Supporting Our Students
The following are recent letters of thanks from current students to those who have provided scholarships.
From a sophomore—
“With sincere gratitude, I thank you and your family for enabling me to attend Rhodes College. The gift of the scholarship you have provided has helped greatly in paying for my education that I am receiving here at Rhodes.
“The start of my sophomore year has been met with challenges, but it also brings joy and the hope of a promising future in a career involving art history. The year and a half that I have spent at Rhodes has been a wonderful learning experience and I know that it will continue to be so throughout my last two and a half years here.
“This semester I am enrolled in challenging, but very rewarding classes. I am taking Art History, Search, Statistics and French. I am seriously considering a major in Art History and a minor in Economics. I have always been interested in Art and Art History, and I appreciate the real-world applications of the topics studied in economics. I know that whichever major and minor I choose, Rhodes will prepare me for my career, as well as the challenges that will be present in my life.
“I am enjoying extracurricular activities as well, such as tutoring underprivileged elementary students and my involvement with RCF, Rhodes Christian Fellowship. This ministry provides me a way to stay connected to my friends as well as keep me grounded in my faith. Through the tutoring program, which takes place at the Presbyterian Church across the street from Rhodes, just knowing that I helped a child gives me great joy. It also reminds me that I am truly blessed with the educational opportunities that I have received.
“I am confident that Rhodes is the right place for me. I thank you for the gift given in your mother’s honor that is helping me to experience a superior liberal arts education. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. I promise that your gift is being used with gratitude, seriousness and joy.”
From a junior—
“Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to continue my education at Rhodes.
“Rhodes was my No. 1 choice throughout high school, and it was an exciting day when I got my acceptance letter. Unfortunately, I never had the financial aid or means needed to attend. During my first and second years, I worked around 30 hours a week to try to fund my education, all the while maintaining a full course load. Needless to say, the pressure of two jobs and the knowledge of my mounting debt was too much for me, so I began the transfer process.
“Your generous gift has not only allowed me to work fewer hours, allowing me to have a greater focus on my education, but also a better college experience—one that I truly will be able to enjoy.
“I really can’t thank you enough.”
From a senior—
“I am a senior from the Midwest. I was recently informed that a portion of my financial aid is funded by a scholarship to which you have contributed. I wanted to express my deep gratitude for your charitable donation, which has given me the opportunity to obtain a quality education that is rooted in a tradition of excellence.
“I will be graduating in May 2009 with a B.A. in Business Administration. I have followed an accounting track within my major, which I will continue by pursuing my M.S. in Accounting at Rhodes next fall. I never thought that I would want to be a CPA; believe it or not, I came to Rhodes with an interest in law school! After deciding against law, I declared a major in Psychology and a minor in Business during my sophomore year, but shifted my focus to Business after taking financial accounting. I guess you could say that the rest is history from here! I was very fortunate to land an academic internship in the spring of my junior year with Deloitte & Touche. The people there were impressed with my abilities, and even offered me a paid internship following graduation. Needless to say, I gladly accepted.
“Aside from my studies, I have been involved with the dance team since my freshman year, and have worked as a Rhodes Student Associate in the Office of Career Services and, currently, in the Office of College Relations. I also spent a summer as a fellow in the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, where I worked with photos from the Memphis World, the first black-owned newspaper in Memphis that circulated from the 1930s through the early 1970s. Studying with the Institute has led to some of my work being displayed as wall text for the Memphis World exhibit that is currently on display at the Brooks Museum. I never thought I would have my work published, let alone at an art museum, but I am very proud of my achievement.
“My life has taken many different, yet positive, directions here at Rhodes, and this has been made possible by your generous contributions that have given me the opportunity to attend this incredible institution. I cannot thank you enough, and I will forever remember your goodwill.”
Seventy-five percent of Rhodes students receive some sort of financial aid and are grateful for scholarships to attend Rhodes.
In today’s competitive and cost-conscious higher education environment, success in recruiting, enrolling and retaining the best students depends on providing a competitive financial aid package. Our goal continues to be to recruit and retain the students most likely to benefit from and contribute to the Rhodes learning community, regardless of their ability to pay.
With Rhodes’ financial aid budget of $19 million, only $4.5 million is permanently endowed. Increasing annual and endowed scholarships is crucial to recruit the best students and a primary focus for The Campaign for Rhodes.
Since the campaign’s inception, 221 scholarships have been established with more than $61 million (it would take an additional $300 million to fully endow the college’s financial aid budget). The $61 million is designated in annual, endowed and deferred commitments to support students.
Alumni, parents, trustees, friends, corporations and foundations have established scholarships to help ensure the best and brightest students can benefit from a Rhodes education. The college community is united in its desire to make a Rhodes education available to all worthy students, and we are grateful for those who have helped us move closer to reaching this goal.