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Whether they participated in a commencement ceremony or had transcript requests fulfilled, thousands of University of Central Missouri students benefited from services by Robert “Dusty” Rhodes and his staff during the 21 years he spent at the university.
Rhodes retired in December 2006 as director emeritus of student records/registrar. Since then, he has been enjoying more time for travel, attending music festivals, and maintaining a sense of humor when asked about the future. As he put it, “one of my plans in retirement is not to have a plan. It’s working very well.”
The longtime staff member came to the university after teaching one year at Appleton City High School, then serving 14 years at Knob Noster High School, where he started the wrestling program and taught social studies. After many years in public schools, he joined UCM as assistant registrar, then became associate registrar, and registrar.
One of Rhodes’ many duties as registrar was to chair the university’s undergraduate commencement committee, overseeing an event that grew from one ceremony per year to morning and afternoon ceremonies at the conclusion of each fall and spring semester.
Rhodes began his higher education as a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1965. His education was interrupted for a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, after which he briefly took classes at the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University. He completed his bachelor’s degree in education in 1971 and master’s degree in education in 1972 from UCM.
He and his wife, Barb, who is on the faculty in the Department of Academic Enrichment, are the parents of three sons.