Q&A with Hilda Hancock Malpica '64

Hilda Malpica 

Name: 

Hilda Hancock Malpica

Spouse: 

Larry Malpica

Children: 

Lauren Malpica Horton, Allison Malpica Holton, and Sarah Malpica Erstine

Hometown prior to Conway? 

Monticello, Ark.

What year did you graduate from Hendrix? 

1964

Did you work anywhere else/pursue your education before returning to work at Hendrix? Where? 

Yes, I worked in Dallas at a doctor’s office and the office of two attorneys. In Conway most of my previous work time was at the University of Central Arkansas in the football office and athletic department. I have taken some classes at UCA and I’ve been involved in a free lance writing project, but my most of my career has been as a homemaker, and my greatest education after Hendrix has been acquired through my experiences as a wife, mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother and the lessons learned through those rewarding experiences.

What was your title at the college and what did your responsibilities include? 

I was Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Dean of Advancement. My responsibilities were to support Ellis Arnold and his Advancement division, which includes alumni, development, and communication work to advance the college.

How long did you work for the college? 

Ten years.

How have you seen Hendrix change? 

Hendrix has changed in so many ways. Today’s students who read some of these changes will probably laugh and think I am fabricating tales of our campus life, but I will share a few changes anyway! When I was a student, the enrollment was about 400-500 students, with few students from states other than Arkansas, although we had a small number of international students. Freshman Orientation lasted through about the first nine weeks, and freshmen had to wear green beanies, memorize the names of all upperclassmen and call them by name any time the upperclassman met them and demanded “Button, Freshman,” take weekly written tests about campus trivia such as “What kind of flowers are planted in front of the Bookstore?” Galloway housed the freshmen and sophomore women and Raney housed the junior and senior women. I lived in Galloway my freshman, sophomore, and senior years, the latter time as a resident assistant. Rules were very strict for the women students, such as curfews around 10:00 p.m. on weeknights, and we had to “sign out” to list our destination (such as “Library”) on a tablet in the dorm lobby whenever we left the dorm after about 6:00 p.m. and on weekends.

There was one campus phone on each floor of the women’s dorms, and one long distance phone available on the first floor. Of course there were no cell phones or computers.

We were not allowed to wear shorts or pants out of the dorm. We had required athletic shorts for physical ed classes, but we had to wear raincoats to conceal the shorts as we walked from the dorm and to the gym and back. There were very few cars on campus. A small number of women students may have had cars their senior year when they went to practice teach in schools. On Sunday mornings a big white school bus from the Conway First United Methodist would pick up women students in front of Galloway and Raney to take us to church. We were required to wear hats and gloves to church, and it was understood that we should attend regularly.

A major change occurred on campus during my sophomore year - football was discontinued. The board’s decision for this change was announced at a convocation (convocations required our attendance every week). Another major announcement at a convocation was the news of a large monetary gift to the college from Mr. H.F. Buhler. The library was subsequently named for him. With the recent opening of the SLTC, Buhler is now vacant.

During the time I have worked here, I have seen great growth in enrollment and an increased number of out of state students. I’ve seen the construction of Acxiom Hall, the Art Buildings, DW Reynolds, the Murphy Building, the Butler Plaza and fountain, the WAC, the Corner Apartments, the Village, and the Student Life and Technology Center. Programmatic changes I’ve seen include the Odyssey program, many more opportunities for study abroad and undergraduate research, the establishment of the Miller Center and the Crain Maling Center.

What did you enjoy most about working at Hendrix? 

I like the cultural environment, the beautiful campus, the friendly faculty and staff, the contact I enjoy with my alumni friends, and most of all, the inspiring students. Part of the soul of Hendrix has not changed since I was a student. Some of our greatest assets are caring professors who truly want students to succeed and to experience learning as individuals and as teams. Their interest in their students extends long after commencement. People are happy to work here. I do believe Hendrix is a very special place on earth, a place we love, where we are privileged to spend some of the best times of our lives.

What is the funniest story that you have from either your time as a student or staff member? 

During my time as a student – the Great Train Wreck. Learn more.

Another recollection from my student days which seems funny now: Male students were not permitted past the swinging doors in the dorm hallways. When maintenance personnel came for dorm repairs or dads came to carry heavy boxes or furniture to rooms for the female residents, we always had to announce loudly, “Man in the hall!” to warn female students who might not be properly dressed that they should stay in their rooms until they heard the announcement of the men leaving the hall.

Define the Hendrix Experience. 

A few years ago a frantic parent called our office. She was driving to a College Fair and at the last minute was substituting for her husband, who had to cancel his commitment to represent Hendrix at the fair. The lady asked me what she could tell people at the fair that really makes Hendrix different from other colleges. The example that came to my mind for her was a student at that time: he was a varsity soccer player, a soloist in the Candlelight Carol Service, and he had just been accepted into med school, a great example of “unto the whole person.” The Hendrix experience encompasses our students’ achievements that range from those from international leaders such as Jo Luck, executive director of Heifer International, to students who encourage recycling and serve on mission teams. In addition to “unto the whole person,” the Hendrix experience exemplifies the saying, “Think Globally, Act Locally.”

What are your interests outside of Hendrix? 

I spend time with my family. My husband (whom I met here when we were both freshmen) and I have five grandchildren in Fayetteville, Memphis, and Atlanta, and their ages are 2 to 13. We love to spend as much time as possible with them. I am blessed to have my mother in Conway and we cherish our time with her. We are active members of Conway First United Methodist Church and we enjoy time with many college and community friends. I enjoy walking, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, reading, cooking, needlework, and membership in some women’s organizations, including an educational organization, an investment club and bridge club.

What is your favorite cafeteria meal? 

Honolulu chicken!

What is your favorite place on campus? 

Greene Chapel