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Hendrix to Award Odyssey Medals to Clark, Miles, Mills

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CONWAY, Ark. (October 18, 2019) – Hendrix College will award its 2019-2020 Odyssey Medals on Thursday, November 14, during a special reception in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. Alumni receiving this year’s honors are Patterson Clark ’77 for Artistic Creativity; Dr. Rebekah Miles ’82 for Research; and Mike Mills ’74 for Professional and Leadership Development. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., with the presentation of medals at 6 p.m.

The Odyssey Medal is presented to alumni whose life achievements exemplify the ideals of the Hendrix Odyssey Program. Medalists are selected by the Hendrix Board of Trustees for their accomplishments in one of the six Odyssey categories: Artistic Creativity, Global Awareness, Professional and Leadership Development, Service to the World, Research, or Special Projects.

Artist and journalist Patterson Clark produces data visualizations and informational graphics related to energy and environmental policy for the news organization Politico. His journalism career began at The Arkansas Gazette in the 1980s and continued at The Miami Herald. For 20 years, Patterson served as science graphics editor for The Washington Post and highlighted unusual details about D.C.’s flora and fauna in Urban Jungle, a weekly natural history column he wrote and illustrated. As a National Park Service volunteer, he removes invasive vegetation from a park near his Washington, D.C. home and converts the harvest into art that spotlights the hidden value inherent in alien weeds.

Native Arkansan and sixth generation United Methodist Dr. Rebekah Miles is Professor of Ethics and Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She teaches and writes in the areas of ethics and theology, shepherds students through their theological education, and works to strengthen ties between theological school and church. A moral theologian, she is an author, co-author, and editor of numerous articles, books, essays, and papers. Miles is currently working on a book on death and several essays on political theology. She and her husband, Len Delony ’81, are United Methodist clergy members of the Arkansas Conference where they once served as co-pastors for two rural churches.

For more than four decades, Mike Mills has been the Natural State’s foremost tourism ambassador and entrepreneur. In 1976, he founded Buffalo Outdoor Center on the Buffalo National River, and later developed the state’s first log cabin resort and first zip line canopy tour. He has served on numerous organizations devoted to conservation, economic development, hospitality, and outdoor recreation. A 2018 Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame inductee, Mills has appeared in National Geographic among many other state and national publications, and has received numerous awards and honors for his tireless advocacy of Arkansas’ outdoors and tourism.

Established in 2004, the Odyssey Program requires all Hendrix College students to complete three Odyssey experiences or projects during their undergraduate careers, in three of the six Odyssey categories. The program ensures that students look beyond the classroom to experience educational opportunities in the liberal arts and sciences.

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