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So Long, Class of 2016!

CONWAY, Ark. (May 14, 2016) —Hendrix College students in the Class of 2016 celebrated the end of four years of achievements and experiences today at the 132nd Hendrix Commencement ceremony in the Wellness and Athletics Center.

Hendrix awarded 281 degrees (270 undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degrees, 11 Master of Arts degrees in accounting).

Read the full list of graduates here.

“As we send you out today to begin your life’s next chapter, know that we will miss you here and that you left a mark on this place and on the people who remain behind,” said Hendrix President Bill Tsutsui. “Know too that Hendrix will be always with you, no matter where your individual paths may lead: the community instilled here, our tradition of excellence, and our collective commitment to engagement and service are now as much a part of you as you are forever a part of us.”

Prior to the conferral of degrees, Hendrix alumnus Dr. Aubrey J. Hough, Jr. ’66 was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree.

Hough is a distinguished professor and former Department of Pathology chairman at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) College of Medicine. Last year he became the inaugural University of Arkansas System University Professor in recognition of an extended period of exemplary service. The 1999 Hendrix Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award winner, he supported the Shideler-Hough Endowment for Education in Chemistry and the Charles Prentiss Hough Odyssey Professorship.

Hendrix Provost Dr. Terri Bonebright recognized four retiring faculty members, including accounting professor Dr. Stephen Kerr ’76, physics professor Dr. Robert Dunn, politics professor and former President Dr. Timothy Cloyd, and speech communication professor Mary Richardson.    

KIPP Delta Public Schools founder and executive director Scott Shirey addressed the Class of 2016. Shirey received the 2005 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award and in 2011 was named one of the world’s seven most powerful educators by Forbes Magazine. In 2015, Hendrix partnered with KIPP Delta in an effort to increase college completion rates for underserved students in the Delta. The partnership inspired the Hendrix Aspire Scholarship program. Next year, five KIPP Delta graduates will come to Hendrix, joining three KIPP alumni who enrolled last year, for a total of eight.

Shirey told the graduates of his journey to build a successful KIPP program in one of the most impoverished areas of the country.

“Optimism alone is not enough,” he said. “It must be paired with humility and deep grit … love and knowledge. So be humble and be gritty.”

Read the full text of his address here

About Hendrix College

Hendrix College is a private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas. Founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884, Hendrix is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges and is nationally recognized in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings for academic quality, community, innovation, and value. For more information, visit