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Founders Day 2009

CONWAY, Ark. (Sept. 30, 2009) – Hendrix College will award Odyssey Medals to seven alumni whose life achievements exemplify “Your Hendrix Odyssey” during a special ceremony as part of the college’s annual Founders Day Oct. 22. The recipients will be honored during an 11:10 a.m. Convocation in Staples Auditorium on the Hendrix campus.

Winners include:

  • Sheri Bylander ’85 for Artistic Creativity
  • Doug Blackmon ’86 for Global Awareness
  • Dr. William H. Fox ’60 for Professional and Leadership Development
  • Eric Kenefick ’84 for Service to the World
  • Dr. C. Michael Crowder ’82 for Research
  • Martha Jane Murray ’77 for Special Projects
  • Bryce Williams Reveley ’66 for Special Projects (Awarded in 2008-09)

About the Winners

Sheri Bylander, a New York-based filmmaker and editor, made her directing debut with Homestretch, a documentary about the redemption possible when used-up racehorses meet prison inmates. The film showed on PBS in Spring and Summer 2009. She has also edited the award-winning Rising Low for Phish bassist Mike Gordon; worked as an associate producer of Wonderland, a Cable Ace award winner chronicling the post-war phenomenon of Levittown, N.Y.; edited Al Maysles’ Grey Gardens: From East Hampton to Broadway; associate editor on A Love Song For Bobby Long, starring John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson; and additional editor on A Hole In One, a dark comedy about the days when lobotomies were elective surgery. Her first feature, Fast Food Fast Women, went on to win the Ecumenical Jury award at the Cannes Film Festival, giving her a peek at the glamour possible when you step outside the cutting room. She recently edited The Philanthropist, an NBC dramatic series about a vigilante philanthropist who often gets into trouble as he tries to do good. Bylander has also edited documentary-style and reality television shows like First 48, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List and Wife Swap. She was a History major at Hendrix.

Douglas Blackmon is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, a searing examination of how slavery was resurrected long after the Emancipation Proclamation and persisted deep into the 20th century. During the past 20 years, Blackmon has written extensively about the American quandary of race, exploring the integration of schools during his childhood in a Mississippi Delta farm town, lost episodes of the Civil Rights movement, and, repeatedly, the dilemma of how a contemporary society should grapple with a troubled past. As The Wall Street Journal’s bureau chief in Atlanta, he manages the paper’s coverage of the Southeastern U.S., including coverage of publicly traded companies and key news and issues, including race, immigration, poverty, politics and, in recent years, global warming and hurricanes Blackmon's stories or the work of his team have been nominated by the Journal for Pulitzer Prizes four times, including for coverage of the subprime meltdown, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Florida hurricanes in 2004 and for his 2001 examination of slave labor in the 20th century. His article on U.S. Steel was included in the 2003 edition of Best Business Stories. The Journal’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina received a special National Headliner award in 2006. Blackmon penned his first newspaper story at the age of 12, for the Progress, in his hometown of Leland, Mississippi.

Bill Fox is the Senior Vice President for External Affairs Emeritus at Emory University in Atlanta after numerous years of service to the university, beginning when he received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in literature and theology. He both taught and served as an administrator in his academic department until 1979 when he was appointed to become the Dean of Campus Life and later the Vice President and Dean of Campus. Fox was named Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement in 1998 and served in that position until 2004, when he resigned to become the Senior Vice President for External Affairs – a position he held until he retired from Emory. After receiving his degree from Hendrix, Fox spent a year as the Director of Activities at Winfield Methodist Church in Little Rock before entering the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University to pursue a Master of Theology degree. It was there he met and fell in love with Carol Lewis, a native of Little Rock who was an SMU undergraduate. They married in 1966 and recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary. Fox remained at SMU after he received his masters degree and ultimately became the Dean of Men, the youngest person at that time in the United States to have a full dean title. The Foxes do not have children, but they feel as if they’ve had thousands since both of them worked with students for their entire careers. They love to travel and they’ll go almost anywhere on the planet – and beyond. The moon sounds like a lovely trip to them.

Eric Kenefick lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and works for the World Food Programme’s Regional Bureau for eastern, central and southern Africa, which supports WFP operations in 19 countries in the region as well as working with other United Nations agencies and governments at national and regional levels. Upon graduation from Hendrix, he was a high school biology and chemistry teacher in Fiji as a Peace Corps volunteer before returning to Arkansas in March 1993 when he worked as a Youth and Programme Director at Trinity United Methodist Church. During that time, he worked with a group to establish the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) group for Central Arkansas. He later went to Cambodia to work with UNICEF on preparing the National Nutrition Investment Strategy and continued to do consulting work with UNICEF and the WFP in Cambodia (including 4 months doing a refugee study in Bangladesh) until late 2000 when he moved back to the U.S. He took consulting jobs with WFP and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Myanmar, Nepal and Cambodia until moving to Rome in 2002 to work full time with WFP in their headquarters. He spent more than three years working in the Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) unit in Rome, mostly in survey design and analysis for measuring levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in West Africa (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana), Southern Africa (Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar), Eastern Africa (Eritrea) and Central Asia (Tajikistan and Azerbaijan). He also spent time in Afghanistan and was part of the first assessment team, along with the CDC in Darfur in 2004.

Dr. Michael Crowder presently serves as the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor of Anesthesiology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. He completed a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Washington in Seattle before returning in 1993 as a postdoctoral fellow in molecular genetics and an instructor in anesthesiology. In addition to research involving identifying the targets of general anesthetics as well as looking for genes that control survival and adaptation to cellular injury from low oxygen, he is an attending anesthesiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he cares primarily for patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures. He also is a faculty member at the University's Hope Center for Neurological Disorders. Crowder is an author of more than 90 publications, and he has lectured nationally and internationally. He has trained numerous students and fellows. He is active in many professional societies and organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Society for Neuroscience. He is an associate editor for Anesthesiology and reviews manuscripts for 18 other journals. He is a recipient of the Public Health Service National Research Service Award and the Philip Needleman Pharmacology Prize. He has received awards and funding from the American Heart Association and the McKnight Foundation, and his studies on anesthesia mechanisms and hypoxic injury have been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1997.

Martha Jane Murray works for the William J. Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative where she serves as a policy associate to address global warming with large scale and replicable green building projects. Her past work included an emphasis on green buildings in healthcare, neighborhood planning, residential and camp structures. An architect, Murray was the first LEED Accredited Professional in Arkansas and the founding chair of the USGBC-Arkansas Chapter. She was one of five national core committee members who organized the national USGBC GreenBuild 2005 response for the Katrina sustainable rebuilding effort. She spent two years working on sustainable rebuilding strategies for New Orleans, particularly in the public school system. Murray was the LEED A.P. on the first LEED Gold certified project in the state of Arkansas. As a passionate researcher and design practitioner of “green buildings,” she has made numerous other public presentations including participating as a master speaker at the USGBC GreenBuild 2009, the Arkansas Governor’s School, Atlanta’s Greenprints Conference, ASHRAE’s Regional Conference, Rebuild America’s Regional Peer Exchange and the USGBC’s GreenBuild 2004 Chapter Day. She just concluded a term on the national USGBC’s Government Committee and was one of 15 people nationally selected by the USGBC for their 15th Anniversary feature video series and written publication. Currently, she serves on the Advisory Board at the University of Texas-Arlington School of Architecture, Potlatch’s Community Advisory Committee and she is a member of the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum.

Bryce Williams Reveley owns and operates Gentle Arts, an uptown New Orleans business that cleans, restores, conserves and appraises old lace. Begun in 1983 out of her home and later moving to Jena Street, her clients are individuals as well as auction houses and museums, such as the New Orleans Museum of Art, who she represented as resident conservator. During Hurricane Katrina, Bryce evacuated to Assumption Parish, but began receiving desperate calls from residents after the storm. She reopened her shop in October 2005 to meet the growing demand. Over the past two years, she has restored countless heirloom wedding gowns, World War II uniforms, tablecloths, christening gowns and even Rex livery medallions ravaged in the flood. For some clients, those objects were the only things they tried to salvage after everything else was piled on the curb. The Little Rock native became interested in textiles when she took a lace-tatting course in her 30s, while pregnant with her first daughter. By the time her second daughter was born, the hobby had become a passion. Reveley studied textile conservation and lace identification at the American Institute of Textile Arts in Boston and spent three summers in London earning a certificate from the University of Textiles Conservation. She has been featured in Southern Accents magazine and on the Home and Garden network. She is a regular textile expert at Doyle New York auction house. She has appeared as an appraiser on the public television show "Antiques Roadshow" (the American Society of Appraisers created a textile appraisal license for her) and has even served as an expert witness in dry-cleaning litigation cases.

Hendrix College, founded in 1876, is an undergraduate liberal arts college emphasizing experiential learning in a demanding yet supportive environment. The college is among the 165 colleges featured in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit