Sept. 2, 2021, is a day that David Rhodes will never forget.
Seemingly just a normal day at the office, David Rhodes (’02) experienced what no 40-year-old expects to experience: a stroke. Thankfully, it was minor, and he recovered quickly, with limited lasting damage to his brain and body. It was simply “a freak accident,” his neurologist concluded.
But after that day, Rhodes changed his approach to life.
An alumnus of the Darla Moore School of Business with a degree in finance, Rhodes has been in the banking industry since 2005. Quickly rising through the ranks at Carolina First Bank (now TD Bank) in Myrtle Beach, he credits his successful career to his time at the Moore School.
“I got a great education from the Moore School, and it really set the foundation for me to attain my MBA and grow my social and communication skills,” Rhodes says.
Rhodes wants others to have the same meaningful experience at the Moore School, so he set up an endowed scholarship for students studying finance.
“I want students to get the same education as myself and to leave the school in a better position than when I was there — that’s the small part I want to play,” he says.
In 2011, Rhodes moved to South Atlantic Bank as senior vice president for their South Strand Regional office. It was in that office where he had his stroke. “After the stroke, it really changed my outlook on life,” he says. “I was reminded that life is too short, and I learned to take things less seriously and enjoy life more.”
Today, he enjoys his second chance at life as a Golden Spur member, regularly attending USC football and basketball games. He loves traveling, playing games on the beach and spending time with his wife and 2-year-old son and namesake, William David Rhodes V.
Rhodes’ story is a gentle reminder about the importance of legacies we leave behind, whether it’s reconsidering your priorities after a freak medical incident or setting up a legacy gift at your alma mater to start an endowed scholarship for today's and tomorrow's students. “Everyone can give something. Whether it’s $100 or $10,000, every dollar makes a difference,” says Rhodes.