Rhodes College
MottoTruth, Loyalty, Service
TypeLiberal arts college
EndowmentUS $283 million[1]
PresidentWilliam E. Troutt
Academic staff205 (171 full-time, 34 part-time)
LocationMemphis, Tennessee, United States
CampusUrban, 100 acres (400,000 m²)
ColorsRed, Black, White
AthleticsNCAA Division III, SAA

Rhodes College is a private, predominantly undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. Originally founded by freemasons in 1848, Rhodes became affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in 1855. Rhodes enrolls approximately 1,800 students pursuing bachelor's and master's degrees. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.


Rhodes College traces its origin as a degree-granting institution to the Masonic University of Tennessee, founded in 1848 in Clarksville, Tennessee, by the Grand Masonic Lodge of Tennessee.[2] 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.[2] Since 1984, Rhodes has grown from a regionally recognized institution to a nationally ranked liberal arts college.[3] As enrollment has increased over the past twenty years, so has the proportion of students from outside Tennessee and the Southeast region.[4]

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 academic environment at Rhodes centers around small classes and an emphasis on student research and writing. Students are encouraged to participate in off-campus activities and "service learning." They are also given the opportunity to participate in a variety of research-based programs, such as the Summer Plus program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, the Center for Outreach and Development of the Arts, the Mike Curb Institute for Music, and the Rhodes Service Fellows program.

About one third of Rhodes students go on to graduate or professional school soon after graduation.[5] 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.[6]

Rhodes was featured in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives[7] and on the cover of the 2008 Princeton Review Complete Book of Colleges.[8] U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Rhodes among the nation's "top-tier" liberal arts colleges, ranking the school 47th among liberal arts colleges in 2010.[9] Forbes rated Rhodes 47th among all American colleges and universities in its 2010 publication of America's Best Colleges[10]



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,[11] the campus design is notable for its stone Gothic architecture buildings, thirteen of which are currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[12]

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. The Paul Barret, Jr. Library holds a collection of Halliburton's papers.[13]

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.[14]

Students and facultyEdit

Rhodes enrolls 1820 undergraduate students from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and 12 foreign countries. About 74% are Caucasian, 7% are African American, 5% are Asian, 3% are Hispanic, 1% are multi-racial, 4% are international, and the ethnicity of about 5% is unknown. Fifty-seven percent of students are female. The student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.[15] Some of the approximately 30 majors include Economics and Business Administration, Biology, Political Science, English, and International Studies.

Traditions and clubsEdit

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.[16] 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."[17]

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.

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 college mascot is the lynx and the school colors are red and black.

The athletic teams compete in the Southern Athletic Association in the NCAA's Division III. 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, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Rhodes has one athletic national championship to its credit, awarded to the 1961 baseball team.

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.[18] 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.[19]

Mock TrialEdit

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, 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.[20] [21]

Greek systemEdit

There are a number of social fraternities and sororities at Rhodes. Approximately 45% 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)

Notable peopleEdit

Faculty and administratorsEdit





Government and MilitaryEdit

Literature and ArtsEdit


See also Edit


  1. "Sortable Table: College and University Endowments, 2010-11 - Administration - The Chronicle of Higher Education". 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Michael Nelson. "Rhodes College". Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  3. 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<u>, US News and World Report, 1999–2007.</span> </li>
  4. data available via Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), National Center for Education Statistics. </li>
  5. Franek, Robert et al., <u>The Best 361 Colleges: the Smart Student's Guide to Colleges</u>, Random House, Inc., New York, 2006, p. 424. </li>
  6. Pope, Loren, <u>Colleges that Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges</u>, Penguin Books, New York, 2006, p. 185. </li>
  7. Loren Pope (July 25, 2006). Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Penguin. p. 320. ISBN 978-0-14-303736-1. </li>
  8. Complete Book of Colleges. Princeton Review. August 7, 2007. p. 1584. ISBN 978-0-375-76620-6. </li>
  9. "National Liberal Arts College Rankings | Top Liberal Arts Colleges | US News Best Colleges". Retrieved 2012-01-16. </li>
  10. "America's Best Colleges". 5 August 2009. </li>
  11. as in Turner South's <u>Blue Ribbon</u>, <u>Princeton Review</u>, <u>Collegiate Gothic: The Architecture of Rhodes College</u> by William Stroud, and other sources </li>
  12. "Rhodes Recognized". Retrieved February 2009. </li>
  13. Archives & Special Collections, Rhodes College (Memphis, Tennessee). Accessed online 2 January 2008 </li>
  14. "Filming locations for Making the Grade". Retrieved January 2012. </li>
  15. These figures are published in the Rhodes College Common Data Set </li>
  16. Franek, Robert et al., <u>The Best 361 Colleges: the Smart Student's Guide to Colleges</u>, Random House, Inc., New York, 2006, p. 425. </li>
  17. "Rhodes Vision". Retrieved February 2009. </li>
  18. "Rhodes College Athletics". Retrieved 2009-08-09. </li>
  19. "Rhodes College Athletics - Vanaman and Farrell Named Athletes of the Year". 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2009-08-09. </li>
  20. </li>
  21. </li>
  22. Shepherd, Martha Hunter (2005 Summer). "Professors Richard Batey, Horst Dinkelacker retire". Rhodes Magazine. Retrieved 2011-11-07. </li>
  23. Robert Penn Warren Biography, attributed to Dictionary of Literary Biography: Vol. 320 </li>
  24. Richard Morgan, Rhodes College consolidating, streamlining some administrative responsibilities, Memphis Commercial Appeal, August 26, 2010 </li>
  25. David Alexander (1932-2010), Pomona College website, accessed September 5, 2010 </li></ol>

External linksEdit

Template:Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference navbox

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.