History of Hendrix


Old Front Gate of the College

Detailed History

History in Brief

In 1876 Central Institute, which was to become Hendrix College, was established in Altus, Arkansas, by the Rev. Isham L. Burrow. Burrow was serving as a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (now a part of the United Methodist Church) at the time. The school became Central Collegiate Institute in 1881 with the addition of secondary and collegiate departments. The institute was purchased in 1884 by conferences of the Southern Methodist Church in Arkansas and was renamed Hendrix College in honor of Bishop Eugene R. Hendrix in 1889. The following year the college moved to Conway, Arkansas. By the mid-1930s Hendrix had firmly established its role as a small, coeducational, undergraduate, residential, liberal arts, church-related institution. From the mid-1950s Hendrix gradually increased student enrollment until it stabilized at just under 1,000 in the 1970s. Through the end of the 20th century, Hendrix added more than 15 buildings, developed a new master plan for growth of the campus, and revised and enhanced its curriculum and added faculty in key areas. The College's long-standing commitment to experiential education gave birth to the Hendrix Odyssey Program in 2005. This component of the curriculum, which requires three engaged learning experiences of every Hendrix graduate, is helping the College build a national reputation for leadership in engaged learning. From the foundation of more than 140 years of excellence in education, Hendrix College is moving confidently into the 21st century.