Friends and Colleagues of George Rhodes
The George Rhodes Scholarship was established by friends and colleagues in memory of Mr. Rhodes, a former MCCC student and writing fellow. It is with great hope that the scholarship will continue the tradition of giving that was so much a part of Rhode’ life and character.
George Rhodes’ college involvement at MCCC began in the summer of 1994. Rhodes involved himself in many endeavors on campus. He not only became a student, he was a tutor; Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader for philosophy, western civilization, and American history classes, and a Writing Fellow. All three of these programs, along with classes, would overwhelm most people, not Rhodes, he thrived. The College, and particularly the Learning Assistance Lab, became Rhode’ home away from home. Unfortunately, due to complications from diabetes, Rhodes passed away in April of 2000.
Through his tutoring efforts, he helped students begin to understand what instructors were trying so hard to get them to learn. He led supplemental instruction sessions which he meticulously wrote notes for so he could help others. He accepted a recommendation from an instructor to go through Advanced Composition 256 to allow him to again give of his time in the Writing Center.
Rhodes was a remarkable person. He faces many adversities through his life, but never let them bring him down. He managed a retail paint store for many years until diabetes took its toll. Failing health forced him to find a new career. What was a person with physical limitations and prevailing health problems supposed to do? His decision was to return to school, where he would be able to complete a degree and find a job which would allow him to work, in spite of the health problems he faced. Rhodes did not just return to school though, he returned to the “school community.”
Rhodes’ effect on those people who came in contact with him was always positive. No matter where you encountered Rhodes, you knew you would hear a hello, how are you, how are classes going, and he was always ready to listen. He would always lend an ear. And if you happened to ask how he was, he was always fine, even on days when he was not. He was an inspiration to those who knew him.
Rhodes touched many lives while he was at MCCC. “George was irreplaceable. He was one of the few who came to work for love, not money,” said Dr. John Holladay, Professor of English and Philosophy. “He was more concerned about students than he was about his own [health] needs. He won’t be easy to replace, if ever.”
George was finishing up his Bachelor’s Degree at Eastern Michigan University with a dual major in both Philosophy and Literature when he died in April 23, 2000.
While attending Eastern, he would also take one class each semester at MCCC so he could continue to tutor writing. “He was an excellent student, and in fact one of the best students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching,” said Professor Timothy Dillion.
The college’s Writing Fellow of the Year is named after George Rhodes and a plague honoring him hangs in the Whitman Center.