Alumni Association Awards Recipients

The following Hendrix alumni will be honored on Saturday, April 22, 2023 during Alumni Weekend.
Register today to attend the Weekend.

  Rock Jones Updated   

2020 Distinguished Alumnus Award
Rock Jones '80, Ph.D.

Rock was inaugurated as Ohio Wesleyan University’s 16th president in October 2008.

Jones holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas-Austin, a Master of Divinity magna cum laude from the Duke University Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Hendrix College, where he received the President’s Medal. Prior to joining Ohio Wesleyan, he worked for 13 years at Hendrix, serving in roles that included Executive Vice President and Dean of Advancement, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, interim Vice President for Student Affairs, and Chaplain; and as a United Methodist pastor in Pine Bluff and Norphlet, Arkansas. Jones currently serves as president of the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, as a member of the Board of Governors of Wesley Theological Seminary, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance. He previously served as president of the Great Lakes College Association and the North Coast Athletic Conference, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).  

In recognition of his work to advance the quality of student life at Ohio Wesleyan, Jones received the 2014 “Outstanding Performance as a College or University President Award” from Region IV-East of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Rock and his wife, Melissa Lollar Jones, met as students at Hendrix College. Rock will retire from the presidency and they will move to the Village at Hendrix in the summer of 2023.

Jim Wiltgen Small

2023 James E. Major Service Award
Jim Wiltgen

Jim served as Dean of Students at Hendrix from 2008 to 2022. In 2012, he took on additional responsibilities as the Vice President of Student Affairs. Over the course of his 14 years+ at Hendrix, Jim’s work was focused on the student experience - overseeing the expansion of housing with the addition of Hendrix Corner, The Village Apartments, Market Street South, The Creative Quad and Huntington facilities; the remodeling of Martin and Veasey Halls; the creation of the SOS office and the SOAR peer mentor program; and being co-creator of the Red Brick Film Festival which he emceed for many years. For over ten years, Jim led civil rights trips to Alabama, was the co-advisor on two Miller Center trips, and was an orientation trip advisor for 14 OR trips. Over the past three years, Jim partnered with Lindsay Kennedy to create the Well Being Living learning program in Market Square south. He loved serving as Advisor to student Senate and worked to engage students at just about every turn. He hosted the Dean’s Poker Cup for over 10 years, worked with the Chaplain’s office to present Cookie Day during each semester finals, and introduced countless other small events and activities.  

He and his wife, Suzanne, now reside in Memphis, TN and they are proud parents of a Hendrix graduate, John ’20, and two daughters who are still in college, Elena and Claudia.

Anna Patterson Strong

2023 Humanitarian Award
Anna Patterson Strong '04

Anna is the Executive Director of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (ARAAP). There, she leads policy and advocacy initiatives impacting child health and pediatric care and engages pediatricians in statewide programs that promote child health and health care quality. Prior to joining ARAAP in 2019, she served as Executive Director of Child Advocacy and Public Health at Arkansas Children’s, where she led clinical and community health outreach initiatives reaching all 75 counties and convened the Natural Wonders Partnership Council, a coalition focused on improving child health. Other past roles include Director of Health Care Policy at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, where she led Medicaid-related policy and contributed to Arkansas’s successful 2013 effort to extend Medicaid to low-income adults and establish its health insurance marketplace. She serves on the boards of the School-Based Health Alliance and ForwARd Arkansas. Anna received a Master of Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service, a Master of Public Health from the UAMS College of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Hendrix College. She lives in Little Rock with her husband Aaron and their sons Isaac and Eli.

Brad Howard

2023 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
Brad Howard '06

Brad Brad Howard ’06 works as a principal at the Vogel Group, an international government affairs and consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. With more than 15 years of experience in government and politics, he most recently served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) where Politico described him as a “key powerbroker for House moderates.” Brad also makes frequent appearances as a Democratic strategist on numerous national media outlets from Fox News Channel to Bloomberg.
Prior to joining Congresswoman Murphy’s team, Brad served as Spokesperson for New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and worked in the Obama Administration in the Small Business Administration. Brad also previously served as Communications Director for Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR), and eventually went on to become the spokesperson for the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition. He later moved back to Arkansas to help his former boss run for governor. After two stints managing U.S. Senate races in Arkansas and Indiana, Brad moved to Florida to run Stephanie Murphy’s historic campaign that unseated a 24-year Republican incumbent.
Brad earned his Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Hendrix College and his Master of Arts in Public Communications from American University in Washington, D.C.