Foster a Culture of Belonging

We will invest in:

  • An Inclusive and Principled Campus Community: A community that attracts and includes talented students and faculty from all backgrounds and perspectives allows Rhodes to accomplish its mission to set students on a path of life-long learning, to instill a compassion for others, to become effective leaders in their communities and the world. Our goal is to foster a sense of belonging so that students have a stable foundation from which to be challenged and to learn and to lead. As our student body becomes more diverse, we will build a faculty and staff reflective of that diversity. We will provide enhanced mentoring and professional development to ensure that faculty and staff are equipped with both the skills and the knowledge to support the needs of a changing student body.
  • Service to Memphis: Rhodes has been recognized as one of the most “service minded” colleges in the country. Through our Bonner Center for Service and our student-directed Kinney Program, as well as faculty-directed research and community-engaged learning courses, we will become more strategic about our potential for positive impact on our city. We will collaborate with partners and stakeholders to identify areas of focus. We will develop systems for tracking and assessing impact and results. Our Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center will step forward as a national model for civic engagement.
  • A Culture of Institutional Commitment: From the moment students step on campus we will build a culture of deep commitment to Rhodes. We will develop opportunities and programs to build more school spirit to foster this community. We will celebrate our students, faculty and staff successes. We will teach gratitude and how prospective student engagement and philanthropic support from others positively impacts our community and is crucial to our future.
  • A Community of Honor, Understanding, and Respect: Our Honor Code is central to the Rhodes experience, creating a distinctive sense of both community and individual responsibility. Our face-to-face, relationship-driven model of education and our commitment to be a residential campus means that living and learning with others is an essential part of the Rhodes experience. As the external climate becomes more polarized and divisive, we recognize the unique opportunity we have to teach the skills needed for democratic citizenship, community building, and productive engagement with others. Through new opportunities to develop leadership skills, we will expand opportunities for students to engage in meaningful dialogue about difficult topics. We will provide more explicit training in the skills needed to live with, and learn from, others across political, religious, economic, and cultural spectrums. We will support a campus culture that fosters resilience, health, gratitude, and respect for others, even as it challenges students to consider new perspectives and ideas.
  • Athletics, Fitness and Wellness: Rhodes student-athletes have traditionally enjoyed a great deal of success on the playing fields and courts that has complemented their successes in the classrooms and laboratories. The varsity athletic experience attracts approximately 30% to 35% of each incoming class. However, developing a strong intramural sports and fitness program is needed for all students to gain important leadership and collaborative skills. In order to attract the students of the future and enhance the value of the Rhodes student life experience, we will invest additional resources in facilities, staff and programs to ensure that the college is regionally and nationally competitive in the NCAA Division III context and ensure that our fitness and recreational facilities and programs are attractive and competitive by national standards.