|Motto||Truth, Loyalty, Service|
|Type||Liberal arts college|
|Location||Memphis, Tennessee, United States|
|Campus||Urban, 123 acres (0.50 km2)|
|Colors||Cardinal & Black
|Athletics||NCAA Division III, SAA|
Rhodes College is a private, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Formerly affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rhodes is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and enrolls approximately 2,000 students.
The campus sits on a 123-acre, wooded site in the heart of historic Midtown Memphis. Rhodes is a certified Class IV Arboretum, the highest designation granted by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, and contains over 120 tree species and more than 1,500 individual trees. Due to the campus' natural beauty and distinctive Collegiate Gothic architecture, The Princeton Review named Rhodes the #1 Most Beautiful College Campus in America in its 2017 edition of The Best 381 Colleges.
Additionally, Rhodes one of only a handful of prominent liberal arts colleges in a major metropolitan area. This provides Rhodes students with unrivaled access to internships with local employers such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, FedEx, Merrill Lynch, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis Zoo, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. As a result, in the 2017 edition of The Princeton Review's Colleges That Pay You Back, Rhodes ranked #16 for Best Schools for Internships.
Rhodes has been named America's #1 Service-Oriented College by Newsweek,and has been recognized by The Princeton Review, U.S. News, Fiske Guide to Colleges and Forbes. Rhodes is also included in Colleges That Change Lives and The Princeton Review's Colleges That Create Futures: 50 Schools That Launch Careers By Going Beyond the Classroom.
Rhodes College was founded in 1848 in Clarksville, Tennessee as the Masonic University of Tennessee and was renamed Stewart College in 1850 in honor of its president, William M. Stewart. Under Stewart's leadership in 1855, control of the college passed to the Presbyterian Church.
In 1875, the college added an undergraduate School of Theology and became Southwestern Presbyterian University. Under the leadership of Dr. Joseph R. Wilson, father of President Woodrow Wilson, the School of Theology grew and operated until 1917. However, in the early 20th century the college had still not fully recovered from the Civil War and faced dwindling financial support and inconsistent enrollment. Hoping to reverse the institution's fortunes, the board of directors hired Charles E. Diehl, the pastor of Clarksville's First Presbyterian Church, to take over as president.
In order to revive the college, Diehl implemented a number of reforms: the admission of women in 1917, an honor code for students in 1918, and the recruitment of Oxford-trained scholars to lead the implementation of an Oxford-Cambridge style of education. Diehl's application of an Oxbridge-style tutorial system, in which students study certain subjects in individual sessions with their professors, allowed the college to join Harvard as one of only two colleges in the United States then employing such a system. During Diehl's tenure as president, he would add more than a dozen Oxford-educated scholars to the faculty, and their style of teaching would form the foundation of the modern Rhodes curriculum.
However, President Diehl's most significant change to the college came in 1925, when he orchestrated the movement of Rhodes' campus from Clarksville to its present location in Memphis, Tennessee (the Clarksville campus later became Austin Peay State University). The move provided a much need influx in financial contributions and student enrollment, and, despite the Great Depression and World War II, the college began to grow. In 1945, the college adopted the name Southwestern at Memphis in order to distinguish itself from other colleges and universities containing the name "Southwestern."
Charles Diehl retired in 1948, and the Board of Trustees unanimously chose physics professor Dr. Payton N. Rhodes as his successor. During Rhodes' sixteen-year presidency the college admitted its first black students; added ten new buildings, including Burrow Library, Mallory Gymnasium, and the emblematic Halliburton Tower; increased enrollment from 600 to 900; founded a campus chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society; and grew the college's endowment to over $14 million dollars. In 1984, the Board of Trustees decided that name "Southwestern" needed to be retired, and the college's name was changed to Rhodes College to honor the man who had served the college for more than fifty years.
Since 1984, Rhodes has grown into a nationally ranked liberal arts and sciences college. Under the leadership of Dr. James Daughdrill (president from1973 to 1999) and Dr. William E. Troutt (president from1999 to 2016), the college's physical expansion continued and Rhodes now offers more than 50 majors, interdisciplinary majors, minors, and academic programs. Additionally, the school has built partnerships with numerous Memphis institutions to provide students with a network of research, service, and internships opportunities. Today, Rhodes has the largest, most academically talented, and diverse student body in its history. During July 2017, Dr. Marjorie Hass began her tenure as the 20th president of Rhodes College and is the college's first female president.
The academic environment at Rhodes centers around small classes, faculty mentorship, and an emphasis on student research and writing. As such, the average class size is 14, and the college enjoys a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, with each class taught by an actual faculty member. In 2017, The Princeton Review ranked Rhodes #9 for Most Accessible Professors.
Through 18 academic departments and 13 interdisciplinary programs, Rhodes offers more than 50 majors, interdisciplinary majors, minors, and academic programs. If students are unable to find a major that meets their specific interests, the college may allow them to design their own major that is better tailored to their goals. Although the college is primarily focused on undergraduate education, Rhodes also offers graduate degrees in Accounting and Urban Education.
At the core of the Rhodes academic experience is the Foundations Curriculum, which gives students greater freedom to follow their academic interests and aspirations while developing the critical-thinking and communication skills that are fundamental to a liberal arts education. It also requires students to connect their classroom experience to the real world through an internship, research, and/or study abroad opportunities. More than 400 different courses are offered to fulfill the Foundations course requirements. About one third of Rhodes students go on to graduate or professional school. Rhodes is in the top 10% of all U.S. colleges for the percentage of students who earn Ph.D.s in the sciences and in the top 6% for psychology Ph.D.s. The acceptance rates of Rhodes alumni to law and business schools are around 95%, and the acceptance rate to medical schools is nearly twice the national average. Additionally, Rhodes' partnership with the George Washington University School of Medicine allows Rhodes students that meet certain criteria after their sophomore year to receive a guarantee of later acceptance to the George Washington University School of Medicine.
|Most Beautiful Campus||#1|
|Students Most Engaged In Community Service||#2|
|Best College Library||#6|
|Most Accessible Professors||#9|
|Best Quality of Life||#10|
|Best Career Services||#16|
Newsweek named Rhodes the #1 service-minded school in the U.S., and Washington Monthly named Rhodes the top college in the country for the number of hours committed to service by the student body. More than 80 percent of Rhodes students are involved in some form of community service, and the college possess the oldest collegiate chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the longest student-run soup kitchen in the country. Rhodes' Kinney Program provides students with a direct connection to service and social-action opportunities in Memphis by cultivating relationships with about 100 local partners. Additionally, the Bonner Scholars Program offers scholarships to up to 15 students per class who have a strong commitment to change-based service. Rhodes also offers Summer Service Fellowships that award academic credit to students working full-time with Memphis community organizations and non-profits.
The mission statement of the college also reinforces community engagement, aspiring to "graduate students with ... a compassion for others and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and the world".
In 2017, The Princeton Review ranked Rhodes #16 for Best Schools for Internships and #16 for Best Career Services. Students are encouraged take advantage of Rhodes' metropolitan backdrop to participate in off-campus internships and "service learning". They are also given the opportunity to participate in a variety of research programs, such as the Summer Plus program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Rhodes/UT Neuroscience Fellowship, the Center for Outreach and Development of the Arts, the Mike Curb Institute for Music, the Shelby Foote Fellowship, and the Mayor's Urban Fellows Program.
Rhodes also helps students obtain internships across the country and overseas. As a part of one of the oldest and largest international relations undergraduate programs in the United States, Rhodes' Mertie W. Buckman International Internship Program provides funding for outstanding students majoring in International Studies to work abroad during the summer months. In addition to the work experience, Buckman interns are provided with a stipend to use for cultural enrichment while abroad. Past students have worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce in France and Croatia, the German Marshall Fund in Belgium and Poland, taught English through nonprofit organizations in Cambodia, and helped a U.S. firm set up operations in China. Additionally, the Political Science Department offers semester programs in Washington, D.C.
In the Institute of International Education's Open Doors Report, Rhodes made the list of Top 35 Colleges in the United States for students who study abroad. Best Choice Schools.com included Rhodes in its 2014 list of the 45 Top Colleges to Study Abroad.
First required for entering freshman in 1945, The Search for Values in the Light of Western History and Religion, known affectionately as "Search," is a two-year, intensive study of the literature, philosophy, religion, and history of the West from Gilgamesh to modern times. The course is a central facet of Rhodes' Foundations Curriculum and can be seen as the college's take on the Great Books Program. Although Search has evolved over its history, the course remains a rite of passage for all Rhodes students and is seen as "the defining academic experience at Rhodes," and "the soul of the college."
The 2016 Rhodes College Course Catalogue offers this description the Search course:
Throughout its sixty-six year history, Search has embodied the College's guiding concern for helping students to become men and women of purpose, to think critically and intelligently about their own moral views, and to approach the challenges of social and moral life sensitively and deliberately. Students are encouraged to engage texts directly and to confront the questions and issues they encounter through discussions with their peers, exploratory writing assignments, and ongoing personal reflection. Special emphasis is given to the development and cultivation of critical thinking and writing skills under the tutelage of a diverse faculty drawn from academic disciplines across the Humanities, Fine Arts, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.
Although the exact assignments vary year to year, in every class of the sequence students read from primary sources that span the millennia of recorded Western history and thought. The curriculum has included readings from: The Epic of Gilgamesh, most of the Bible, the Quran, Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, Sophocles, Thucydides, Euripides, Livy, Plutarch, Horace, Ovid, Lucretius, Seneca, Cicero, Augustine, Dante, Aquinas, Chaucer, Machiavelli, Petrarch, More, Luther, Shakespeare, Descartes, Locke, Milton, Voltaire, Hume, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Goethe, Swift, Burke, Adam Smith, Benjamin Franklin, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Kant, Marx, Emerson, Byron, Shelly, Wordsworth, Goethe, de Tocqueville, Nietzsche, Darwin, Huxley, Planck, and many more.
Today, Rhodes students are required to take one class from either the Search course or the Life: Then and Now course ("Life) during each of their first three three semesters at Rhodes (4 hours each for a total of 12 credit hours). As such, the course constitutes more than 10% of a student's total credits toward graduation.
The campus covers a 123 acre tract in Midtown, Memphis across from Overton Park and the Memphis Zoo. Often cited for its beauty, the campus design is notable for its stone Collegiate Gothic buildings, thirteen of which are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, Rhodes is a certified Class IV Arboretum, the highest designation granted by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, and contains over 120 tree species and more than 1,500 individual trees. In 2017, The Princeton Review named Rhodes the #1 Most Beautiful College Campus in America in its edition of The Best 381 Colleges.
The architecture of Rhodes College is the legacy of President Charles Diehl. The original buildings, including Palmer Hall (1925), Kennedy Hall (1925), and Robb and White dormitories (1925), were designed by Henry Hibbs in consultation with Charles Klauder, who designed many buildings at Princeton University, President Diehl's alma mater.
Every building on the Rhodes campus is made of three kinds of stone: the walls are sandstone from Arkansas, the roofs are slate from Vermont, and the door/window frames and decorative carvings are crafted from Indiana limestone. Additionally, each slate roof is built at a precise 52 degree angle and every structure (except for the visual arts building) has stained-glass windows suspended in leaded panes.
President Diehl was particularly concerned about ensuring unity and consistency of design. When the first buildings were being planned in the early 1920s, architect Henry Hibbs chose for the walls a uniquely colorful sandstone with a range of reds, yellows, and browns from a quarry near Bald Knob, Arkansas. To ensure a continuous supply, Rhodes purchased the quarry. After the state decided to build a highway through the quarry in the 1960s, Rhodes was forced to sell the property. Since then, the college has been able to continue the uniformity of its buildings by sourcing the sandstone for the college's new buildings from other quarries within a five-mile range of the original source.
Later buildings were designed by H. Clinton Parrent, a young associate of Hibbs who was present from the beginning. Parrent's buildings include the Catherine Burrow Refectory (1957), which was an expansion of Hibbs' original dining hall. Parrent also added Halliburton Tower (1962) to Palmer Hall. The 140-foot (43 m) bell tower was named in honor of explorer Richard Halliburton. The Paul Barret, Jr. Library (2005) holds a collection of Halliburton's papers in addition to the complete papers of renowned novelist and historian, Shelby Foote.
Keen-eyed visitors to the Rhodes campus may also spot four limestone gargoyles hidden among the stones of the college's buildings. These likenesses of former college presidents Peyton Rhodes, James Daughdrill, and Bill Troutt, in addition to a tribute to former college first lady Carol Troutt, are tokens of gratitude added by the generations stonecutters who enjoyed employment from the college.
The Rhodes student body represents 46 states, the District of Columbia, and 43 foreign countries. Additionally, 20% are students of color, and 30% are multicultural and international students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1 and the average class size is 14. Some of the college's approximately 50 majors and minors include International Studies, Economics, Computer Science, Commerce and Business, Biology, Political Science, and Political Economy. Over 95% of Rhodes' 224 faculty members hold the highest degree in their field, and no classes at the college are taught by teaching assistants.
Central to the life of the college is its Honor Code, administered by students through the Honor Council. Every student is required to sign the Code, which reads, "As a member of the Rhodes College community, I pledge my full and steadfast support to the Honor System and agree neither to lie, cheat, nor steal and to report any such violation that I may witness." Because of this, students enjoy a campus-wide community of trust and mutual respect. You'll find unlocked bikes and unattended backpacks all over campus, and professors trust students to proctor their own exams and write closed-book essays on their own time, often in the privacy of their own rooms.
The Seal of Rhodes College is located in the Cloister of Palmer Hall. Tradition holds that if a student steps on the seal, he or she will not graduate on time, if at all. The senior class finally gets a chance to cross the seal during their procession to Fisher Garden during Commencement.
Rites of Spring is Rhodes' annual three-day music festival in early April that typically attracts several major bands from around the country. Past performers include The Black Keys, Coolio, Old Crow Medicine Show, Grace Potter, and G-Easy. Rhodes' Rites to Play has in recent years brought elementary-school-age children to the campus. Rhodes students plan, organize, and execute a carnival for the children, who are sponsored by community agencies and schools that partner with Rhodes.
The college's mascot is the lynx, and the school colors are cardinal and black.
The Lynx compete in NCAA Division III in the Southern Athletic Association. Prior to joining the SAA, Rhodes was one of the founding members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
The J. Hal Daughdrill Award is given to the "Most Valuable Player" of the Lynx football team. The award honors James Harold Daughdrill, Sr. (1903-1986), outstanding football player, athlete, business leader, and the father of Rhodes' eighteenth President. The Rebecca Rish Gay Award and Walter E. Gay Award are given to the "Athletes of the Year" and are named after the parents of former President Daughdrill's wife, Libby Daughdrill.
The annual football rivalry between Rhodes and Sewanee: The University of the South was reported by Sports Illustrated in 2012 to be the longest continuously running college football rivalry in the Southern United States:
The longest consecutively played college football game below the Mason-Dixon line (since 1899) has the manners and traditions of the South without all the excesses of big-time conferences.
The exchange of the Edmund Orgill Trophy was added to the series in 1954, and the prize takes the form of a large silver bowl that is engraved with the result of each year's game. The name honors the Memphis mayor who served on the boards of both colleges.
Rhodes currently leads the trophy series 32-27-1, and is tied with Sewanee in the overall series, with Rhodes winning thirteen of the last fifteen meetings.
With four national championships and eight national final round appearances, Rhodes's undergraduate mock trial program is one of the most prestigious in the country. Founded in 1986 by Professor Marcus Pohlmann, Rhodes has qualified to the American Mock Trial Association's National Championship tournament every year since its inception (a national record), with twenty-seven top ten finishes and over seventy All-American attorney and witness awards.
At the 2013 AMTA National Championship tournament in Washington, D.C., Rhodes A earned the national runner-up spot while Rhodes B placed fifth in its division. The teams are currently ranked second and seventeenth in the nation, respectively.
Buckman Hall houses a replica courtroom used by the teams for practicing. Every spring, Rhodes hosts one of the six AMTA Opening Round Championship tournaments in the Shelby County Courthouse in downtown Memphis. The program also hosts an informal invitational scrimmage tournament in Buckman Hall every autumn.
There are a number of social fraternities and sororities at Rhodes. While approximately 50% of the students are members of Greek organizations, fraternity and sorority lodges at Rhodes are not residential, and most Greek events are open to the entire student body.
President Diehl, with his usual thoroughness and concern for the overall appearance of the college, prescribed certain rules regarding the design of the fraternity and sorority lodges. Each features the same Arkansas sandstone walls, Vermont slate roofs, Indiana limestone trim, and stained glass windows as the rest of campus. Today, Rhodes' fraternity and sorority rows contain similar domestic-scale Gothic lodges featuring variations on the college's distinctive architecture.
(in order of establishment at Rhodes)
(in order of establishment at Rhodes)