Profile: Katherine and Rob Rice
They came to know each other while at Mississippi State, they've worked here for decades and Katherine and Rob Rice personify the truest of True Maroon.
On Dec. 18, Rob and Katherine will celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary. They met when Rob was working as a cafeteria line manager. He noticed Katherine and always was hoping she would come down his line. Consistently, she chose another line, he recalled.
"Finally, my friend introduced me. I was so glad to finally get this good looking girl into my line," Rob said.
They were married three days after he graduated in landscape contracting in 1982. The following year, Katherine received her bachelor's degree in business education.
Now working on campus for 23 years, Rob is associate director of campus landscape. Katherine, a 22-year employee, is administrative assistant to Athletic Director Scott Stricklin.
Rob's office is located on the south side; Katherine's, the north side. Though working daily in separate worlds, both agree they love their jobs, the campus and, most of all, the people.
Both are especially appreciative of those with whom they work. Rob credits his colleagues in landscape for keeping the campus beautiful, while Katherine praises her colleagues for the considerable behind-the-scenes work they do to ensure gameday experiences for Bulldog fans always surpass expectations.
Katherine said she also has enjoyed having a front row seat to the considerable growth and change taking place on campus over the years. She recalled that the north side once largely was woods prior to construction of the Bryan Athletic Administration Building and Templeton Athletic Academic Center, among other major structures. Seeing the new buildings often is like seeing the changes for the first time, she observed.
"Everything is so beautiful, the way campus has grown and changed," Katherine said.
For Rob, the Mississippi State campus is a second home "I like to watch things grow; it's a spiritually rewarding thing to watch campus grow and change," he said. "For me, the Drill Field and the Old Main Plaza are historic and peaceful."
Not surprisingly, both are avid Bulldog sports fans. Basketball is Katherine's favorite; for Rob, it's football. Like all True Maroon Bulldogs, however, they were filled with great pride and excitement when the Diamond Dogs made it to the Collegiate World Series in June.
"We made it to the championship game, so we had to go," Katherine said. "Almost all the fans were there for Mississippi State. We've got the best baseball fans in the world.
"Whenever we go back to the World Series, we're not coming home till we win it," she said.Writer: Leah Barbour | Photo: Megan Bean
Next week … Jarell Colston !