CONWAY, Ark. (July 7, 2021) — Friends and former
students have established an endowment in honor of Hendrix College politics
professor emeritus Dr. Jay Barth ’87.
The Dr. Jay Barth Odyssey Endowment will
support student engaged learning experiences that highlight the values of
public service and community, helping students live the values of public
service and community, which Dr. Barth proudly displayed every day during his
career at Hendrix.
his reputation for excellence in the classroom and his passion for teaching, Jay
is synonymous with engaged citizenship and engaged learning at Hendrix,” said
President Ellis Arnold. “I am excited that there will be a lasting tribute to
his legacy, and we are grateful to the donors who made this possible.”
who joined the Department of
Politics at Hendrix in 1994 after completing his doctorate from the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, retired in 2020 as the M.E.
and Ima Graves Peace Professor of Politics. He is currently the inaugural Chief
Education Officer for the City of Little Rock, coordinating the City’s work to
support education from birth through higher education in Little Rock.
At Hendrix, Barth championed programs that
enhanced interdisciplinarity and engaged learning. He led the task force that
envisioned the Odyssey Program, which he directed for three years, and he
collaborated with the team of faculty that developed and implemented The
Engaged Citizen first-semester course.
student Peter Butler ’17, an interdisciplinary politics, economics, and
philosophy major from Naperville, Illinois, was one of the lead organizers of
the effort to create the Barth Odyssey Endowment.
my passion for politics and guided me as I began to really figure out where I
wanted to go in life to contribute to the greater good,” said Butler, who
currently works for Minnesota Management and Budget. “He exemplified what it
meant to be an engaged citizen. Whether it was knocking on doors for political
campaigns, discussing elections after class, or working on a policy report, I
wouldn’t have been in those positions without Jay’s selfless support for his
students and every citizen of Arkansas.”
The College received gifts from 127 donors to create
the endowment. To contribute to endowed funds and
scholarships, visit www.hendrix.edu/giving/endowment.
“It’s a testament to Jay’s tireless work as a teacher, scholar,
and mentor that so many people gave to a fund in his honor,” said Nigel Halliday
’16, a politics major from Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. Now an attorney living in
North Bergen, New Jersey, Halliday is one of the fund’s co-organizers. “I’m happy that the fund will help further Jay’s legacy
at Hendrix by supporting students committed to public service.”
Highlights for Dr. Jay Barth
- 2007 Arkansas Professor of the Year
by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for
Advancement and Support of Education
- 2014 Southern Political Science
Association’s Diane Blair Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics and
- 2018 Distinguished Scholar Award
from the Arkansas Political Science Association
- 2019 Distinguished Service Award
from the National Association of State Boards of Education
- 2012 to 2019 Arkansas State Board of
Education member, chairing that body for two years
- Five-time recipient of the Hendrix
senior class’s Faculty Appreciation Award, which recognizes a faculty member
who has shown “excellence in instruction and concern for the welfare of Hendrix
- Chaired the Boards of Arkansas
Advocates for Children and Families, National Association of State Boards of
Education, Just Communities of Arkansas, the ACLU of Arkansas, the Arkansas
Single Parent Scholarship Fund, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski
County, and was a 12-year member of the board of the National ACLU
- Presently serves as Vice-Chair of
the Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation and as a member of
the board of the ACLU of Arkansas and Planned Parenthood Great Plains
About Hendrix College
A private liberal arts college in
Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the
country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges
That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges.
Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix
as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876,
Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To
learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.
[Photo by Rett Peek]