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Eloise Raymond, 1924-2021

CONWAY, Ark. (August 16, 2021) – The Hendrix community is saddened by the August 1 death of Eloise Raymond, who taught in the Hendrix College Department of Economics and Business from 1951 to 1988. 

She came to Hendrix alongside her husband, Dr. Albert Raymond, who was hired to teach biology (and who retired as the inaugural Virginia A. McCormick Pittman Distinguished Professor of Biology). The pair were married for 66 years, until Albert’s death in 2012. 

Eloise Raymond’s obituary highlights her work for the advancement of the accounting profession and her mentoring of Hendrix students as part of that work. She received the President’s Award from the National Association of Accountants in 1986-87 and was lauded by the American Institute of CPAs in Arkansas for bringing students to the organization’s meetings to introduce them to opportunities for networking and education.

In the James E. Lester Jr. book Hendrix College: A Centennial History, Eloise Raymond is cited as one of two faculty members responsible for bringing the first courses in computer programming to Hendrix in 1973. Because of her efforts, by 1982, more than one-fourth of Hendrix students received some form of instruction in computer science.

Dr. Lyle Rupert ’82, C. Louis and Charlotte Cabe Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business at Hendrix, knew Raymond first as his teacher and academic advisor, and later as his colleague when he joined the faculty. 

“I loved her teaching style – energetic, challenging, and supportive,” Rupert said, noting that her encouragement influenced his decision to attend graduate school and to teach. “I ended up attending her alma mater, the University of Chicago, and was thrilled to be offered a teaching job at Hendrix. She continued as my mentor and helped me get a good start to my teaching career. I have many fond memories of her that I will cherish the rest of my life and appreciate the positive and lasting influence she had on me.”

Rupert also shared a story about Raymond’s energy level impressing her students in the 1980s: “Our classroom was on the third floor of Mills, about even with her office on the second floor. She came into class and set her materials down. She made a comment about leaving a certain handout in her office and exited the classroom. Within seconds, she was back in the classroom with the handout. We concluded she must have jumped over the railing from the third floor to the second floor, retrieved the handout, and climbed back up over the railing to get back to the classroom so quickly. There was no way she had time to use the stairs!”

In addition to her work on the faculty, Raymond was active in the Hendrix Dames, a group that contributed to scholarship fundraising efforts, campus beautification, and graduate banquets, among other improvements to the College; and in First United Methodist Church, where her activities included helping to start the Clifton Day Care Center, a nonprofit that provided childcare for low-income workers.