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Hendrix Cuts the Ribbon on New Dawkins Welcome Center

CONWAY, Ark. (September 29, 2017) – Hendrix College on the afternoon of September 29 celebrated the opening of its new front door of campus, the Mary Ann and David Dawkins Welcome Center, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the new facility at the intersection of Harkrider and Winfield Streets.

“The process of making these tons of wood and masonry and glass and tile and metal into something unmistakably Hendrix has, as you will see when you begin to explore inside, already begun,” said President William M. Tsutsui in his remarks at the ceremony. “One of the things that I love most about the Dawkins Welcome Center is the way in which it has been conceived and executed to embrace and reflect the creativity and character of the Hendrix community.” The building features creations by Hendrix students, faculty, and staff, ranging from paintings and prints to a glass wall bearing designs found on campus, and serving as a projection screen for video vignettes of scenes unique to Hendrix.

At 17,550 square feet, the Dawkins Welcome Center includes spaces designed for offering hospitality, sharing information with large and small groups, holding meetings with individual students and their families, and providing work space for the College’s admission and financial aid staff. The new facility features all-LED lighting (including lights that will radiate Hendrix orange from the cupola at night), connection to an energy-efficient district cooling loop providing climate control to multiple buildings on campus, and as many materials as possible sourced from within 500 miles of the construction site. Because of these and other elements of the construction, the College is expecting to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating for the building.

The building is named for Mary Ann and David Dawkins, United Methodists and longtime residents of Little Rock. After attending a performance of the Hendrix College Choir’s Candlelight Carol Service at First United Methodist Church in North Little Rock in 1986, Mary Ann Dawkins established an endowed scholarship fund at Hendrix in memory of her late husband. Following her death in 2014, Hendrix received the largest gift in its history from her estate. 

The Dawkins Welcome Center’s first major event geared toward prospective students will be held Saturday, November 4.

In the coming weeks, the Offices of Admission and Financial Aid will relocate to the Dawkins Welcome Center from historic Ellis Hall, a building on the south side of campus originally constructed to house Hendrix presidents and their families. Ellis Hall will then undergo renovation before becoming the new home of the Departments of Religion and Philosophy.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit