Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How many people does the Grand Hall fit?
The Grand Hall accommodates up to 325 people lecture style, and 250 people dining style, but only 200 with a dance floor.
The Grand Hall can also be combined with Sammy’s, and together they can accommodate 525 people lecture style, and 350 people dining style, but only 300 with a dance floor.
Q: What is included with the rental fee?
The rental fee includes tables and chairs and set up. For dining we use 60’ round tables and navy padded metal chairs, but you can bring others if you wish. The same chairs are used for lectures.
Q: How long/during what portion of the day can the Grand Hall be rented?
For as long as you want, but the rental fee includes from 1 to 6 hours, including setup and tear down times. There are additional fees for early opening and late closing, plus the $50 to $100 charged for extra hours.
Q: How much does it cost to book the Grand Hall?
It depends on the time of year and the hours. The Cost varies from $1600 and up, plus a $135 fee for insurance at all times.
Q: Where should I send my payments?Tim Abraham,
Student Center - MS 530
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892
Q: To what address should I send my guests to?Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
Q: Are food and/or alcoholic drinks allowed on campus?
Yes, both are allowed. Alcohol can be served, but you will need to hire security through Rice police. Email RUPDeventsecurity@rice.edu to make arrangements. If you charge for admission, or sell the alcohol, you will also need to have a special permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC).
Q: Can it be catered by anyone of my choosing?
Yes, you are allowed to select anyone you want. All we need is a copy of the catering license (commercial liability insurance) of the restaurant/business of your choice. If you need help finding someone, below is a list of businesses which have already catered events on campus, and are familiar with our guidelines.
Q: Does the caterer need to meet with us ahead of time?
Yes, it is best if they see the space they have to work with ahead of time. There is no kitchen available to use.
Q: What about parking?
Parking is not free, nor included with the rental. If you would like to pay for your guests, we sell parking validations for $8 each. The underground garage, under the Jones School of Business, is the closest parking lot to the Rice Memorial Center or Student Center. The next closest parking area would be the North Lot, off Rice Blvd, on Entrance #20.
Q: Can we use AV equipment? If so, what equipment is available?
Yes, you may use AV equipment. However, there is a fee associated with each rental. We have microphones, sound systems, projectors, DVD players, camcorders, and other audio and visual equipment for you to use for your event. Please contact Tim Abraham at firstname.lastname@example.org for any AV questions.