CONWAY, Ark. (March
10, 2020) — Hendrix College will posthumously award the honorary Doctorate of
Humane Letters to Jack Singleton ’63 at the 136th Hendrix College Commencement,
which will take place Saturday, May 16, at 9 a.m. in the Wellness and Athletics
Center Event Gym.
Dr. Jay Barth ’87,
professor emeritus of politics, will deliver the Commencement Address.
will be available in the Recreation Gym, where the ceremony will be telecast.
The Class of 2020 will also process and recess through the Recreation Gym.
following 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
information, visit www.hendrix.edu/commencement.
About Jack Singleton
Jack Singleton graduated
from Little Rock Central High School in 1957. His sadness over the division and
anger of the community surrounding integrating the school inspired his
life-long passion for justice. He graduated from Hendrix College and earned a Master
of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at SMU.
known for his involvement in justice ministries. While attending Perkins School
of Theology at SMU, he became involved in the Civil Rights movement, marching
in Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and hosting King on a visit to the SMU
campus. Later in his life, he would be instrumental in starting Arkansas’ first
Habitat for Humanity affiliate, and would also serve on the Board of Our House
He worked for
eight years as a staff member of Keep America Beautiful, focusing on
environmental issues and receiving two awards for his work: the KAB Innovation
Award for the Litter Free Zone Program for schools, and the 2009 Arkansas Outstanding
Environmental Educator. Singleton visited the Monarch butterfly overwintering
colonies in Mexico and helped many central Arkansas schools create butterfly
habitats on their campuses.
His most recent
involvement as a Hendrix College alumnus was participating in the annual Dean’s
Civil Rights Trip, a student experience funded by the Hendrix Odyssey Program.
The group, led by Dean of Students Jim Wiltgen and Chaplain J.J. Whitney ’96,
made stops in Birmingham, Montgomery, Marion, and Selma, Ala., Jackson, Miss.,
and Memphis, Tenn., to visit museums, memorials, and historic sites. Having Singleton,
a foot soldier of the Civil Rights movement, recount his participation in the Selma
Ministers’ March, gave students a valuable first-hand account of the events of March
9, 1965 — 55 years ago this week. Jack Singleton died July 27, 2019.
Through his service
to the College and to humanity, and his efforts in working for justice, Jack
Singleton inspired fellow members of the Hendrix community, modeling what it
means to live a life of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.
About Jay Barth
A native of
central Arkansas, Barth graduated from Hendrix in 1987, and went on to earn a
master’s degree and a doctorate in political science from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He returned to teach at Hendrix in 1994, and
after 26 years as a faculty member retired in December 2019 as the M.E. and Ima
Graves Peace Professor of Politics and Director of the Arkansas Policy Program
at Hendrix College. From 2012 to 2019, Barth was a member of the Arkansas State
Board of Education, which he chaired for two years.
His academic work
includes research on the politics of the South, state government and politics,
LGBTQ politics, political communication (particularly radio advertising), and
the achievement gap in Arkansas. He is the co-author (with the late Diane D.
Blair) of the second edition of Arkansas
Politics and Government: Do the People Rule? (University of Nebraska Press,
Barth was named 2007
Arkansas Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement
of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE),
the 2014 winner of the Southern Political Science Association’s Diane Blair
Award for Outstanding Achievement in Politics and Government, and received the
2018 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Arkansas Political Science
Association. In 2000-01, he received the Steiger Congressional Fellowship from
the American Political Science Association and served on the staff of the late
U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone (MN) working on education and civil rights policy.
He has been a
contributor to Talk Business &
Politics through the organization’s polling partnership with the College,
and a columnist for the Arkansas Times.
involvement has included serving on the Central Arkansas Water Board of
Commissioners, and chairing the boards of a number of organizations, including
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Just Communities of Arkansas, the
ACLU of Arkansas, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Pulaski County, and the
National Association of State Boards of Education. In December 2019, he was
appointed as the first chief education officer (CEdO) for the City of Little
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 www.hendrix.edu.