GE executive makes donation to Oxford College program

Special photo. John G. Rice, a General Electric executive, and his wife Cammie recently donated to the Emory Advantage financial aid program at Oxford College.

Special photo. John G. Rice, a General Electric executive, and his wife Cammie recently donated to the Emory Advantage financial aid program at Oxford College.

OXFORD -- Oxford College recently received a surprise gift.

Last week, General Electric executive John G. Rice and his wife, Cammie, made a significant gift to support the Emory Advantage financial aid program at Oxford College and established the Nancy and Charles Rice Scholarship Fund.

"I believe in the Oxford model," Rice said. "I've seen it do great things for my niece, who is now a junior on the main campus. The way young people can develop on the Oxford campus is special. They progress and go on to become leaders at Emory. I think it's a great model that needs to be supported."

The college said the gift, which was an undisclosed amount, recognizes Rice's parents' commitment to education and is in honor of his father, who passed away in 2009. The Rices named the fund after his late father, who was a lawyer, and his mother, a retired teacher, because they championed education in the family, he said.

"My parents always put a premium on education," Rice said. "It was expected that we would get an education and that their grandkids would. And they have made whatever resources necessary available for this."

A member of the Emory University Board of Trustees, Rice is vice chairman of GE and president and CEO of GE Technology Infrastructure in Atlanta. Along with Emory Chancellor Michael M.E. Johns, he co-chairs the university's fundraising effort for Emory Advantage.

"This gift is especially meaningful because it comes from benefactors who have a thorough understanding of higher education and have chosen Oxford College to receive their support," said Stephen Bowen, Dean of Oxford College. "We are extremely grateful for both their generosity and their confidence in the power of Oxford's transformative educational program."

The Emory Advantage ensures accepted students can come to Emory regardless of need. It is Emory University's financial aid initiative to help students from families with annual total incomes of $100,000 or less who demonstrate a need for aid to attend the college. The program reduces the amount of money borrowed to pay for an undergraduate Emory degree. The goal is to make an Emory education attainable for any qualified student, regardless of income, according to a press release.

The program is available to undergraduate students at Oxford College, the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, the Goizueta Business School and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.

"For Emory University to continue to attract the best and brightest, with the increasing cost of a college education, we're going to have to find more ways to support students who don't have the private financial means to attend," said Rice, a native of New Jersey who became involved with Emory after moving to Atlanta in 2000. "This is why I think financial aid is important and why Cammie and I have directed our gift to Emory Advantage."

Rice has been active in supporting and improving education in Georgia for nearly a decade. In addition to his role as an Emory trustee and Emory Advantage fundraising co-chair, he advises the Goizueta Business School as a Dean's Executive Fellow and teaches Emory business students as a guest speaker. He has been chair of education for the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the Commission for School Board Excellence, according to the college.