The All Star Game
By Kelsey Dean ′09
As a student at Rhodes for almost four years, I had not heard of the Annual Fund until last fall. This seemingly well-kept secret, however, is quickly becoming as well-known on campus as President Troutt, thanks, in part, to the Annual Fund All Stars campaign devised by the staff and students in the Rhodes Development Office.
Students, ranging from the newest Red & Black Society members to first-years employed by the Development Office, were featured on full-color, baseball-style cards, including “stats” on the back: name, class, major, hometown, activities on campus and a quote about the personal significance of the Annual Fund.
The cards were then handed out during Annual Fund week in mid-March, and students were encouraged to trade and collect them all, then enter a drawing for a cash prize. The main focus of the All Stars campaign was the students.
According to Hud Andrews ’70, assistant director for special gifts, “The most important thing was the peer-to-peer aspect. The message about the Annual Fund coming from other students is very powerful.”
So what, exactly, is the Annual Fund? That was my question when I first heard about it.
“Tuition and fees pay 75% of the expenses of being at Rhodes, and the Annual Fund, along with endowment income and other philanthropic giving, make up the other 25%,” says Andrews.
Sarah Rogers ’11, a Rhodes Student Associate for the Development Office, notes that the Annual Fund “impacts all aspects of Rhodes. Really, we see it every day even though we don’t realize it. It’s the thing that goes into keeping lights on in various buildings, keeping the professors that we love and keeping good technology on campus.”
In fact, Annual Fund Week was planned to take place exactly 75% of the way through the academic year to signify that without philanthropic support, specifically the Annual Fund, much of what Rhodes offers simply wouldn’t happen.
The college has “a long history of support from alumni and parents,” says Jenna Goodloe Wade, vice president of Development. It’s thanks to those generous gifts that students at this top-tier, small, urban, private liberal arts college known as Rhodes enjoy such amenities as top-notch faculty, 24-hour access to study spaces and a beautiful environment that enriches both body and mind.
The campaign also emphasized that it’s not how much you give to the Annual Fund, but that you give to the Annual Fund. Small gifts really add up.
Wade says she hopes that when students graduate, they’ll know that they’re still connected to Rhodes and can help provide the unparalleled education they received to those who come after them by “giving money, giving their time, giving their talents.”
Speaking from personal experience, I know that Rhodes is an institution that empowers its students and prepares them for their future goals. I also know that many of those students and a majority of alumni are past, present and future All Stars.
For more information about the Annual Fund, or to make a gift, please contact any member of the Development Office staff at 901-843-3850 or at 1-800-264-LYNX or visit our Web site at rhodes.edu/gift.
"Kelsey, I am so proud of your work on this article. It makes me very happy to see our work represented by your words." - Hud Andrews