Rhodes Magazine

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Alumni

Tracy Vezina Patterson

Dear Friends

I hope you will enjoy viewing the Class Notes photos in this and the previous issue of Rhodes magazine. These photos provide a glimpse into the diverse activities in which our Rhodes community members engage in Memphis and around the country. From community service projects to career networking socials to family-friendly social events, our alumni desire to stay connected with the Rhodes community.

The photos also highlight the diversity of age, profession, geography and race that exist in our alumni community. Together, these alumni have something special in common—Rhodes was a formative, life-changing experience. Put a group of alumni together—from the class of 1936 to the class of 2012—and generational lines blur as our common bonds emerge sharply into focus. The unique experiences we share (the student-led Honor Code; passion for service; challenging academic environment; glorious campus; personal relationships with faculty; living, learning and playing in Memphis) explain why so many of us continue to give so much of our time, talent and treasure to our alma mater.

These common bonds and experiences also bring us comfort when we lose a member of our community.  Last April 18, Dr. Brian Sudderth ’77 passed away unexpectedly. Brian embodied the vision of Rhodes College. He possessed a lifelong passion for learning. He was a beloved and compassionate physician who volunteered for the Christian Community Care Clinic in Benton, AR, near Little Rock . He was an avid runner. He wrote haiku. At Homecoming, Brian’s wife, Lynn ’78, his friends, classmates and fraternity brothers gathered in Fisher Garden to celebrate his life on the Saturday that would have been his 35th reunion. There were tears, hugs, laughter and much shared gratitude that Brian Sudderth had been a part of their lives. The grief of those gathered was lessened, perhaps, by the wonderful memories they shared of a time when they were all developing into the people they are today—their time spent at Rhodes.

Every day I am reminded of what an incredible experience Rhodes College was and is for me—as a student, an alumna and a member of the staff. My position affords me the opportunity to interact daily with our wonderful community of alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff. Rhodes is the extraordinary college it is today because of every one of us. And we are all better for having been a part of it.

I end with a message recently sent to me by Harrylyn Graves Sallis ’57: “I’m grateful and proud to be a Southwestern at Memphis/Rhodes alumna, in whom my college lives.”

So am I.

Warmest regards,
Tracy