Build Academic and Creative Excellence

We will invest in:

  • Excellence in the Liberal Arts: Outstanding teaching is a hallmark of Rhodes College and the foundation of our academic excellence. We will support initiatives to attract and retain an excellent and diverse faculty, faculty efforts to develop as teachers and scholars, and revisions of our curriculum to meet student needs. We will identify new resources to support faculty initiatives, including faculty collaboration and our hallmark curricular engagement with the city of Memphis and our region.
  • A Globally Engaged Curriculum: We will support faculty and administrative efforts to develop a globally engaged strategy that strengthens programs of study, conducts research, and develops internship opportunities, linking our current strength in local community engagement to the broader national and international environment. We will continue to provide scholarships for international study and internships and will continue to remove barriers for students who rely on financial aid. For our students, we will provide a curriculum that not only educates and expands student minds, but also equips them with the skills to change the world.
  • Interdisciplinary Centers: We will work with faculty to develop innovative interdisciplinary centers focused on the study of complex contemporary issues. Modeled on our Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center, these hubs will provide vibrant and adaptable physical spaces for faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community partners to collaborate and learn. We expect these centers to be self-supporting and will seek endowment, partnerships, and revenue opportunities to launch and develop these centers.
  • The Fine and Performing Arts: Central to our strategy is the enhancement of the fine and performing arts at Rhodes College. The creative energy found in Memphis, our interest in attracting a broader range of students to Rhodes, and our desire to strengthen our curriculum offer an opportunity to create a new and exciting area of excellence for Rhodes. The unfortunate closure of the Memphis College of Art suggests that we have a renewed responsibility and opportunity to emerge as a Memphis leader in this arena. A vibrant campus arts culture and energetic community partnerships with arts organizations will enhance recruitment and learning for all students and has the potential to transform the campus and the city.
  • The Sciences and Business: Our reputation for excellence in pre-medical education is a strategic advantage and drives approximately 40% of our application pool each year. To maintain this strength, we will complete the renovation of our science labs, expand student opportunities for research and clinical experiences, and support interdisciplinary collaboration. Business and related academic areas account for the largest portion of our graduating seniors. These areas provide a strategic curricular advantage compared to other liberal arts colleges, especially given our location and setting. Providing new resources and facilities to attract growing interest helps ensure a growing and vibrant applicant pool and allows multiple interdisciplinary opportunities.