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Professor Emeritus Stephen Kerr ’76, 1954-2018

CONWAY, Ark. (February 8, 2018) – The Hendrix community is saddened by the death yesterday of Stephen Kerr ’76, who retired from Hendrix College in 2015 as the Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business.

A 1976 alumnus of Hendrix, Kerr joined the faculty in 1979, after completing his master’s degree from Southern Methodist University and receiving his CPA designation. His primary teaching interests were federal taxation and financial accounting. In 1997, he received the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher Award for exemplifying “excellence in teaching; civility and concern for students and colleagues; commitment to value-centered education; and service to students, the institution, and community.”

From 1985 until 1998, Kerr served as chair of the Business and Economics Department. From 1999 through 2002 and again in 2004, he served as area chair for social sciences. An avid fan of Warrior athletics, he served as a faculty fellow to the men’s basketball team; away from campus, he served as an usher and communion steward at First United Methodist Church.

In April 2012, Hendrix senior men’s baseball players honored their number one fan by establishing an Odyssey endowment in Kerr’s name. The endowment supports engaged learning experiences in the area of professional and leadership development.

Dr. Lyle Rupert ’82, Professor of Economics and Business and chair of the department, recalled having Kerr first as his professor and later as his colleague. He called Kerr’s efficiency and work ethic “legendary,” and praised his gifts in mentoring and supporting colleagues and thousands of students.

“Students in his courses learned quickly to sit near the front so they wouldn’t miss any of his humorous and spontaneous comments,” Rupert said. “When that twinkle in his eye appeared, we knew something hilarious would soon follow! It was usually about the antics of his dog, Rose, or a joke about economists. We will truly miss him, but know that his influence lives on at Hendrix through all who were associated with him. I am proud to be called one of his friends and will treasure our memories forever.”

Visitation will be held at Smith Family Funeral Home in North Little Rock, Arkansas on Friday, February 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 10 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1610 Prince Street, Conway, Arkansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hendrix Athletics Program, the Hendrix Annual Fund, or the Parkinson’s Foundation.