Continuing the Tradition

By President William E. Troutt


President Troutt enjoying the student entertainment at the grand opening of the renovated Lynx Lair

The student stories you have read in this issue bring to life what makes Rhodes today one of America’s very best liberal arts colleges. We have a reputation for excellence with our focus on the individual student, peer learning and opportunities beyond the classroom. We are increasingly known for how we educate students between disciplines, beyond the gates, beyond Memphis, beyond our national borders.

You, of course, already know this from your own Rhodes experience. As I learned early in my tenure from my conversations with alumni, three great themes lie at the heart of the Rhodes saga—the way students and faculty connect, the way students connect with one another and the way the college connects students with the larger world. In so many ways, everything we are doing today involves “dialing up” those fundamental and familiar themes.

These student stories speak to our overall aim—to guarantee every student these kinds of distinctive life-changing opportunities and to be sure the most deserving students can come, stay and take full advantage of all we have to offer. If you want to learn more of these stories firsthand, there is no better setting on campus to talk with students then our newly-renovated Lynx Lair.

Recently, Carole and I had the pleasure of dining there with head resident assistants Ben Lyon ’09, an economics and international studies major from Arkansas, and Sarah Barowka ’09, a neuroscience major and Spanish minor from Louisiana. Over delicious wood-fired pizza we discussed how they came to Rhodes.

Ben, who will tell you he could not have come here without the financial assistance we provide, has flourished at Rhodes. He is involved in Rhodes Student Government and Model UN and was voted ODK Sophomore of the Year. He also takes advantage of opportunities afforded by our relationship with the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.

Sarah was accepted at a top-tier northeastern liberal arts college, but the financial assistance Rhodes offered made the difference. Fully engaged as a student, she is a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate honorary society for students who excel in the study of Hispanic languages, and has engaged in significant research and service opportunities at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital here in Memphis.

The Campaign for Rhodes is all about being sure we continue to attract, support and graduate students like Ben and Sarah, who will continue to be outstanding leaders in their lives ahead, just as they are at Rhodes. With your help, we’ll achieve our aim and guarantee these life-changing opportunities for every deserving student.

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