William C. and Bertha Black Rhoda
The William C. and Bertha Black Rhoda Scholarship Fund was established in 1994 from the estate of William Clarence Rhoda in memory of his wife, Bertha Black Rhoda.
Bertha Black Rhoda was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1898. She received her undergraduate education degree from Indiana Normal School and went on to earn her Masters from the University of Illinois. Always looking for ways to expand her knowledge, she did additional graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Washington University and Saint Louis University. Mrs. Rhoda taught at Vashon High School in St. Louis for many years and was known for her exceptional success with students who had special learning needs; she worked diligently to tutor students that other teachers had labeled uneducable.
Mrs. Rhoda was also very civically active. Mrs. Rhoda was a life member of the National Council of Negro Women; the St. Louis affiliate is known as the “Bertha Black Rhoda Section” and in 2003 received special commendation from the Missouri House of Representatives for its history and accomplishments. She was active in the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs, Church Women United, Women’s Crusade Against Crime, as well as many others, including multiple reading and education groups. Mrs. Rhoda received many distinguished awards in her lifetime for both her community service and educational achievements including the 1969 Globe Democrat Woman of Achievement Award, 1969 Distinguished Alumni Award, Indiana State University, and the 1973 National Volunteer Award from President Lyndon B. Johnson.