The academic year is coming to an end, with much-anticipated graduation just days away for the Class of 2010. In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of our students and faculty (Read about our latest Watson Fellow and Dr. Tom Goodwin’s latest national honor), it is also time to reflect on the past year and what Hendrix has accomplished as an institution.
For one thing, we’ve kept our focus through the worst economy since the Great Depression. Our attention has not wavered from our students and the quality of their educational experience. We felt the impact of the stock market plummet in our operating budget and called on our faculty and staff to work smarter, harder and more creatively to stretch our budget to meet our needs – and they have. We called on our alumni and friends to support Hendrix with their gifts, even as they, too, felt the impact of the bad economy – and they did.
We committed the institution to moving forward even in tough times. We knew we could not hunker down and wait for things to get better before pressing on toward our goal of establishing Hendrix as a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education – and we haven’t. We are moving steadily toward our goal in our $100 million campaign, which is set to end in December 2010. (See Calling Hendrix Alumni: We're in the Homestretch!). We opened the new Student Life and Technology Center in January, the last major capital project in our campaign. We hope to complete raising the $26 million needed to pay for the building by the end of the current fiscal year on May 31, 2010 – and with your help we will.
The new SLTC has already become what we envisioned: the vibrant center of student life on the Hendrix campus and a catalyst for creativity and innovation for students and faculty. One example of creative use of the technology available in this new building is the College’s first Red Brick Film Festival. Using inexpensive Flip cameras checked out from the SLTC, Hendrix students produced 3-minute films and submitted them for review. The award-winners debuted during the film festival at the end of April. Visit our Web site for the list of winners and more information. This year’s festival was a pilot for what we hope will be an annual event and just one of many ways the SLTC supports the dynamic learning environment at Hendrix. (For more information about the SLTC, see Technology and Student Life Tied Together in New Center.)
Hendrix is becoming known nationally for its innovative approach to higher education. Last fall, U.S. News & World Report listed us as the No. 1 “Up-and-Coming” liberal arts college in America based on our record of innovation in the classroom and in our buildings and facilities. We count that recognition as proof that our efforts to cultivate a spirit of innovation on campus are having an impact. We promise to do more. Stay tuned.
J. Timothy Cloyd, Ph.D.