I have a feeling that @SoCalDadof3 comments are not the kind of endorsement that Rhodes College is looking for as they seem to be trying to build a more diverse campus.
As a Rhodes College parent, I can say for sure very few parents have the views of SOCALDADof3. Rhodes is small college in a large city. Our son choose the school because he wanted to be in a diverse city, not in the woods with a bunch of kids who look and think like him. When we stay there, we stay in a airbnb about 1 1/2 miles from campus in one of the most diverse and friendly neighborhoods I have visited. Rhodes is not only trying to build its diversity on campus but is increasing its involvement in the community. Our son volunteers a public school tutoring writing once a week and loves it. Like every parent I want my child to be safe, as we also very far away, and I feel that our son is safe at Rhodes. But I don’t think he is safe at Rhodes because of the historic faith of the school or a lack of diversity, but because the school does a good job with campus security and encouraging safe behavior of its students.
Thank you, @nemom2 . That is reassuring! We are planning a tour of Rhodes soon and look forward to seeing the school. I have to say the comment from SoCalDadof3 threw me a little bit and made me wonder if it would be a good fit for my daughter.
I hope you get to visit Rhodes. My son and I visited and both loved it. I would send him there in a heartbeat, if he remains interested in applying next year.
We are from the west coast and had not been to Tennessee. I also had no idea what type of school would interest my son. Big, small, urban, rural? Our visit to Rhodes and other schools in the southeast was a great way to get a feel for being far from home, in a culturally very different environment from ours.
We truly enjoyed Memphis. My son now thinks he’d much rather be in a more urban environment. We are small-ish town people—who knew? Everyone was so nice to us, throughout the city. My so was really struck by that and asked why people aren’t like that where we live. Southern hospitality?
And that school…wow. Everything about our visit and experience there impressed us. The campus, the kids, the staff. The new science facility! Gorgeous. It has actually been hard on other visits to avoid comparing it to that beautiful place. It felt like home for my son and we would love to go back.
We saw diversity there. Definitely not like at other colleges, I’m sure. But we did visit schools after Rhodes where my son was more aware of the lack of diversity. They appear to work really hard to get students out into the Memphis community for service and cultural experiences.
Rhodes was a great visit in helping my son learn about the benefits of a liberal arts education, vs. that of a larger, research university. He also said the size felt nice.
Now he needs to mature a little and get to a place where he knows whether or not he’ll be ok on the other side of the country. He isn’t quite there yet. He joked that he wishes he could pick up Memphis and Rhodes and drop it into the west, somewhere closer to home. We laughed and talked about how that city could only be what it is, where it is. Rhodes would also be impossible to get into if it were in California!
We had our visit to Rhodes and were really impressed with the beauty of the campus. I can sure see why it makes the lists for most beautiful schools in the USA. We weren’t able to spend much time there because of a scheduling conflict so we will go back for another look in the spring.
I’m a parent of an international freshman at Rhodes. My son chose Rhodes from the website, internet forums and the generous scholarship they awarded him. He showed up on day one having no idea what the college was really like or Memphis or even the States. (A two week trip to Cincinnati was his only American experience.)
My husband and I have just returned from two weeks in Memphis and this is what I have to say…
Memphis is an amazing city. Do not listen to people who tell you that ‘you need to be careful’ or that ‘it’s a bit dodgy’. It was on about day 6 before I say my first panhandler and then after that I only saw the same man at the same crossroads. Memphis has music but it also has so much else. There was no litter, no cars, tens of thousands of trees, the most majestic river you can imagine and the people are sooooo friendly.
Rhodes college is everything the website says - beautiful, clean, friendly. My son has found his crowd but even says that next semester it will get bigger because he will be taking different classes and so making more friends. His social group includes different year groups because all classes are taken by all year groups. All the students I talked to - and I talked to a lot - say that Rhodes’ reputation is a hidden gem. Its acceptance it high because not very many people apply because of the reputation of Memphis. This means that those that do apply - apply because of Memphis - leading to a sense of community before classes even start.
He is loving his ‘Search’ class. He says one, it is interesting, but two it is opening up literary texts that he would not have touched with a barge pole. He may follow one of the threads for a future class but even if he doesn’t he says he is now better informed and he likes that. He also loves the fact that as a non-science major his science requirement takes him to the zoo. What is there not to like about that?
We met his personal advisor, his on-campus boss, the international coordinator, the orchestra leader and all were lovely and luckily had great senses of humour. Coming into contact with our son, this is a requirement.
It was a bitter sweet departure. Happy that all things are going well and he is thoroughly enjoying himself but sad that we are leaving him. It will be a long 8 weeks till he’s home for Christmas.