Robert “Bob” L. Rice was always a strong proponent of health and fitness. He opened Salt Lake City’s first fitness gym in 1952, which later became part of European Health Spas—at the time the world’s largest physical fitness chain. A passion for exercise was something he shared with his wife Joyce during their 58 years of marriage: staying healthy and active was an important part of their lives together. Bob and Joyce were also partners in giving, and together they contributed to the University in many ways, including a $1 million gift to rebuild Rice-Eccles Stadium, and endowed funding on behalf of Huntsman Cancer Institute Research, the College of Pharmacy, the John A. Moran Eye Center, the David Eccles School of Business, and the School of Music.
Even in the months before Bob lost his battle with cancer during the summer of 2007, it wasn’t unusual to see him riding his bike. Because of their dedication to healthy living, the Rice’s placed the $1.25 million Robert L. and Joyce T. Rice Presidential Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging in the College of Nursing. Joyce, who continues to stay active traveling and spending time with the couple’s six children and many grandchildren, hopes the gift will help others maintain their health and well-being throughout the continuum of their lives.
Michael Caserta, PhD (Inaugural Chair Holder)