The Murphy-Hendrix Foundation for Language and Literature provides the College a generous endowment for sponsoring a variety of cultural enrichment programs. The English Department brings a number of notable speakers to campus every year. Past speakers have included such notables as Seamus Heaney, Allen Ginsberg, Frank Chin, Jane Smiley, and Yusef Komunyakaa.
The Department also uses the Murphy-Hendrix Foundation for other events. We’ve held workshops for staff and faculty on identifying and helping students with learning disabilities, for example, and we frequently bring recent alumni back to campus to talk about life after Hendrix, whether in graduate school or other professional endeavors. Some of the other student programs the Foundation supports are travel opportunities for conferences and research, a film series, and a workshop series called Shop Talk, which brings writing and bookmaking practitioners to campus to discuss craft, business, and career issues in small group settings.
The Drake Lecture Series provides funds for an annual visit by a contemporary literary figure. The Arkansas poet Miller Williams inaugurated this series in February 2004, and the poet A. Van Jordan will come to campus in spring 2011.
Finally, our faculty aggressively seeks grants from outside Hendrix to further our ability to provide a variety of educational opportunities to the community.