Thanks to a generous bequest from the late Dr. Iris Annette Pearce, Rhodes enjoys a range of Shakespeare-related resources unique among American liberal arts colleges. The Pearce Shakespeare Endowment was established in 2007 to enrich courses in Shakespeare and support events for the entire campus.
Funds generated by Dr. Pearce’s gift aid Shakespeare studies through lectures by visiting scholars; conferences and symposia; support for research; productions of plays; periods of residence by performing artists; and other innovative programming to enhance Shakespeare at Rhodes and in the greater Memphis community. Key institutional partnerships have helped bring these events to a wide range of audiences.
"The Pearce Endowment provides a wonderful set of resources for Shakespeare studies at Rhodes. The events that it supports both on and off campus bring together world-class scholars and performers to speak to each other and, even more importantly, to students. Because these lectures, symposia, and performances are integrated with ongoing coursework, Rhodes students have the opportunity to think about Shakespeare -- and their own work -- beyond the boundaries of the classroom." -- Andrew Miller, ′11