Elizabeth Rhodes, retired director of Kent State School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, passes away

Kent, Ohio – Services are being held today at Kent State University for Elizabeth Rhodes, who retired as director of the School of Fashion Design and Merchandising in June. She passed away July 23 after battling more than one type of cancer since 1994, the same year she accepted the job as the director of the school. 

Rhodes, who was 62, launched initiatives with JCPenney, Sears, Simplicity, Dots and Jo-Ann Fabrics, and formed collaborations with the Paris-American Academy and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The university also established a studio in Manhattan’s Fashion District. Rhodes helped to create the June F. Mohler Fashion Library, raise millions of dollars for the Fashion School and implement a more rigorous and technologically advanced education. During her time as director, the Fashion School more than tripled in enrollment, according to the university.

“Throughout her tenure, and while she battled cancer on the home front, she demonstrated unfaltering commitment to and pride in the success of her students, not to mention the national and international repute of the Fashion School and the university,” said university president Lester Lefton.  

The family will hold a service in the atrium of Rockwell Hall on today from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. In place of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Elizabeth A. Rhodes Legacy Campaign. The fund supports, in part, the New York City Studio and other projects of the school. To make a contribution, contact  Shawn Gordon at 330-672-8484 or sgordo10@kent.edu.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

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