Elon Life Trustee Warren “Dusty” Rhodes died at the age of 94 on Monday, Feb. 12, according to an email sent to faculty by university President Connie Book.

Rhodes served on the board of trustees for 14 years before being elected a life trustee in 2011. According to Book, Rhodes was “one of Elon’s most dedicated and passionate friends for more than 25 years.”

Rhodes is survived by his wife Peggy; his sons David and Larry; his daughter Jennifer; and his grandchildren Craig, Sean, Stephen, Dalton and London. Rhodes first got involved with Elon when his son Larry enrolled at the university in the 1980s.

Together, Peggy and Rhodes made the lead gift for Elon’s Rhodes Stadium which opened in 2001. They also supported a number of spaces and resources across campus, including in the McMichael Science Center, Belk Library, Koury Business Center and Koury Athletic Center. Moreover, they provided funds for the Rhodes Family Sports Scholarship, the Kind Huessein Endowed Scholarship and individual students who needed support to continue their educations at Elon. 

Rhodes received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Elon in 2006 and Book said he was a trusted advisor to the last three university presidents, including herself. In her email to faculty, Book quoted Rhodes talking about how much Elon means to him. 

“The people at Elon are like family, and we’re thrilled to spark the completion of the Elon Vision and help finish this campus for the students and alumni,” Rhodes said, later quoted by Book. “A lot of people are going to walk through those gates, rekindle old friendships and enjoy the moments. And when they see this beautiful facility, they’ll say ‘What an awesome place. This is Elon’s field of dreams.’”

Rhodes did many things throughout his life. He served with the U.S. Naval Intelligence Agency; earned a degree in physical education at Purdue University, where he was a four-year letterman; taught biology; coached baseball and swimming; pursued engineering and ended up adding computer-generated statistics to the “Game of the Week” broadcast on CBS television; was involved in providing GE’s computer equipment for the NASA Gemini and Apollo space programs; took courses at Michigan State University, the University of Maryland, the IBM Computer College and Harvard Business School MBA program; and joined a start-up technology company, Cisco Systems.

In 1990, Rhodes and Peggy moved to Elon and Rhodes retired in 1992. After retirement, they sometimes accompanied Elon teams on national and international trips and occasionally joined students for meals in McEwen Dining Hall.

“We couldn’t have found a better place to retire,” Rhodes said in 2001. “I can’t even imagine being down in Florida, retired and having nothing to do. That’s not the way we do things. We enjoy people and feel very blessed and fortunate that we found Elon.”

A celebration of Dusty’s life will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16 at St. Mark’s Church in Burlington, and a burial will follow in the church cemetery.