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Coordinates: 35°09′21″N 89°59′28″W / 35.1558°N 89.9910°W / 35.1558; -89.9910

Rhodes College
Motto Truth, Loyalty, Service
Established 1848
Type liberal arts college
Endowment US $229.5 million[1]
President William E. Troutt
Faculty 192 (158 full-time, 34 part-time)
Undergraduates 1664
Location Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Campus Urban, 100 acres (400,000 m²)
Mascot Lynx
Affiliations Presbyterian
Buckman Hall

Rhodes College is a four-year, private, perennial top tier liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Founded in 1848, Rhodes enrolls approximately 1,700 students. About one third of Rhodes students go on to graduate or professional school soon after graduation.[2] 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.[3]

Rhodes College is featured in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives[4] and on the cover of the 2008 Princeton Review Complete Book of Colleges.[5]



Rhodes College traces its origin as a degree-granting institution to the Masonic University of Tennessee, founded in 1848 in Clarksville, Tennessee. The institution became Montgomery Masonic College in 1850 and later was renamed Stewart College in honor of its president, William M. Stewart. Under Stewart's leadership in 1855, control of the college passed from the Masons to the Presbyterian Church. In 1875, the college added an undergraduate School of Theology and became Southwestern Presbyterian University. The School of Theology operated until 1917.

In 1925, president Charles Diehl led the move to the present campus in Memphis, Tennessee (the Clarksville campus would later become Austin Peay State University). At that time, the college shortened its name to Southwestern. In 1945, the college adopted the name Southwestern at Memphis, to distinguish itself from other colleges and universities containing the name "Southwestern."

Finally, in 1984, the college's name was changed to Rhodes College to honor former college president, and Diehl's successor, Peyton Nalle Rhodes.[6] Since 1984, Rhodes has grown from a regionally recognized institution to a nationally ranked liberal arts college.[7] As enrollment has increased over the past twenty years, so has the proportion of students from outside Tennessee and the Southeast region.[8]

Dr. James Daughdrill served as president for over a quarter century. His successor is the current president of Rhodes, Dr. William E. Troutt, who joined the college as its 19th president in 1999.


The campus covers a 100-acre (0.40 km2) tract in midtown Memphis across from Overton Park and the Memphis Zoo. Often cited for its beauty,[9] the campus design is notable for its stone Gothic architecture buildings, thirteen of which are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[10]

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, alma mater of college president Charles Diehl.

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.

Rhodes maintains its Collegiate Gothic architecture. The latest example is the new Barret Library (2005), designed by the firm of Hanbury Evans Wright and Vlattas.

The campus was used as the setting of the movie Making the Grade.[citation needed]

Students and faculty

Rhodes enrolls 1664 undergraduate students from 46 states, the District of Columbia, and 13 foreign countries. About 78% are Caucasian, 7% are African American, 4.5% are Asian, 2% are Hispanic, 2% are international, and the ethnicity of about 5.5% is unknown. Fifty-seven percent of students are female. The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.[11] Some of the nearly 30 majors include Economics and Business Administration, Biology, Political Science, English, and International Studies.

Traditions, sports, and clubs

Rhodes is one of 62 colleges recently classified for both "Curricular Engagement" and "Outreach & Partnerships" in the "Community Engagement" category by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Approximately 80% of Rhodes students participate in some form of community service by the time they graduate.[12] The curriculum includes a requirement that students participate in activities that broaden the connection between classroom experiences and the outside world. 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."[13]

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 relationship of trust with their professors and benefits such as taking closed book final exams in the privacy of their own rooms.

The college mascot is the lynx and the school colors are red and black. The athletic teams compete in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in the NCAA's Division III. Rhodes counts five national championships to its credit - one awarded to the 1961 baseball team, and four awarded to its outstanding mock trial team.

Rites of Spring is a three day music festival in early April. A major social event of the school year, it typically attracts several major bands from around the country. 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 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.[14] 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.[15]

Greek system

There are a number of social fraternities and sororities at Rhodes. Approximately 50% of the students are members of Greek organizations. Fraternity and sorority lodges at Rhodes are not residential.



(in order of establishment at Rhodes)


(in order of establishment at Rhodes)

Noted alumni


Culture and Performing Arts



Government and Military

Noted staff


  • William E. Troutt, President, former Chair of the American Council on Education and the National Commission on the Cost of Education and member of the Lincoln Commission on Study Abroad.
  • Dave Wottle, Dean of Admissions, Olympic gold-medal winner.


  • Richard Batey, W. J. Millard Professor of Religion (retired 2005)[16]
  • Robert Penn Warren, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of All The King's Men began his teaching career at Rhodes in 1930.[17]
  • Mark Pohlmann, Professor of Political Science and mock trial coach, former President of the American Mock Trial Association
  • Timothy Huebner, Professor of History, named "Tennessee Professor of the Year" by the Carnegie Endowment for the Advancement of Teaching in 2004
  • Michael Nelson, Professor of Political Science and nationally recognized expert on the American Presidency
  • David McCarthy, Associate Professor of Art and former Smithsonian Fellow
  • Michael Leslie, Professor of English and Director of the British Studies at Oxford program

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Franek, Robert et al., The Best 361 Colleges: the Smart Student's Guide to Colleges, Random House, Inc., New York, 2006, p. 424.
  3. ^ Pope, Loren, Colleges that Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges, Penguin Books, New York, 2006, p. 185.
  4. ^ Loren Pope (July 25, 2006). Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Penguin. pp. 320. ISBN 978-0143037361. 
  5. ^ Complete Book of Colleges. Princeton Review. August 7, 2007. pp. 1584. ISBN 978-0375766206. 
  6. ^ "TN Encyclopedia: RHODES COLLEGE". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  7. ^ Pope, Loren, Colleges that Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges, Penguin Books, New York, 2006, p. 181.
    See also "Best Liberal Arts Colleges", America's Best Colleges, US News and World Report, 1999–2007.
  8. ^ data available via Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), National Center for Education Statistics.
  9. ^ as in Turner South's Blue Ribbon, Princeton Review, Collegiate Gothic: The Architecture of Rhodes College by William Stroud, and other sources
  10. ^ "Rhodes Recognized". Retrieved February 2009. 
  11. ^ These figures are published in the Rhodes College Common Data Set
  12. ^ Franek, Robert et al., The Best 361 Colleges: the Smart Student's Guide to Colleges, Random House, Inc., New York, 2006, p. 425.
  13. ^ "Rhodes Vision". Retrieved February 2009. 
  14. ^ "Rhodes College Athletics". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  15. ^ "Rhodes College Athletics - Vanaman and Farrell Named Athletes of the Year". 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  16. ^ Batey Lectures site (accessed 2010 January 12).
  17. ^ Link appears dead (February 2009)

External links


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