History of Hendrix



Isham L. Burrow, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (now part of the United Methodist Church), established Central Institute, a primary school with an initial enrollment of 20 students, at Altus, Arkansas.


With the addition of secondary and collegiate departments, the school became known as Central Collegiate Institute (C.C.I).


C.C.I. granted three "Mistress of English Literature" degrees, which represented two years of collegiate study.

Although the Altus campus never had a residence hall or dining hall, a three-story brick building was opened and contained a chapel, two schoolrooms and three classrooms.


C.C.I. was purchased by two Arkansas conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; the third conference became a joint-owner two years later. After the sale of C.C.I., Rev. Burrow was retained as the president of the school. This was the beginning of the relationship between Hendrix and the Methodist Church which continues to this day.


C.C.I. conferred its first four-year degrees.


Rev. Alexander C. Millar was appointed as the second president of C.C.I..


Catalogue: "No student is allowed to communicate orally, by writing, or by signs, with students of the other sex."


The primary department was discontinued and the institution was renamed Hendrix College in honor of Rev. Eugene Russell Hendrix, presiding bishop of the three Arkansas Methodist conferences. Hendrix was designated as the "male" college of the Methodist Church, South in Arkansas; however, the institution continued to accept women students who wished to study in a "male" collegiate environment.

A student literary magazine, the Hendrix College Mirror, began publication on a monthly basis. It was the first college journal published in Arkansas. Future Hendrix president Stonewall Anderson served as the first editor-in-chief.


After receiving bids from seven Arkansas towns, the Hendrix Board of Trustees voted in March to move Hendrix to Conway.The institution had five faculty members and 150 students, including about 25 in the collegiate department.


Financial woes following the Panic of 1893 threatened to close the college, but support from individuals like Capt. W.W. Martin kept the school open. Intercollegiate competitions, such as formal debates, were major student activities and were fostered by student literary societies.


A publication by the U.S. Office of Education stated that Hendrix College had the highest standards for admission and graduation of any Arkansas institution of higher learning, public or private.