McScottish Week at McMurtry College


At Rice, traditions come in all shapes and sizes. From Beer Bike to O-Week, university events forge and foster a fun, inclusive community. However, traditions can also vary by residential college. 

Founded by Burt and Deedee McMurtry in Fall 2009, McMurtry holds McScottish Week to embrace its founders’ and college’s Scottish background and upbringing. Take a look into our week of Scottish-themed celebrations and events that have been passed down through the years!

Several students tying together purple and white balloons in McMurtry commons.
Three students tying purple and white balloon bundles onto purple and white paper streamers running across the ceiling of commons.

We kick off the week with a Commons Decorating Party. Plastering the walls in purple tarp and blowing up balloons are all fair game. The celebration continues throughout the week with competitions in banana eating and pumpkin painting, movie nights, and plenty of free food. The events throughout the week bolster college culture and provide students with opportunities to relax amidst a busy school year.

One student cutting green and blue plaid-patterned fabric; another student on the left looking down and cutting the fabric; another student on the right smiling.
One student helping another student tie a kilt around their waist.

Once our "yurt" is decorated, everyone comes down to make their own kilts, which are traditional Scottish skirts. Although most of us made a simple wrap-around skirt, everyone is free to use their creativity and fashion skills to design their own kilt using the plaid patterned fabric provided by the college.

Five students standing next to each other in a single row, wearing kilts and smiling.
Three students wearing kilts and standing next to each other in a single row while smiling.

Finally, the celebration is wrapped up with McScottish Night on Friday. Whether it’s live bagpipe performances, Scottish dancing, or s’mores, the night has something to offer for everyone. Open to families, alumni, and all McMurtry students, McScottish Night is a tradition valued and celebrated by all.

Man wearing traditional Scottish outfit with a hat, playing the bagpipes.
Two pairs of people holding hands with each other, intersecting and forming a cross with their arms.

Certainly, McMurtry’s McScottish Week is merely a microcosm of the culture and traditions that take place throughout the university. Rice is an institution deeply rooted in tradition, shaping the lives and memories of all Owls who walk through the Sallyport.

A mom and her daughter linking arms and facing opposite directions, skipping in a circle.
Three students linking arms, skipping in a circle.

- Naman D., McMurtry '24


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M-F 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT