CONWAY, Ark. (April 2, 2018)
– Hendrix College will award the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to former
Heifer International CEO Jo Luck at the 134th Hendrix College Commencement,
which will take place Saturday, May 12, 2018, at 9 a.m. in the Wellness and
Athletic Center Event Gym. Hendrix College President William M. Tsutsui will
give the commencement address.
After teaching in Nashville,
San Diego, and Little Rock, Jo Luck became involved in politics and worked for
Arkansas Governors Bumpers, Pryor, White, and Clinton. She served on Governor
Clinton’s state cabinet as Director of the Arkansas Department of Parks and
Tourism from 1979 to 1989 before taking the position of International Program
Director at Heifer International for three years. In 1992, she became President
and CEO of the anti-hunger non-governmental organization, and remained there
until her 2011 retirement. During that time the non-profit grew from an annual
income of $7 million to $130 million, providing sustainable development
assistance and dignity to millions of farmers and families in developing
countries and in the United States.
In 2010, Luck was
named World Food Prize Laureate, an international honor often referred to by
world leaders as the “Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture.” Luck currently
works as a consultant on global food security issues and the empowerment of
women in developing countries. She recently completed her term as Chair of the
Program Oversight Panel for Aquatic Agricultural Systems for WorldFish (CIGAR)
based in Penang, Malaysia. She was a President Obama appointee to the Board for
International Food and Agriculture Development (BIFAD) advising the
Administrator of USAID in the State Department; a member of the Global
Agriculture Development International Committee, Chicago Council of Global
Affairs; and a member of the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agricultural
Innovation and Productivity for the 21st Century.
She has traveled to 65
countries in her work to end hunger, visiting rural poverty-stricken
communities and speaking to conferences, colleges and universities, and
delivering commencement addresses (including Hendrix College’s 2003 address).
She attributes her success to never compromising her core values and truly
listening to those she has served.
The College honored her in
2004 with its first-ever Odyssey Medal given for Service to the World. In
addition to being a Hendrix alumna, Luck is also the proud mother of two
alumni, Beth Wilson Gray ’94 and Mark Wilson ’93.
Hendrix College President
and Professor of History William M. “Bill” Tsutsui will deliver the
commencement address to the Class of 2018. Tsutsui began his presidency in
2014, the same year this class entered Hendrix.
“Having been at Hendrix for
four full academic years now, in some ways I consider this to be my senior year
alongside these fantastic, dedicated students,” Tsutsui said. “While I’ll be
sticking around, it will be an honor to bid them farewell as they move on to
Tsutsui, who is a professor
of history in addition to his role as president, holds degrees from Harvard,
Oxford, and Princeton universities. He previously served as dean of Dedman
College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University from 2010
to 2014. Prior to joining SMU, Tsutsui spent 17 years at the University of
Kansas, where he served as acting director of KU’s Center for East Asian
Studies, chair of the Department of History, founding executive director of the
Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas, and associate dean for
International Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
An award-winning classroom
teacher, Tsutsui is the author or editor of eight books, including Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific
Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, Godzilla
on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters, and Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization, as well as numerous
articles on modern Japanese history. He has received Fulbright, ACLS, and
Marshall fellowships, and was awarded the John Whitney Hall Prize of the
Association for Asian Studies in 2000, the William Rockhill Nelson Prize for
Non-Fiction in 2005, and the inaugural Bridges to Friendship Award from the
Japan America Society of Greater Austin in 2015. His teaching and research
focus on the business, environmental, and cultural history of twentieth-century
Overflow seating will be
available in the Recreation Gym and in the Student Life and Technology Center
(SLTC), where the ceremony will be telecast.
The Class of 2018 will
process through the Recreation Gym, where the Hendrix Wind Ensemble will
perform, with their music broadcast into the Event Gym.
commencement, there will be a faculty reception for graduates in the Young-Wise
Memorial Stadium Plaza (or in the Recreation Gym in the event of rain).
For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu/commencement.
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 www.hendrix.edu.