Conroe Attorney Larry Rice ’93 Lives His Faith
Making a living while living his Catholic faith has always been non-negotiable for Conroe attorney Robert Lawrence (Larry) Rice, V ’93. He sought the same sort of harmony years ago when he was in college. But higher education life before UST left him disheartened.
“I felt that something was missing,” Rice said, “even though I attended Mass every week and had a strong faith.”
Looking for guidance, Rice turned to his sister, Tracy Madeline Rice ’87, who earned a philosophy degree from UST.
“She convinced me that St. Thomas was the right place for me to live my faith while preparing for my career. And she was right.”
Faith and Culture at UST
Rice thrived at UST and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business with a minor in Philosophy. “Faith and culture abound in Houston and UST,” Rice said. “I learned to understand and appreciate the differences in people and ideas. I played baseball with some UST Vietnamese seminarian students who were not only exceptional ball players but were loads of fun too. We had a great time.”
“Also, the culture of compassionate, expert professors, along with my friends, fostered my faith. I saw that you can have a strong faith and still have tons of fun.”
When Professors were Mentors and Being Devout Catholic was "Cool"
Rice remembers professors who had an impact on his life and career.
“Dr. Ted Rebard made a profound impact on me,” Rice said. “He taught my first of many philosophy classes. He had the ability to synthesize Thomistic philosophy to the lives of 19-year-olds. Rebard made being a devout Catholic “cool” to us.
“Father Paul Lockey was another,” Rice said. “Being a priest and a classroom professor came with certain expectations, and he was such a brilliant scholar. But it was his identity as a man and his ability to bring the ‘man’ side of Christ out to everyone that made him special. I saw that Christ and Father Lockey being were like me — with the same struggles and issues that all people have. He became a friend who always had time for anyone. He actually performed the sacrament of marriage at Holy Rosary in Houston for my wife and me. His homily was exceptional. My non-Catholic friends were awed by it. Such a brilliant man. There are very talented people at UST.”
After UST graduation, Rice attended South Texas College of Law Houston. “I met my wife, Colleen, in law school and have been married for almost 25 years,” he said. “She is the staff attorney for County Court at Law Number Two here in Montgomery County."
Rice and his wife have four children (Katherine Grace, 23, Robert, 21, Edwin, 19 and Patrick [Paddy], 13 and are parishioners at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe.
Catholic Education is for All Faiths
His children all went to Sacred Heart Catholic School, Robert was a member of the founding class of Frassati Catholic High School in Spring, TX, his brother Edwin followed and Paddy will be a freshman there next year. Rice is an advocate for Catholic education and he is excited that UST is opening a micro-campus in Conroe.
“I was ecstatic when I heard the news,” Rice said. “There are so many people who will benefit from having a top-notch university here locally. It is daunting facing traffic into Houston every day, so having a touchstone here is just wonderful. Seeing it as a Catholic university shouldn’t deter people from other faiths. I had many friends at UST who were not Catholic, some were not Christian. All were more than happy with their experience. UST offers so many diverse degrees there is something for everyone. The religious classes were taught in an inclusive manner inviting all to question and engage. Diversity and contrast strengthen all beliefs,” he said.
UST Gives Graduates a Moral Compass and Purpose
Rice is proud to call UST his alma mater. “Really, professionally and otherwise, when people realize that I went to UST, I am met with admiration and respect,” he said. “The school has a reputation for turning out disciplined, organized and well-rounded students. Much of it springs from the formal roots of Catholic education, but I sense that people respect the different perspective that UST graduates bring. UST grads all seem to have a compass and a purpose. When you meet a fellow UST alumnus, there is a special connection always. You can trust that their mind has been opened,” he said.
From his late father’s firm in downtown Conroe, Rice practices civil contract law, real estate, estate planning and family law. He lives in Lake Conroe. You can reach Larry Rice at email@example.com. For more information on UST MAX Center in downtown Conroe, go to maxcenter.com.