From the President

Checking the charts and noting progress

Hendrix is charting progress. We’re moving ahead quickly. We’re looking back to note how far we’ve come. We’re looking forward, scanning the horizon and turning our sextant toward the stars to make sure we stay on course.

So, what is the result of all this reconnaissance? How are we doing?

Great! Your college is making progress on every front. The progress we have made so far is impressive and inspiring. Some examples:

  • By the time you read this message, I am confident we will have met our original $70 million campaign goal more than a year ahead of schedule. We stand at $69 million today, with more gifts and pledges expected to arrive before the end of the year.
  • We have raised our campaign goal to $100 million and extended the end date to 2010.
  • We have received two challenge grants that, when met, will generate $12 million in endowed funds to support the Odyssey program and embed it in the Hendrix culture.
  • We have built an endowment of more than $10 million to support scholarships and financial aid.
  • We opened a new $23 million Wellness and Athletics Center with a dinner and a convocation attended by more than 700 people where former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley was the featured speaker.
  • We have awarded close to $1 million in grants to support 1,747 Odyssey projects involving Hendrix students and faculty on campus, throughout the United States and on six continents. Odyssey projects have life-changing impact on students like Lynn Christenson ’09 whose work feeding children at an orphanage in Tanzania helped her discover how she can make a difference in the world.
  • We have selected Hendrix alumni to receive honors, among them the 2007-08 Odyssey Medals, which will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 7.
  • We have seen close friends of the College honored. On Nov. 14, Lucile Shivley ’32, a long-time supporter of Hendrix, was named 2007 Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year by the Arkansas chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Hendrix nominated Lucile for the well-deserved honor. Her youthful joy in giving is an inspiration to all of us.

We have accomplished much and we have many reasons to celebrate. Yet Hendrix’s odyssey toward national leadership in engaged liberal arts education is just beginning. There is so much more ahead – so many more moments of triumph to savor, so many more challenges to overcome – before this journey ends.

The first challenges on our horizon are housing a growing student population, endowing the Odyssey Program to ensure that this vital component of the College’s curriculum remains a part of our culture and building a new Student Life and Technology Center to meet the needs of Hendrix students now and in the future.

We are addressing the need for housing by beginning construction on townhouses at the intersection of Mills and Front streets (adjacent to the Art buildings) that will provide space for 70 students in the fall of 2008. We are also, with guidance from the campus master plan, evaluating sites for new on-campus housing, and are considering several options for student housing in The Village at Hendrix, the retail and residential neighborhood being developed east of Harkrider.

Keeping Hendrix at the forefront of American higher education is the unifying goal of The Campaign for Hendrix and is at the center of our discussions about the College’s future. To establish and maintain Hendrix as a national leader in engaged liberal arts is the reason we are raising $100 million by 2010. When we reach this goal, we should have the funds to support the Odyssey Program in perpetuity and to construct the kind of Student Life and Technology Center that will meet the needs of Hendrix students in the 21st century.

We can’t reach our goal without your continued support. I encourage you to become involved with Hendrix and discover how your support can make a difference in the lives of today’s students. I believe we really are changing the lives of those who can change the world.