Rhodes Prize

On December 5, 1949, the 173rd anniversary of the founding of Phi Beta Kappa, the Gamma Chapter of Tennessee was established on the campus of Rhodes College (then Southwestern at Memphis). Instrumental in securing our chapter′s charter was Dr. Peyton Nalle Rhodes, longtime Professor of Physics (1926–1949) and later President of the College (1949–1965). A highly esteemed teacher and scholar, Dr. Rhodes was an unstinting advocate of the liberal arts. To cite his own words from his inaugural address, he believed that a college ought to "do a few things excellently rather than to scatter efforts over many fields, with mediocrity as the inevitable result." His commitment to the values embraced by the Phi Beta Kappa Society stands as an inspiration to excellence for the entire Rhodes community.

In honor of Dr. Rhodes, our chapter awards the college′s highest academic honor each year at commencement. The Peyton Nalle Rhodes Phi Beta Kappa Prize is awarded to the graduating senior who has best demonstrated an exceptional combination of scholarship, creativity, achievement, and a commitment to the liberal arts. In 2014, the Rhodes Prize was endowed by donations from dozens of generous members nationwide.

2017

Claire Marie Misko

Art and Art History 

2016

Heting Hommy Zhu

Economics and Mathematics

2015

Philip Luke Spinolo

Physics

2014

Benjamin Evans

History and International Studies

2013

Sarah Bacot

Gender & Sexuality Studies and History

2012

Colin Antaya

History and Philosophy

2011

Daniel Williford

French and History

2010

Allyson Pellissier

Economics and Mathematics

2009

Stephanie Wilson

Psychology

2008

Joan E. Campbell

French and Music

2007

Sally C. Lineback

History

2006

Sandra L. Keller

French and Psychology

2005

Stanley R. Vance, Jr.

Chemistry

2004

Kenneth M. Lamb

Political Science

2003

Karyn E. Spence

Physics and Religious Studies

2002

Charles P. LaRochelle

English

2001

Lauren E. Mize

Physics

2000

Jill M. Peterfeso

English

1999

Lisa (Roy) Vox

History

1998

Samuel P. Jordan

Economics and Political Science

1997

Sarah Nell Bolton

Religious Studies

1996

Jacob Abraham

Physics

1995

Brett C. Goldston

Chemistry

1994

Patricia L. Fitzgerald

Anthropology & Sociology

1993

Jeffrey A. Mullins

Philosophy

1992

C. Annette Dubard

Religious Studies

1991

Jonathan P. Smoke

Economics and Religion

1990

Jennifer M. Gaines

History and Physics

1989

Sara D. Hodges

Psychology

1988

Matthew H. Lembke

Political Science

1987

T. Alan Harris

English and Spanish

1986

Catherine Winterburn

Political Science

1985

Paula L. Millirons

Chemistry

1984

Mary R. Goodloe

Mathematics

1983

Martha E. Saavedra

International Studies

1982

Ann E. Kingsolver

Anthropology & Sociology

1981

J. S. "Chris" Christie, Jr.

Political Science

1980

Brian C. Thompson

International Studies