Frank H. T. Rhodes

Frank Harold Trevor Rhodes (October 29, 1926 – February 3, 2020) was the ninth president of Cornell University from 1977 to 1995.[1]

Frank H. T. Rhodes
Frank H.T. Rhodes president of Cornell.jpg
Rhodes in 1987
President of Cornell University
In office
Preceded byDale R. Corson
Succeeded byHunter R. Rawlings III
Personal details
Frank Harold Trevor Rhodes

(1926-10-29)October 29, 1926
Warwickshire, England
DiedFebruary 3, 2020(2020-02-03) (aged 93)
Bonita Springs, Florida, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham


Rhodes was born in Warwickshire, England on October 29, 1926, the son of Gladys (Ford) and Harold Cecil Rhodes.[2][3] He attended the University of Birmingham, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1948, and then went on to complete a Ph.D. there, in geology, in 1950; later, in 1963, he also earned a third degree from Birmingham, a D.Sc. (Doctor of Science), also in geology.[3][4] Following his doctoral studies, he spent a year at the University of Illinois as a Fulbright Scholar (1950-51).[3]

Rhodes taught geology at the University of Durham between 1951 and 1954. In 1954 he returned to the University of Illinois as an assistant professor and was named an associate professor in 1955. In 1956 he moved to the University of Wales, Swansea as head of the department of geology and in 1967 he was named dean of faculty of science. During this time Rhodes lectured at other institutions such as Cornell in 1960. In 1965 and 1966 he served as a visiting research fellow at the Ohio State University.

Rhodes joined the University of Michigan faculty as professor of geology and mineralogy in 1968. In 1971, he was named dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts. Prior to assuming the presidency at Cornell he served for three years as vice president of academic affairs at Michigan. Rhodes was elected the ninth President of Cornell University on February 16, 1977 and he assumed the office on August 1, 1977. He served until June 30, 1995. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving president in the Ivy League. He was a Professor Emeritus of Geology at Cornell.

In addition to his positions in academia, Rhodes played a part in government. He was appointed as a member of the National Science Board under President Ronald Reagan, and as a member of the President's Educational Policy Advisory Committee by President George H.W. Bush. Between 1984 and 2002 Rhodes served on the Board of Directors of General Electric. Rhodes died in Bonita Springs, Florida on February 3, 2020, at age 93.[4]

Rhodes's impact on CornellEdit

Rhodes applauds graduates during 1987 Commencement

During his tenure as president the percentage of minority students grew from 8 percent in 1977 to 28 percent in 1994. The number of women and minority members of the faculty more than doubled. In the final years of his presidency a capital campaign raised $1.5 billion. In 1995 the building that houses what was then known as the Cornell Theory Center was named Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall. Cornell also has a professorship honoring Rhodes; Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of '56 University Professors are appointed to three-year terms. In 2010, the University also created new postgraduate student fellowships named after Rhodes to support students committed to the field of public interest law, and enable them to gain in-depth experience in work on behalf of the poor, the elderly, the homeless, and those deprived of civil rights.[5]

See AlsoEdit


  1. ^ "Frank H. T. Rhodes". Cornell University. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  2. ^ Who's Who in the World: 199l-1992. Wilmette, Ill.: Marquis Who's Who, 1990.
  3. ^ a b c "Frank H.T. Rhodes." Gale Literature: Contemporary Authors. Farmington Hills: Gale, 2018. Retrieved via Gale in Context: Biography database, February 28, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Lamb, Anna (February 4, 2020). "Frank Rhodes, Cornell's ninth president, dies at 93". Ithaca Voice. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "Frank HT Rhodes Public Interest Fellowship". Cornell Law School. Retrieved February 28, 2020.

External linksEdit

Academic offices
Preceded by
Dale R. Corson
President of Cornell University
Succeeded by
Hunter R. Rawlings III