nation in the military as he did. I will think of him both on my visits to the college and at the base I often saw him shopping at. My regards to the Rice family, the ASU family and the Military he served.


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