"Cornell students dream bigger dreams."

--Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University Commencement, May 28, 1995

Monday, May 25, 2015

1. Frank H.T. Rhodes

For our final post, we're featuring someone who "graduated" from Cornell at the same time as our class. The words at the top of the blog, that Cornell students "dream bigger dreams" are from his 1995 commencement speech, and he'll be back in Ithaca with us next week for our 20th Reunion. We couldn't be happier to call Frank Rhodes an honorary member of the Class of 1995. 

Hope to see everyone back on the Hill in a few days to catch up and celebrate!

Bonita Springs, Florida & Ithaca, New York 

Tell us about what you have been doing since you left Cornell.
Well, I retired when your class graduated in '95. And for the first few years, I did a great deal of traveling. I was a member of half a dozen boards, General Electric and the Mellon Foundation and I was Chair of the National Science Board for a while. And that took an immense amount of time. Since about two years ago, I've done much less. We now divide our time between Ithaca and Florida. I am in Florida at the moment, enjoying the sunshine.

What is one of your favorite memories of your time at Cornell?
You know, the memories crowd in. I think the happiest times were just meeting with faculty, staff, and especially students. We would have a student breakfast once a week and it was kind of an open house. We restricted the numbers, as I remember it, to 25. And people could just come and talk about anything they wanted to. They were always overbooked and those were really some of the best times. But I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. There were no downs, it was all up and whether it was on campus people, students, faculty, or alumni or trustees, it was just such a positive time in our lives. We are still in touch. When we are down here we go to various Cornell events and we go to events in the city periodically. We are going to one next month. And we participate in activities in Ithaca from time to time. But we really have, I really have, retired. And I spend what time I have writing books.

    Do you have any advice for students starting at Cornell this year? 
Make the most of it. It's the richest experience possible. It’s four brief years and it flies by. It is just such a magical time. And I know that, not because I have been a student there, but because we have had grandchildren who have been students there. As undergraduates and at the graduate school. One was an undergraduate, one from the medical school, and the two granddaughters are undergraduates, and a third is a PhD there. So we know firsthand as a family what a great place it is.