Frank Rhodes

Frank Rhodes

Title: President Emeritus
Company: Cornell University
Location: Ithaca, New York, United States

Frank Rhodes, President Emeritus at Cornell University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of science education.

Originally from Warwickshire, England, Dr. Rhodes has found immense success in the United States. Having spent 18 wonderful years at Cornell University, he considers this time to be the highlight of his long, fruitful career and is currently the president emeritus of the institution. In 2016 he published “Origins: The Search for Our Prehistoric Past” in which he explores living things’ origins and evolutions, the environment and the challenges organisms face in the contemporary age.

Highly educated and passionate about the sciences, Dr. Rhodes attended the University of Birmingham where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1948, a Doctor of Philosophy in 1950 and a Doctor of Science in 1963.  He holds an impressive 39 honorary degrees from numerous esteemed institutions both domestic and abroad. He has received an honorary Doctorate of Education from Ohio State University and honorary Doctorate of Science degrees from The University of Sydney in Australia, the University of Wales in England and Elmira College, among numerous others. Dr. Rhodes holds honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degrees from Wagner College, Johns Hopkins University and Trinity College Dublin at the University of Dublin as well as an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Nevada.

Dr. Rhodes impressive career began in 1950 when he spent time completing post-doctoral work as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Illinois. He then served as a geology lecturer at the University of Durham from 1951 to 1954 and visited the University of Illinois during the summers of 1951 and 1952 to give geology lectures. Impressed with his expertise, the University of Illinois welcomed Dr. Rhodes first as an assistant professor in 1954 and then as an associate professor in 1955. He then worked as the director of the University of Illinois Field Station in Wyoming in 1956, that same year traveling to Swansea to serve as the head of the geology department at the University of Wales. While at the university, he also served as the dean of the faculty of sciences before taking his talents to the University of Michigan in 1968 as a professor of geology and mineralogy and later as the Vice president for academic affairs from 1974 to 1977.

The year 1977 marked the beginning of Dr. Rhodes’ fondest memories in academia. He has served as president of Cornell from 1977 to 1995, also teaching geology, until his retirement in 1995 and is considered a president emeritus of Cornell as well as a Gurley lecturer. Additionally, has been a visiting fellow at Clare Hall in Cambridge in 1964, a Bownocker lecturer at Ohio State University in 1960, director of the National Science Foundation, and a Jefferson lecturer at the University California, Berkeley, among other prestigious roles.

Never one to limit himself Dr. Rhodes has pursued interests outside of his main career. He has been a trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement Teaching, on the board of directors for KMI Continental, Inc., and on the board of directors of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. He has also held membership with numerous esteemed organizations including, but not limited to, the American Philosophical Society, serving as its president from 1999 to 2005, the Paleontologist Association, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

In recognition of his achievements, Dr. Rhodes has been lauded with the Clark Kerr Medal from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995, the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council of Education in 2003 and was the Senior Visiting Research Fellow with the National Science Foundation from 1965 to 1966. He authored numerous articles as well as works such as “Creation of the Future: The Role of the American University,” “The Evolution of Life” and “Language of the Earth.” In further acknowledgment of his success, Dr. Rhodes has been featured in numerous editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.

Dr. Rhodes appreciates his honors and accolades but the true mark of his excellence is the dedication he has had to his family. Married to his wife, Rosa Carlson Rhodes, since 1952, he has four children, Jennifer, Catherine, Penelope and Deborah. Dr. Rhodes enjoys his 11 grandchildren and hopes they, too, will find delight in the natural world and pursue their passions.

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