This is my last message to you as dean as I wrap up my 35 years at Carolina. James White takes over tomorrow, and I hope you will all give him a warm Carolina welcome.
Many of you know that I was a Carolina student myself (Bachelor of Music, 1978). Even before my time as a Tar Heel, I was coming to campus as a junior high and high school student from Raleigh to compete in piano and voice competitions. And a few years ago, I officially joined the league of Carolina parents — my daughter graduated in 2019. This place has been a part of my life for so many years and in so many ways that go beyond my career as professor, chair, senior associate dean and finally, dean.
People often talk about their college years as being the most formative of their lives, but, really, my Carolina education has never ended. Since returning to campus to join the faculty in 1987, I have learned so much — and been inspired by — legions of brilliant, kind and generous people. I consider all of my time here as formative — Carolina has been a place for me to grow and develop as a scholar, artist, administrator, leader, and I hope, mentor.
Every person who has served as a dean has met various challenges, but the rewards make it all worthwhile. One of the distinct pleasures of my job is to be able to share the accomplishments of this community as I meet with alumni, parents and future students. There are so many inspiring stories to tell.
In closing, I want to thank each of you for your contributions in making the College of Arts & Sciences such a special place. These past few years of teaching and working amid a pandemic have been especially trying. You have my gratitude for accomplishing so much under extraordinary challenges.
I may be retiring, but expect to see me at music department concerts, PlayMakers and Carolina Performing Arts performances, at lectures and readings, and cheering on our Tar Heel teams. Carolina will always have a piece of my heart.
Terry Ellen Rhodes, Dean
College of Arts & Sciences