Campus News


Huebner Receives Jameson M. Jones Award

Timothy S. Huebner, an associate professor of history, received the Jameson M. Jones Award at the Aug. 23 Opening Convocation. The award, which recognizes faculty service, is named in honor of Dr. Jameson M. Jones ’36, who served as professor of moral philosophy and dean of the college from 1955-71.

Huebner, who joined the Rhodes faculty in 1995, is “known by students as a teacher who compels the very best performance,” said Provost Charlotte Borst in presenting the award.

He received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, and was named the Tennessee Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2004. He has published two books, The Southern Judicial Tradition: State Judges and Sectional Distinctiveness, 1790-1890 and The Taney Court: Justices, Rulings and Legacy as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

In 2002, Huebner established the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, a summer study program that provides students the opportunity to work closely with faculty on undergraduate research initiatives in the Mid-South region. The program has resulted in meaningful experiences for students and faculty as well as useful information for the broader Memphis community.

Huebner’s work for the college extends to others areas; most recently, he has served on several committees and as faculty parliamentarian.

He holds the B.A. from the University of Miami and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida.

Grant To Fund Ft. Pillow Booklet

Colin Strickland ’06 and associate professor of history Tim Huebner have received a grant from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area (TCWNHA) to publish a historical overview of Ft. Pillow State Park, some 40 miles north of Memphis, the site of a controversial Civil War battle. The $3,000 grant will pay for the production of an interpretative booklet, the text of which originated from Strickland’s 2004 research project in the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies. The booklet will be distributed at the state park.

The TCWNHA is a federal, state and local partnership managed by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University. Its goal is to preserve and interpret the stories, effects and legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Tennessee.

Strickland and Huebner conceived the project when Strickland enrolled in the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies in spring 2004. Strickland met with representatives of the Tennessee State Parks, and all agreed that Ft. Pillow needed more historical interpretation for visitors. He then spent the summer researching the history of the site. After reviewing the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, as well as dozens of other primary and secondary historical sources, Strickland wrote a 55-page overview history of the site, from the earliest native Chickasaw settlements in the area to the formation of the park in 1971. Huebner then wrote a successful grant proposal to the TCWNHA to fund the production of the booklet.

The controversial Battle of Ft. Pillow occurred April 12, 1864. Confederate troops under the command of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest seized control of the fort from Union forces, which included soldiers of the United States Colored Troops. Controversy surrounds the high percentage of African-American soldiers who lost their lives and the question of whether Forrest ordered their deaths after they had already surrendered.

College Welcomes Outstanding New Students

The college welcomed 477 new (transfer, exchange and first-year) students in August, with 455 first-year students making up the class of 2010. The entering class was selected from a record number of applicants. Almost 4,000 students applied for admission and the college accepted 48% of them.

“We are excited to welcome such an outstanding entering class to Rhodes,” says Dave Wottle, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. “The students have achieved great success in high school, both academically and in their extracurricular achievements, and show outstanding promise for the future.”

Members of the class of 2010 have standout academic credentials with 53 percent ranking in the top 10 percent of their class. The average GPA was 3.85. Twenty-seven students were valedictorians and 10 were salutatorians.

In student leadership, 147 served as president of at least one high school club or organization, 57 as a president or vice president of the student government or senior class, 20 as president or vice president of the National Honor Society, 22 as a publication editor, and 98 as captain of a varsity athletic team.

The class of 2010 comes from high schools in 39 states and the District of Columbia and three other countries. Seventy three percent come from outside of Tennessee.

“We have found that as we have reached out to other parts of the country in our recruiting efforts to tell the story of Rhodes, students have responded. They are interested in hearing about Rhodes and are excited to learn more about us,” says Wottle.

Students of color comprise at least 15 percent of this year’s entering class, an increase of two percentage points over last year. Total Rhodes enrollment is 1,744 students.

Two New Scholarships Established

SunTrust Bank and The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation have recently established scholarships at Rhodes.

SunTrust Scholarship
The SunTrust Scholarship is intended to assist highly qualified, Memphis-area students who have the potential to make significant contributions to the Memphis community. Every four years two deserving first-year Rhodes students will be chosen to receive a $25,000 SunTrust Scholarship. Students with demonstrated financial need above the scholarship amount may qualify for additional assistance from Rhodes.

Initial selection will be based on the student’s academic performance, leadership ability and involvement in his/her high school or community. Preference will be given to students living within a 50-mile radius of Rhodes.

It is anticipated that recipients will rank in the top five percent of their graduating class; have at least a 3.90 grade point average on a 4.00 scale; score 28 or higher on the ACT exam or 1260 or higher on the SAT-I exam; and be involved as a leader in several significant clubs or organizations within his/her high school or community.

Students may retain the named scholarship throughout their four year tenure at Rhodes, provided they maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 for the preceding academic year.

Selection of the recipient will be the responsibility of the office of the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. The first award will be for two incoming first-year students in 2007.

The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation Scholarship
The Foundation intends to contribute $25,000 per year over the next 10 years to Rhodes for a total commitment of $250,000.

With this commitment, two first year students will be awarded The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship, which is for $12,500 per student, was first awarded to two members of the Class of 2010 who will receive $12,500 each year for their four years at Rhodes. New incoming students will be selected in fall 2010 and will each receive $12,500 per year for their four years at Rhodes. Before awarding the scholarships in fall 2014, Rhodes will confer with the foundation regarding how the remaining $50,000 should be awarded.

Selection is based on academic performance, leadership ability and involvement in the students’ high school communities. In addition to having demonstrated a propensity toward leadership and community service, The Kemmons Wilson Family Scholarship recipients will be in the top 15% of their high school class and have a family income of under $85,000. Fifteen Bonner Scholars are selected each year from the entering class of first-year students by a committee comprising staff, current Bonner scholars and members of the Admissions and Financial Aid Office. From these 15 students, two Kemmons Wilson Family Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid.

As part of their scholarship requirements The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation Scholarship recipients will participate in 10 hours of community service and leadership programs per week; maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.67 for the preceding academic year; send to the foundation an annual letter of thanks, which includes information on their academic and service experiences; and join foundation representatives for lunch or dinner at least once a year.

Miller Receives NSF Grant

Mary Miller, a Rhodes assistant professor of biology, has received a $282,673 grant from the National Science Foundation to support her work on the regulation of cell division. Miller collaborates with researchers at the University of Toronto, The Rockefeller University and the University of Virginia—and with several Rhodes students.

She works to understand how cell division is regulated by proteins called cyclins, and specifically how cyclin proteins change locations within a cell. “The type of cyclin proteins that we study function to initiate the cell cycle. When mutated, the cell cycle initiates improperly, leading to the development of cancer,” she explains.

“Rhodes is a leader in breaking down the walls between teaching and research, and this award recognizes our forward thinking and success in this area,” Miller adds. “It is a great accomplishment because we stood in competition with research laboratories that are staffed by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, while my lab is staffed entirely by undergraduate students.”

Miller says that she is, of course, delighted to receive funding that will support her research for the next three years. Even more pleasing, she says, is the fact that “What we do here at Rhodes is being recognized and rewarded by the National Science Foundation.”

Scholar-Athletes Take Honors

Rhodes ranks third (out of 10 institutions) for the total number of student-athletes named to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Academic Honor Roll over a nine-year period.

“This is a credit to our faculty and coaches in their support of student-athletes achieving academically while participating in a varsity sport,” says Rhodes Director of Athletics Mike Clary ’77. “Per capita student-athlete, Rhodes ranks first in the number of student-athletes named to the SCAC Honor Roll.”

The SCAC began recognizing the academic accomplishments of its athletes in fall 1997. To qualify, an athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.25 for the term and be a regular member of a varsity athletic team in a sport sponsored by the conference. In nine years, 1,245 Rhodes student-athletes made the SCAC All- Academic Honor Roll.

Other SCAC schools include Austin College, Centre College, Colorado College, DePauw University, Hendrix College, Millsaps College, Oglethorpe University, Sewanee: The University of the South, Southwestern University and Trinity University.

Physics Experiment A-OK

John Janeski ’07 and Sean Quinn ’06, two of the five members of the Rhodes student physics team aboard NASA’s “weightless wonder” aircraft August 17, delight in the success of the team’s experiment. It entailed orbiting a small, electrically charged sphere around the larger, oppositely-charged one in the center. The orbit was caused by an electric force between the spheres. It all took place in microgravity when the plane flew a series of parabolas, allowing 20-30 seconds of weightlessness each time.

Viano Heads National Physics Honor Society

Ann Viano, associate professor of physics at Rhodes, has been elected president of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society. Founded in 1921, the society honors outstanding scholarship in physics, encourages interest in physics among students at all levels and promotes an attitude of service among its members.

Elected for a two-year term, Viano represents the honor society and its members to the Society of Physics Students (SPS) Executive Committee and the SPS/Sigma Pi Sigma National Council. She also serves as liaison between Sigma Pi Sigma and the Association of College Honor Societies and may officiate at the installation of new chapters of the honor society. In addition, the president serves as ex-officio to the American Institute of Physics’ Advisory Committee on Physics Education and on the planning committee of the quadrennial Congress of Sigma Pi Sigma.

Viano received a Ph.D. in physics from Washington University in 1996 and joined the Rhodes Physics Department in 1999 following a two-year postdoctoral appointment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

At Rhodes, Viano has served as Sigma Pi Sigma chapter adviser and has taught a variety of courses including an interdisciplinary robotics course combining physics and art. Part of her research investigates microstructural changes in polymers and metallic alloys used in medical implant devices. She and the undergraduates she mentors have published various articles and made presentations at many regional and national physics and interdisciplinary science meetings.

It’s Getting Easier Being Green

Rhodes is getting greener, beginning with a new campus recycling program implemented this fall.

The impetus came from a meticulously-researched petition drive circulated last spring by the student group Earth Justice. The 73-page petition, which contained a detailed analysis of the problems inherent in the old recycling system, was signed by more than 1,400 campus community members, including students, faculty and staff.

President Troutt responded by appointing a Recycling Work Group of students and staff to study the issue and recommend ways of addressing the issues identified in the petition.

The group, which met throughout the summer, proposed implementing a new recycling procedure employing students as both volunteers and paid staffers. In addition, Rhodes has committed $33,000 to supplement the $12,800 raised by Earth Justice to purchase new recycling bins located adjacent to trash cans, creating waste disposal stations.

“I am very excited about this giant leap forward,” says Tracy Adkisson ’95, associate director of Physical Plant and a member of the Student Services Reengineering Design and Implementation Team and chair of the Environmental Planning Cooperative. “Not only does it add the capability of recycling plastic, it effectively removes barriers to recycling by making it easy to participate.”

In addition, the college’s awardwinning bike program is flourishing in its new location on the east side of Robinson, and additional bikes were purchased this fall, according to Adkisson. The Rhodes College Environmental Planning Cooperative (EPC) won the 2006 Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in the Green Schools Higher Education Category for the bike program. Officially established in 2005, the program provides bikes as a free alternative mode of transportation to cars on campus. The idea was born in 1999 after a group of Rhodes faculty and students attended an Associated Colleges of the South Sustainable Campus Development Clinic. The EPC, which was established on campus in 2001, “aims to be an advisory committee to the college to aid in institutionalizing sustainable practices and ideals throughout every aspect of college functioning such as energy usage, purchasing, waste reduction and disposal, building construction and technology.”

“There will be more developments on the environmental front,” Adkisson continues. “From natural lighting to battery recycling, from a conservation campaign to native plantings, Rhodes will continue to make great strides in operations, programming and education about environmental issues.

“And this is not our only green good news,” she says. “The college is now purchasing green power.”

According to Memphis Light, Gas & Water, “The Tennessee Valley Authority, in partnership with MLGW and other electric utilities, has created Green Power Switch, a green energy pricing program designed to fund new sources of electric generation. By converting the energy in the sun, wind and methane gas, TVA now generates a portion of electricity from renewable resources. This clean, green energy gets mixed into the overall electric supply, reducing the need for traditional generation. Currently, green power accounts for far less than 1% of the electricity TVA generates but, as more customers enroll, that percentage will grow.”

Remembering Ray Zbinden

Ray Zbinden Sylvan Ray Zbinden ’60 of Dallas, who served as a Rhodes trustee from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, died May 10, 2006. He was 67.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, he was a member of the Texas Bar Association. He had been employed by the Attorney General Office of Tennessee and the Southland Corp., and for 21 years, served as an executive with Olan Mills Inc.

An active member of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, he leaves his wife of 43 years, Margaret (Peggy) Moffatt Zbinden ’59; a daughter, Neel Zbinden Gibbons; a son, Chris Zbinden ’91; and brothers Louis Zbinden ’58 and Mark Zbinden ’66.


Memphis attorney and runner Mike Cody ’58 greeted Sam Thompson ’03 in the Lynx Lair the evening before Thompson ran the St. Jude Memphis Marathon course in August. Thompson ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days to promote awareness nationwide of the work that still needs to be done to repair damage done by the 2005 hurricanes. Students and alumni attended the reception at Rhodes. The next day, the college hosted a water station for him at the corner of North Parkway and University. Thompson heads up a major relief effort headquartered at First Presbyterian Church in Bay St. Louis, MS.


The Rhodes Mock Trial team won national championships in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995. The summer issue of Rhodes magazine omitted this information.

Robert Llewellyn, who retired as dean of the college in summer 2006, was also an associate professor of philosophy.

Dr. Julian Darlington

Dr. Julian Trueheart Darlington, professor emeritus of biology at Rhodes, died Sept. 10, 2006, in Memphis. He was 88. Dr. Darlington taught at the college from 1965-84. His field of research was invertebrate zoology, particularly tubellaria, flatworms.

He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Emory University and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He taught biology at Shorter College and Furman University before joining the Rhodes faculty.

Dr. Darlington was one of several biology professors who identified the bone fragments of a mastodon unearthed during excavation for the building of the Frazier Jelke Science Center in 1966. The faculty estimated that the bones, which were found in clay 12-14 feet underground, were approximately 22,000 years old. They are on display in the building.

A bomber pilot in World War II, Dr. Darlington served in the European theater. On Aug. 1, 1943, flying a B-24 bomber with a witch painted on its nose on a mission from Libya to Romania, the crew was shot down over the Balkans. Dr. Darlington and several of the men were captured and interned as POWs for 13 months in Bulgaria. Four of the crew escaped and joined the Yugoslavs in the mountains. Dr. Darlington returned to the U.S. in 1944 and graduated from the Command and General Staff School in Leavenworth, KS.

An active member and communicant of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Dr. Darlington leaves his wife of 63 years, Jeanne Matthews Darlington; two daughters, Virginia Bourne Darlington and Patricia Matthews Darlington; and a sister, Kitty Scott Woods.