Who Was Thomas R. Rodman?

This page contains information about Thomas R. Rodman, the school's namesake.

 Thomas R. Rodman

  • Thomas Rotch Rodman, born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on September 27, 1825.
  • He was educated at Friend's Academy and graduated from Harvard College in 1840.
  • He formed a literary society known as the Blue Club which expressed his keen sense and appreciation of the best in classical and modern literature, the advance of science, and the progress of all movements for the betterment of social and civic conditions.
  • He was a successful merchant and manufacturer, an ardent worker for the abolition of slavery and intemperance, a friend to all charitable and educational movements, a trustee of Friend's Academy for sixty-three years, and he was largely instrumental in the founding of the Free Public Library.
  • A member of the New Bedford School Board and a charter member of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society. He gathered much data that proved valuable to local historians, and he was ever ready to assist in the preservation of the tales of those early days.
  • He was a military captain during the Civil War and later in his life became interested in the cause of Native Americans. He devoted much of his time to the Association for the Uplifting and Relief of the Indians of the United States.
  • He served as vestryman and senior warden of Grace Episcopal Church and he uncompromisingly adhered to what he thought was right. He hated trickery or hypocrisy; he was a man of high ideals.
  • Above all, Thomas Rotch Rodman loved his city and his country.