News Center

Hendrix College Honors Day 2020


CONWAY, Ark. (May 13, 2020) – Hendrix College today announced awards for students, faculty, and staff receiving recognition for outstanding academic achievement, citizenship, and service.

With this year’s awards unable to be presented in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hendrix College President W. Ellis Arnold III ’79 emphasized in his written remarks the importance of traditions to the Hendrix community — in particular, the role of Honors Day in recognizing students for their leadership, service, and excellence in the classroom and beyond.

“Even though we are not together to bestow these honors in person, they are important to all of us at Hendrix and we are proud to share them with the world today,” he wrote.

Maddie Clendening ’20, a politics and psychology double major from North Little Rock, was awarded the President’s Medal, which is presented each year to the graduating student who best exemplifies the highest ideals of the College. Criteria include excellence in scholarship, outstanding citizenship, and service to the community. Each year’s recipient of the President’s Medal is named by the President of the College upon the recommendation of a nomination group.

“President Arnold called me with the news and I was very surprised,” Clendening said. “My time at Hendrix was filled with so many moments of growth and I am appreciative of the recognition. While I am sad our last semester was cut short, I look forward to celebrating our class achievements together in the future.”

During Clendening’s time at Hendrix, she has chaired the Committee on Gender & Sexuality, served as Student Senate vice president, received an Insight Into Diversity Global Engagement Travel Scholarship from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), was named an Aspire Scholarship recipient and a Truman Scholarship finalist, participated in the Kakehashi Tomodachi Japanese Exchange Program, worked in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and the Department of Psychology and as an Orientation Peer Leader, and became a Miss Hendrix contestant (crowned the first-ever Mr. Hendrix). Following commencement, she plans to work in the field of LGBTQ+ advocacy while deciding between attending law school or graduate school.

Honors Day also offers a time to present awards to faculty and staff, and three individuals were recognized with faculty and staff awards this year.

Dr. Dorian Stuber, a professor of English, received the 2019-2020 United Methodist Church Exemplary Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution, and community.

Dr. Kristi McKim, a professor of English, received the 2019-2020 Carole Herrick Award for Excellence in Academic Advising, which recognizes high-quality academic advising, including contributions in advising that help students formulate and achieve their intellectual, career, and personal goals.

Tonya Hale, director of student activities, was named the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Dionne Bennett Jackson Prize for Diversity and Inclusion. This award, established in honor of Jackson, 1996 alumnus and the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer of the College, honors a faculty or staff member who has made contributions to cultivate and nurture a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming campus community.

View the full list of Honors Day award recipients at

[NOTE: Please notify if there are any mistakes or omissions in the list of award winners. Questions related to graduation with distinction should be directed to the Registrar:]   

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