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First Lecture is UH College of Education Dean Bob McPherson’s signature event, designed to give students, faculty, staff and guests a memorable and motivational first lecture to start the academic year.
Stephanie Rice

First Lecture 2018

Our featured speaker – and performer – is Stephanie Rice, a UH graduate who earned fame on NBC’s “The Voice.” She's known for her powerful performances, personal story of resilience and LGBTQ advocacy.

Date: Aug. 17, 2018
Time: 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.)
Place: Cullen Performance Hall

Free to attend. RSVP online by Aug. 13, 2018.

*Snap a selfie with Rice during a meet-and-greet immediately after the event!


TV viewers couldn’t help but tear up during Stephanie Rice’s audition on “The Voice” in 2017. After singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece,” Rice told the judges her parents “disowned” her when she came out to them. “I’ve been taking that brokenness and the emotion – I’ve been channeling it into … music,” she said.

Grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys called Rice “the purest artist on this show… You are a producer. You are a musician. You play multiple instruments. You are a writer. You are exactly what an artist is supposed to be.”

Rice, who grew up near Texarkana, graduated from UH in 2012 with a biology major and a psychology minor. After graduation, she conducted research on HIV at Baylor College of Medicine before releasing her debut album, “Dear Misery,” with her band, Colonial Blue. Today Rice lives in Los Angeles and continues to encourage fans with her music.