News Center

Alumnus to Direct Arkansas Oral and Visual History Center

CONWAY, Ark. (January 14, 2013) - Hendrix alumnus Randy Dixon, former news director of KATV in Little Rock, has been chosen after an extensive national search to be director of the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History at the University of Arkansas.  

Dixon, a 1981 Hendrix alumnus, had a 31-year career in the news department at KATV. He began as a news photographer and worked his way up to the position of news director, which he held for 10 years. His work earned 10 regional Emmys, 22 regional and four national Edward R. Murrow awards, more than four dozen Associated Press awards and three Gold World Medals from the New York Festivals. Dixon founded Dixon Digital Media, a media consulting firm and video production company, in 2011. In August of that year he began working with the Pryor Center to review, evaluate and digitize the KATV archive. 

He will be responsible for managing all aspects of the Pryor Center, working under the supervision of the associate vice chancellor in the Office of the Chancellor. His duties will include hiring, training and supervising the center's five-person staff; planning, budgeting and developing means to organize and share the center's collections with the people of the state and nation. He will also work with the assistant vice chancellor for development to plan and manage fundraising for the center.

Dixon will also be responsible for two major upcoming projects: launching the Arkansas Story Bus, a project intended to generate more interviews with people across the state; and supervising the center's move to new facilities on the downtown Fayetteville square.

The Pryor Center was established in 1999 with a gift of $220,000 from unexpended campaign funds by then-Sen. David Pryor. In 2005 a $2 million gift from Don Tyson and his family provided an endowment for the center, enabling it to expand its staff and purchase additional equipment. The university Board of Trustees renamed the center in honor of Sen. Pryor and his wife, Barbara.

The mission of the Pryor Center is to document Arkansas history by collecting audio and video interviews and images from the people who have witnessed and been a part of the state's past. The center staff has compiled hundreds of interviews and images over the past 14 years, and its archive has grown to include 24,000 hours of video and news film, dating back to the 1950s, that was donated by KATV in 2009. The goal of the center is to make this material available to the public and to students and researchers at all academic levels.

The official news release is available here.  

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country's best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit