Calvin Madison Rodwell touched the lives of thousands of boys and girls as a member of the Baltimore City Police Department’s Officer Friendly Program. In that capacity, he taught students how to be safe as pedestrians and when riding their bicycles. He also taught, by his example and caring manner, that the policeman was not to be feared, but was available to help them.
On September 22, 1973, Officer Rodwell was killed in the line of duty, while volunteering on a special cab detail. The City of Baltimore was saddened by his death. By unanimous decision of the pupils, parents, and staff of Schools # 69 and # 218, the school was named in honor of Officer Calvin Madison Rodwell. The school opened in September, 1978 as the replacement for Howard Park Elementary School # 218.
Calvin Rodwell Elementary School opened its doors and was dedicated in 1978 by Mayor William Donald Schaefer and John L. Crew Sr., Superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools. Officer Rodwell’s relatives compose one of the largest black families in the nation and many of them are noted nationwide. Such notables as the late Virginia Union University president, Dr. J.M. Ellison, Arthur Ashe, the tennis champion and Bill Cosby, the star of stage, screen and television.