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Founders Day 2014

CONWAY, Ark. (August 23, 2014) – Hendrix College awarded Odyssey Medals to four alumni at the Founders' Day Convocation today in Staples Auditorium.

The Odyssey Medal is awarded by the Hendrix College Board of Trustees to alumni whose personal and professional achievements exemplify the values of engaged liberal arts and sciences education.

This year's recipients are "a testament to our faculty, models to our students and an inspiration to us all," said Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui.

Interior designer Brad Ford '89, who received the Odyssey Medal for Artistic Creativity, said that Hendrix's inclusivity and encouragement to have an open mind rekindled his childhood love of craft and set him on his path.

"One of my greatest rewards is to be able to make a living doing something that I'm passionate about," said Ford, who has been featured as one of "10 New Designers to Watch" in both New York Spaces Magazine and New York Magazine, and was also named one of America's Top Young Designer's by House Beautiful and Traditional Home.

Princeton Theological Seminary professor Dr. Elsie Anne McKee '73 received the Odyssey Medal for Research said Hendrix was a "rich, stimulating intellectual adventure."

McKee is an expert in the history and theology of the Reformation and has a strong interest in cross-cultural issues developed by her and her family's experience in central Africa. She is the author of nine books, and her focus is Calvin's church doctrine and the life and impact of 16thcentury reformer Katharina Schütz Zell.

Pulaski County Judge F.G. "Buddy" Villines '69 received the Odyssey Medal for Professional and Leadership Development. Villines told the audience how he came from a family of United Methodist ministers but found his calling to public service at Hendrix. As the chief executive officer of county government, he has overseen the construction of nearly $150 million in projects including the Two Rivers Park Bridge; the Big Dam Bridge, the world's longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge specifically designed for that purpose; and the Junction Bridge, a historic railroad bridges converted for pedestrian use.

Civic and community engagement professor and scholar Dr. Amanda Moore McBride '93 received the Odyssey Medal for Service to the World.

Moore McBride, who is on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, said three Hendrix attributes have influenced her: people, perspective and pedagogy.

Her work includes building international and national service initiatives, applying youth service as a component of youth development, and understanding and communicating the service mission of the academy. She is director of the Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service, associate dean at the Brown School, research director for the Center for Social Development and faculty fellow for WUSTL's Institute for School Partnership. Her research involves the study of higher education's role in international service efforts.

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the sixth 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 latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review's The Best 378 Colleges, Forbesmagazine's list of America's Top Colleges, and the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit