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Rhodes University
Trust USA

Donovan Neale-May
Chairman of the Board of Trustees

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Rhodes University Alumni Report Survey

Find Out How Old Rhodians View Their Alma Mater

Thank you to all alumni who completed the Rhodes Alumni Transformation survey. We are pleased to share the findings based on responses from 2,013 participants. You can download the full research report below.

A surprising uniformity of views have been expressed across seven decades of alumni, irrespective of race, gender or age. Over 45 percent of respondents attended Rhodes in the new millennium. Another 16 percent attended in the nineties, and almost 26 percent in the seventies and eighties. About 12 percent represented the fifties and sixties.

The evenly distributed universe of participants further demonstrates the validity of the survey findings. Our engagement with the large and diversified base of alumni globally revealed a clear consensus on key points of debate within the university:

  • Most believe there is strong brand equity and positive attributes in the current university name
  • Every single constituency and generation is against changing the name of Rhodes — aka there is a universal rejection
  • They see no compelling or overwhelming reason to justify a name change
  • They believe changing the name is not necessary for transformation to occur
  • They see only limited benefits from a university name change, with a very tepid reaction here
  • They fear big downsides and risk associated with a name change — particularly disenchantment and defection of alumni
  • There is a strong emotional attachment to the Rhodes brand and lasting loyalty and affinity with the name
  • Alumni identify with the institution and their experience, not with one individual’s legacy and past deeds
  • There is more to lose than gain with a rebranding — it is expensive, controversial, distracting, divisive, and will alienate, not unify stakeholders

We welcome your feedback on this important research initiative.

Additional studies and information on the topic of Rhodes transformation can be downloaded here »

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Rhodes Transformation Survey Results Infographic

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