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2024 Honors Day Convocation

2024 Presidents Medal

CONWAY, Ark. (April 25, 2024) — Hendrix College students were recognized for academic excellence and campus community service at the 2024 Honors Day Convocation today in the Wellness and Athletics Center. 

Jayson Crumpler ’24, a politics major and music minor from Cabot, Arkansas, 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. 

In addition to receiving the President’s Medal, Crumpler was awarded the Danny Powell Service Leadership Award and will graduate with Distinction in Politics in May.  

“Jayson truly embodies the ideal of liberal arts, a broad education that serves the whole person, and has not been afraid to grow and explore new areas of interest and intellectual fields,” said Assistant Professor of Politics Dr. Delphia Shanks, Crumpler’s advisor for his politics major. “He’s deeply curious about the world and easily makes connections between different ideas and people. 

“Jayson is someone who brings a level of excitement and enthusiasm to even the most mundane tasks,” said Shanks. “If you give Jayson a challenge, he will overcome it with intensity, vigor, and spirit.” 

“I have so enjoyed working with Jayson in a variety of settings, including a music theory class, Wind Ensemble, and a search committee,” said Associate Professor of Music Dr. Gretchen Renshaw. “In each environment, he brings a high level of professionalism and thoughtfulness, while also contributing his positive spirit and energy to the space.”   

Among his many campus activities, Crumpler served as President of the Student Senate during the 2022-2023 academic year and worked to restore campus traditions to student life after the pandemic. 

“Jayson has taken to heart the true meaning of the Hendrix experience by working to cultivate and preserve longstanding traditions for future Hendrix students,” said Jenny Kyle, director of student activities. “He also dedicated time to organizations that held special significance to him, including Campus Kitty Charity Organization, the Mental Health Committee, and competing in the 2024 Campus Kitty Miss Hendrix Competition.” 

See the full list of Honors Day Convocation 2024 award recipients.  

Before the student awards were presented, Dr. David Sutherland, interim provost, announced the winners of three Hendrix faculty awards. 

Physics professor Dr. Ann Wright received the United Methodist Church’s 2023-2024 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. 

Psychology Professor Dr. Jennifer Peszka received the 2023-2024 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.   

Student nominators praised Peszka, writing, “Dr. Peszka has consistently provided great advice for my near and far future. She has even provided me with ideas and connections to people I can get an internship from or research with. Dr. Peszka has been a tremendous help understanding my needs and providing me with comfort as I transition every semester ... On multiple occasions, Dr. Peszka has gone above and beyond what is required of her duties as an advisor ... I am extremely grateful to have her in my life and on my side.” 

English Professor Dr. Toni Jaudon received the Dr. Dionne Bennett Jackson Prize for Diversity and Inclusion, which celebrates demonstrated contributions to cultivating and nurturing a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming campus community.  

Her nominators praised her dedication “to her teaching practice and community development and works to promote student education, diversity, equity, inclusion, and well-being on the Hendrix campus. Recently, her scholarly work has turned more to pedagogy and narrative medicine, a response both to global and national trauma and the ever-growing percentage of students entering the health sciences ... Toni has actively and consistently amplified the concerned of marginalized students, including Trans+ and LBGTQ+ communities. One need look no further than the two Community Forums on Belonging at Hendrix to see the work that Toni has helped with.” 

About Hendrix College 

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at   

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose