Honoring 100 for the 100th: JJ Rhyne

In September 1927, Professor J. J. Rhyne was added to the staff of the Department of Sociology with teaching responsibilities in the School of Social Service. Professor Rhyne received the Doctor of Philosophy from the University of North Carolina in 1927. While enrolled as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, he completed the course of study offered by the School of Public Welfare. During the last two years of graduate study, Professor Rhyne held the position of Research Assistant in the Institute of Research in Social Science in the same University.

Dr. Rhyne was appointed Director of the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Service in 1929. The School of Social Service remained a part of the Department of Sociology until 1935, when it was established as a separate instructional unit of the University. At the time, Professor Rhyne was appointed Director of the newly named School. He continued to serve as Director of the School of Social Work until 1950. Rhyne’s teaching, research, and service focused on race relations and social problems in the early history of Oklahoma. His book, Social and Community Problems of Oklahoma, served for many years as a text for students of the School.

During his retirement years, Professor Rhyne wrote an historical account of social work education at OU beginning with the first instruction in social work at the time of creation of the School of Social Service in 1917, through 1957, entitled “Forty Years of Social Work Education at the University of Oklahoma.” Later, Rhyne made editorial changes to that document and drafted further history up through 1970.

Following the relocation of the School to the ATO house at 1005 Jenkins, in 1977, the building was named Rhyne Hall in honor of Professor Rhyne’s long term contributions to the School. In the new Anne and Henry Zarrow Hall, his legacy lives on through the designation of the J. J. Rhyne Community Room.

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