In February 2013, Hendrix College alumnus W. Ellis Arnold III, J.D. ’79 was named Acting President by the Hendrix College Board of Trustees. In this capacity, Arnold will lead day-to-day operations and will continue to advance the College’s strategic planning process.
A lifelong United Methodist, Arnold graduated from Hendrix in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He attended law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. After receiving his juris doctorate, Arnold practiced law from 1982 to 1990 in Little Rock, where he was a founding partner at Arnold, Lax, and Vaughan (now Lax, Vaughan, Fortson and McKenzie).
In 1990, Arnold was approached by then-President Dr. Joe B. Hatcher to serve as Vice President for Development and College Relations. In this role, Arnold was responsible for church relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing. He also served as General Counsel.
Arnold secured funding for the new Olin C. Bailey Library and was the primary architect for the College’s first real comprehensive campaign in the early 1990s, which led to the construction of new science teaching and research facilities, including the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Life Sciences.
In November 1996, Arnold was named President of Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn. He served as President and Head of School of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark., from 2004 until 2008, when he returned to Hendrix as Executive Vice President, Dean of Advancement, and General Counsel. In 2010, Arnold served as Acting President for nine months.