Class of 2024 Members Added to the Rhodes Hall of Fame

collage of six head and shoulder photos of Rhodes College students
(first row, from left) Asya Bray, Sam Frank, Oliver Hurst and (second row, from left), Claire Kiernan, Hailey Smith, and Justin Thompson

Six graduating seniors’ portraits are being added to Rhodes College’s Hall of Fame on the second floor of Southwestern Hall. They are Asya Bray, Sam Frank, Oliver Hurst, Claire Kiernan, Hailey Smith, and Justin Thompson.

Selection to the Hall of Fame, which was established in 1931, is based on individual merit, leadership in student activities, service to others, and overall contributions to the campus community. Honorees are chosen by their peers.

Asya Bray, a psychology major from Country Club Hills, IL, served as planning and design chair for Rhodes’ National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Plaza, which is a physical site on campus celebrating the impact and importance of historically Black sororities and fraternities. She is the vice president of Rhodes’ NPHC and the secretary of the Nu Phi chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.  Bray also is co-president of the Contents Under Pressure Improv Troupe and president of the Dungeons and Dragons Society. In addition, Bray has been a 2022 Summer Service Fellow, Rhodes College Diplomat, and a Rhodes Student Associate in the Office of Career Services.

Sam Frank, a history major from Cincinnati, OH, is president of the Rhodes Honor Council and is being inducted in the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society. He was a 2022 Summer Service Fellow and served as assistant director for the college’s 2023 Mock Trial Summer Academy. This spring, he captained Rhodes’ mock trial A team to a top three finish in the country. Frank also has held internships at Just City and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and as an intern at the Memphis Museum of Science and History, he worked as a panel writer for the award-winning Memphis Proud exhibit. This year, he published a paper in the Rhodes Historical Review.

Oliver Hurst, a health equity and mathematics double major from Atlanta, GA, is co-director and a Rhodes Student Associate for the Laurence F. Kinney Program, which is a student-run service organization on campus. As part of the program, he has coordinated the Rites to Play community carnival and been involved with the student-led soup kitchen Souper Contact. Hurst also has been a 2022 Summer Service Fellow, and he has worked for nonprofit organizations Binghampton Community Land Trust and A Betor Way. Hurst currently works for the Institute for Health Equity and Community Justice.

Claire Kiernan, a political science major from Fairhope, AL, serves as student body president and was instrumental in the implementation of the Rhodes College Walking Trail. As part of the Rhodes Student Government, she served as communications chair and vice president, started an annual voter registration drive, and created a new proposal system to accomplish initiatives. Kiernan also is a student trustee, Rhodes College Diplomat, and member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She has worked as a Rhodes Student Associate in the Office of Admission, and currently, she works at the Community Legal Center, which serves Memphis and Shelby County, TN. Kiernan also was a congressional intern in Washington, D.C.

Hailey Smith, a history major from Memphis, TN, was crowned 2023 Rhodes Royalty during the college’s homecoming. She is president of the Rhodes chapter of Phi Alpha Theta national history honor society, event director of the Multicultural Vision Program, and a member of the Rhodes College Cheer Team. She is a Rhodes Student Associate for the Office of Belonging, Orientation Intern for the Office of First Year Experience and Transitions, and she has worked as a collections intern for the National Civil Rights Museum. Smith also volunteers as an alumni relations coordinator and mentor at Harding Academy of Memphis. She is a member of the Rho Gamma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Justin Thompson, an urban studies major from Knoxville, TN, is a student trustee and a member of the men’s track and field and cross country teams. He is president of the Nu Eta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and Title IX representative for the Black Student Association. On campus, Thompson has worked as a Plant and Greenhouse Rhodes Student Associate. He has completed internships in the district office of Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) and for Whole Child Strategies, Inc. Thompson currently is an intern for BLDG Memphis, which is dedicated to the development of economically sustainable neighborhoods.