CONWAY, Ark. (June 5, 2019) – Two Hendrix College professors
have been named to distinguished professorships. At an installation ceremony scheduled
for August 29, Dr. John Krebs will become the Willis H. Holmes Distinguished
Professor of Music, and Dr. Matthew D. Moran will become the Elbert L. Fausett
Distinguished Professor of Biology.
The professorship Krebs will hold was established in 1976 and is
named for Willis H. Holmes, a 1921 Hendrix graduate, an attorney, and a member of the Board of
Trustees for the College from 1964 until his death in 1975. Krebs will be the
fifth faculty member to hold the Holmes Distinguished Professorship, following
in the footsteps of Dr. M. Francis Christie (1976-1989), Dr. Rosemary E.
Henenberg (1991-2002), Dr. M. Warfield Teague (2002-2008), and Dr. John B. “Jay”
“It’s daunting to see the names of my predecessors,” Krebs said.
“I feel honored to be associated with this professorship.”
He had not known he was in the running for a distinguished
professorship until he learned of his selection from College Provost Dr. Terri
Bonebright. “She came over to my office to make the offer and watch me nod in
astonishment,” he said.
Krebs, who arrived at Hendrix in 1992, has taught courses
covering music fundamentals, opera, Western classical music, the history of
jazz, and more, including individual piano instruction. Alongside religious
studies professor Jay McDaniel, he co-taught The Engaged Citizen course “Music,
Spirit, and Community,” encouraging students to explore how various forms of
popular music provide context for social engagement and spiritual sustenance. A
gifted accompanist, he often appears at the piano in support of other talented
instrumental and vocal performers in central Arkansas, across the U.S., and
He hopes to use some of the professorship’s funding to bring
visitors to campus to perform in concert as well as talk with students about how
to build successful full-time careers in the performing arts. He will begin
teaching World Music this fall, and expects to find opportunities to use the
funding in conjunction with the student learning experiences that course
provides, as well.
A native of Iowa, Krebs holds degrees in piano performance from
Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and the University of
Maryland. As the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, he also studied at the
Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. He has served as
president of the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association, chaired the
Humanities Area of Hendrix College, and served three terms as chair of the
Department of Music.
In addition to praising Krebs’s talent as a musician and
professor, the colleague who nominated him for the distinguished professorship
noted that Krebs’s role as “the consummate accompanist” has served the College
well in collaborative situations beyond those that place him at a piano
keyboard. The nomination letter praised his effectiveness in committee work,
including his time on the Odyssey Task Force, the Strategic Planning Committee,
and numerous influential committee assignments related to academic affairs.
“Within the realm of professional development, the bulk of Dr.
Krebs activities and accomplishments may be seen to diverge from what is
traditionally (though, I believe, too narrowly) thought of as ‘scholarship,’
but they very much conform to what Hendrix values in this area,” wrote his
colleague. “While I have not personally observed Dr. Krebs in the classroom,
many of my advisees have taken courses of his, as well as piano lessons from
him. To a person, I have only heard positive feedback. Furthermore, in my
personal interactions with him, I understand Dr. Krebs to be an exceedingly
patient and dedicated professor who is genuinely interested in the well-being
of his students.”
The professorship Moran will hold was established in 1980 to
honor Elbert L. Fausett, a leading Arkansas businessman, realtor, member of the
Board of Trustees, and long-time friend of the College. Moran is the fifth
Hendrix faculty member to hold the Fausett Distinguished Professorship; previous
recipients include Dr. George H. Thompson (1980-1991), Dr. Robert C. Eslinger
(1997-2004), Dr. Thomas E. Goodwin (2004-2016), and Dr. Stella M. Čapek
When Provost Bonebright notified Moran of his selection for the professorship,
he was in the hospital recovering from a knee replacement. “It was a nice thing
to hear when you’re going through a pretty painful surgery and recovery,” he
Moran sees a number of possibilities for using the funding that
comes with the endowed professorship, but “regardless, it will be work that
benefits students,” he said—possibly through field research on the prairies of
Oklahoma, or in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica, two sites he
visits frequently for scientific study.
He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware,
where he studied the role of insect predators in grassland communities. At
Hendrix, he has taught courses on ecology and evolution, zoology, field ecology,
and natural history.
Dr. Moran has led numerous field trips to study the natural
environment including experiences in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, Tanzania, and
the American Southwest. Colleagues who nominated Moran cited his productivity
in research and writing, his teaching skills, and his leadership and mentoring
of both students and faculty.
“Matt has truly excelled in his mentoring of students in recent
years, not just in numbers (17 highly active research students last year alone)
but in quality of the student experience (10 are already co-authors on
peer-reviewed papers and 16 gave presentations at scientific meetings last
year),” wrote his colleagues. “One need only be in the general vicinity of one
of Matt’s meetings with his groups of research students to hear the laughter of
students who are truly enjoying the research experience, from project
conception stage to paper submission and presentation stage.”
Krebs and Moran will be honored at an installation ceremony
during a campus-wide convocation on Thursday, August 29, at 11:10 a.m. in Reves
Recital Hall, Trieschmann Fine Arts Building.
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,