What are Murphy Scholars?
Murphy Scholars are Hendrix students in any major who want to deepen their knowledge
of literature and language through a variety of enhanced experiences.
What do Murphy Scholars have to do?
Murphy Scholars are required
- to participate actively in Hendrix’s community of literary and language
- to complete a tutorial course in literature or language;
- to complete three of the Murphy Scholar Program’s approved cocurricular
experiences in literature or language (many of which are activities that the
Murphy Scholars may already be involved in, and may count for Odyssey credit).
What are the benefits of becoming a Murphy Scholar?
Murphy Scholars enjoy the following benefits:
- Study-Travel Allowance Funds in the amount of $4,000, to be used for approved
cocurricular experiences in literature and language;
- structured ways to explore literature and language beyond the classroom;
- opportunities for in-depth exchanges with Distinguished Visitors in literature
and language — writers, translators, editors, and scholars whom the program brings
- distinction upon graduation; and
- the advantages of belonging to a community of scholars — including fellowship,
professional preparation, and the excitement that comes from the collective
investigation of literature and language.
Who is eligible to be a Murphy Scholar?
The Murphy Scholars program is open to Hendrix sophomores in any major who want
to deepen their knowledge of literature and language through a variety of enhanced
experiences. Students enter the program as sophomores and finish at graduation.
How and when will Murphy Scholars be selected?
In 2016–2017, sophomores seeking to be Murphy Scholars will apply by September 8 and will be notified of the outcome of their applications by September 30. Application
requirements will include a short statement of interest and the names of two faculty
members (probably The Engaged Citizen or Explorations teachers) who can serve as
references. Students transferring in as sophomores are also eligible to apply.
How many Murphy Scholars are there?
The first class, inducted in fall 2015, had 20 Murphy Scholars; the second, who joined in fall 2016, consisted of 25; and the third, to be inducted in October 2017, will number 30. Beginning in 2018–2019 each
Murphy Scholars class will have 30 students per year, so that once the program
is fully up and running, there will be 90 Murphy Scholars in the program at a
What is the overarching purpose of the Murphy Scholars Program?
The purpose of the Murphy Scholars Program is to provide Hendrix students with
a distinctive, substantial opportunity to deepen their experience of language and
literature in and beyond the classroom. The program aims to supply generations of
Hendrix graduates with deep knowledge of and appreciation for literature and language
(including reading, writing, oral expression, analysis, criticism, and world languages)
that enriches their lives and careers.
What are the learning goals of the Murphy Scholars Program?
The Murphy Scholars program aims for students
- to broaden their knowledge of literature and language beyond what is possible
in the traditional classroom setting.
- to deepen their understanding of literature and language by engaging in
immersive, communal, creative, and research-oriented experiences both on campus
and beyond the walls of Hendrix.
- to use literary and language experiences as a means of increasing their
historical awareness, cultural understanding, and capacity for meaningful global
- to acquire habits of mind and practices of inquiry that allow them to connect
the insights of literary and language study with other ways of understanding
- to develop their public writing and speaking skills in order to communicate
with non-specialist audiences about literature and language.
- to experience literature and language as sources of lifelong learning, pleasure,
and social commitment.
How will completion of the Murphy Scholars Program be recognized?
Murphy Scholars completing the program will be recognized annually in the late
spring at a special ceremony and dinner including students, parents, faculty, staff,
and members of the Murphy family. Distinction will be conferred upon graduating
Murphy Scholars in the form of cords to be worn with the academic regalia and transcript
Do Murphy Scholar experiences carry Odyssey credit?
Yes, it is possible to earn Odyssey credit
through Murphy Scholar experiences. In fact, many Murphy Scholar Cocurriculars
are preapproved for Odyssey credit; a Scholar need only turn in an Odyssey
Intent form to the Odyssey Office. For cocurriculars not pre-approved for
Odyssey, a Scholar can turn in an Odyssey Proposal Form to the Odyssey Office. Finally,
Scholars can request Odyssey credit for a given activity on their Murphy
Scholar Cocurricular proposal forms. If the cocurricular project is approved by
Murphy and Odyssey, upon completion the Scholar will submit the standard
Project Completion and Transcript Notation Form and any other required
paperwork to the Odyssey Office.
I already have a lot of commitments and feel pressed for time. Is the Murphy
Scholars Program for me?
Only you can judge for sure. Certainly part of attending a liberal arts college
is exploring various activities, from athletics to arts, which, on top of rigorous
academics, can be challenging to manage. However, many of the Murphy Scholars experiences
formalize support and credit for activities that you, as a person with lively literary and language interests,
would be doing anyway, such as Odyssey projects, attending talks and readings, pursuing
research with your professor, or tutoring. Undertaking these activities under the
mantle of Murphy Scholar rather than in a scattershot way gives them added definition
and depth. They become an additional, identifiable dimension of your education.
Who administers the Murphy Scholars Program?
The Hendrix-Murphy Foundation director supervises the programming, with foundation
staff managing day-to-day operations, including the tracking of Murphy Scholars’
program credits and Study-Travel Allowance Fund. A Director's Cabin with faculty and student representation vets all proposals
and makes recommendations to an appropriate committee of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Board. This Board of Directors, which includes the Hendrix President and Provost, oversees all Murphy Scholars Program activities.
What are tutorials?
Oxford-style tutorial courses are an instructional model developed at Oxford
University in Oxford, England. Their hallmark is weekly meetings where two to four
students and a faculty member engage in active, in-depth
discussions of readings or intensive work on writing or translation. Tutorials have
long been considered the paragon of undergraduate instruction, promoting close relationships
between faculty and students, intensive focus on texts (both reading and writing),
and oral communication.
What form do the tutorials take?
Hendrix's tutorials are modeled after Oxford University tutorials, but tailored to the specific
features of Hendrix. With one professor per two to four students, the tutorials
in literature and language foster deep, individualized exploration of their
Who teaches the tutorials?
Tutorials are taught by Hendrix faculty as part of their normal teaching
loads. In addition, the program supports Murphy Visiting Fellows in Literature
and Language — postdoctoral scholars serving two-year appointments in the departments
of Theatre Arts, English, and Foreign Languages. These Fellowships are a two-pronged position, involving classroom teaching as well as assisting the Murphy Scholars Program
through informal advising, mentoring, and community-building.
What subjects are taught?
Faculty in the core Hendrix-Murphy departments (English, Foreign Languages, and
Theatre Arts) who wish to offer tutorials will propose topics that will be approved
through normal curricular processes. Of course, all topics must be clearly focused
on language and literature. Regardless of subject, the tutorial’s intimate setting,
with ample time for dialogue between professor and students, lends itself excitingly
to in-depth exploration and discovery at the frontiers of research.
Who can take the tutorials? When should they be taken?
Murphy Scholars are required to complete at least one tutorial course, ideally
in the junior year. Study abroad or other circumstances may sometimes necessitate
Scholars’ taking a tutorial in their senior year.
Do the tutorials count as regular hendrix courses?
Yes. Each tutorial counts as one semester-long course in the normal courseload and is credited as such. Each Department decides whether the tutorial course counts toward its major.
Are tutorials offered only in literature and language?
At this point, tutorial courses are offered only to Murphy
Scholars and are limited to topics in language and literature. If the tutorials
prove pedagogically successful and sustainable, the College might consider opening
tutorials to non–Murphy Scholar students and offering them in disciplines beyond
language and literature.
Does Hendrix-Murphy Still sponsor opportunities for students who are not Murphy Scholars?
Yes. The Distinguished Visitors Program still brings exceptional writers, poets, translators, theatre directors, and literary scholars to campus for both short stays and extended visits. They are proposed by faculty and selected through
a proposal process designed for maximum responsiveness to campus-wide interest. Hendrix faculty and students may also propose individual projects in literature and language, from study-travel, to service projects, to campus-based activities. And Hendrix-Murphy supports a range of literary and language-related enrichment and enhancement activities for the College: Study Abroad Scholarships where the courses taken are predominantly literary or language-targeted; Language House; Language Commons; literary competitions; a flourishing creative writing program; and many other activities.
Can Murphy Scholars design their own experiences for Murphy Scholar Cocurricular
Yes. For individualized cocurricular projects, Murphy Scholars must request approval
from the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation by filling out a proposal form. A selection committee
representing the Foundation and the College will evaluate each proposal to ensure
that it meets program goals and to determine funding, including expenditures from
that Scholar’s $4,000 Study-Travel Allowance Fund. Proposal forms and guidelines are available online. Deadlines are October 1, February 1, and April 1--the same as the Odyssey Program's.
What if I want Murphy Scholar credit for an existing activity in
literature and language?
Most literary and language cocurriculars that are already well established at
Hendrix are pre-approved for Murphy Scholar credit if you contribute at a leadership
level. (See the full list.) For these, all you have to do is certify your participation
to the Murphy Scholars office by submitting a Statement of Intent at the outset
and a Statement of Completion once that experience is finished.
I'm interested in using my Study-Travel Allowance Funds to travel. What are my options?
Off-campus options for Murphy Scholars include trips for literary or language-related research, study-travel, or service and intensive language study or immersion. You can seek to join a faculty-led trip, where a group from Hendrix travels and learns together (the professors who lead those trips set the terms for participation, and Murphy
Scholars, like other students, apply for those trips directly to the faculty leader); or design your own student-initiated project, where students travel
and study on their own, individually or in a small group that they put together. For individually designed off-campus experiences, Murphy Scholars
must submit a Cocurricular proposal so that their trip plans, learning objectives, and budget details can be formally approved.
I'm interested in doing literature- and language-related service projects. What are the possibilities?
Murphy Scholar service credit is given for activity that
gives back to Hendrix or the wider community through service in literature and
language. Examples include
- tutoring in writing, literature, or language
- teaching writing classes
- tutoring at the Writing Center
- serving as a writing assistant for a professor (you must be tutoring in discipline-related writing, not in course content)
- serving as a Language Ambassador
- volunteering at a school, hospital, residential
facility, or the like in some literary or language capacity (running a writing
or storytelling group, serving as translator or interpreter)
- starting and running a literary or language
outlet for the underserved, such as a Bookmobile
- tutoring in an adult literacy program
- reading to or recording for the visually impaired
I want to tutor in the Writing Center. Can I receive Murphy Scholar credit for
work-study experiences or other paid work?
Absolutely! Work in the Writing Center is one of many campus activities pre-approved
for Murphy Scholar credit. Other paid work may also count, as long as it relates
to language and literature. To request Murphy Scholar Cocurricular credit for experiences
not on the preapproved list, contact the Director. It may be that you'll need to submit a Murphy Scholar Cocurricular