Spring 2015


Elaine (Murphy) Rice, ’94: A 20th Reunion Gift

By Amy Spooner

Elaine (Murphy) Rice, ’94
Elaine (Murphy) Rice, ’94

The first gift Elaine (Murphy) Rice, ’94, ever made to the University of Michigan was in 1991 for $19.91, commemorating her upcoming graduation from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA). 

Now, she and her husband, David Rice, Med ’94, are members of the University’s Presidential Society, reflecting lifetime giving of more than $75,000. 

They give to LSA, the Medical School, and the U-M Health System, in addition to being Cavaedium Society donors to the Law School Fund. Latin for “the inner part of the Quadrangle,” the Cavaedium Society recognizes alumni who give at least $2,500 to the Fund annually. 

In honor of her 20th reunion, Rice—a member of the Class of 1994 Reunion Committee—made a $12,500 pledge to maintain her Cavaedium-level support for the next five years.

“My dad always instilled in me the importance of giving back,” says Rice. “I was fortunate that my parents paid for my undergraduate education, and that I repaid my law school loans fairly quickly. Not everyone is that fortunate, so it’s important  for those who can help to do so.”

After law school, Rice began practicing in the areas of complex litigation, securities litigation, arbitration, and antitrust law in Dallas. Her husband’s career took them to Florida, where Rice now represents individuals and companies in business disputes as a member of the Tampa firm Wiand Guerra King PL. She also represents financial services companies nationwide—along with their associated persons, officers, and directors—in connection with litigation, arbitration, and regulatory matters.

Rice’s career deviated from her early dream of being a judge, and she says that seeing the similar twists and turns of her classmates’ career paths is one benefit of attending Michigan Law reunions. “It’s so fun to get together and find out what everyone is doing. There was this feeling in law school that  we were all in the trenches together, and I love reconnecting.”

Reunions also remind Rice of the opportunities Michigan provided. 

“Michigan helped Dave and me get to where we are today, so being donors is important to us.”