Hendrix College News

Hendrix to Dedicate John Churchill Memorial Plaza

Dedication set for Saturday, September 17, 10 a.m., behind the Murphy House

CONWAY, Ark. (August 31, 2022) — Hendrix College will dedicate the John Churchill Memorial Plaza on Saturday, September 17, at 10 a.m., behind the Bertie Wilson Murphy Building on “Tabor Top” in the heart of campus. A reception will follow the dedication. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the Murphy House.

The plaza celebrates Dr. Churchill’s numerous contributions to the academic reputation of Hendrix and his enduring support of the College’s liberal arts heritage. During his 24 years of service to the Hendrix community from 1977 to 2001, he served as a professor of philosophy, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College, and twice as interim president.

Churchill retired in 2013 as executive secretary of Phi Beta Kappa in Washington, D.C., before his passing in November 2019. An Arkansas native, Churchill graduated from Southwestern College (now Rhodes College) in Memphis, Tennessee, where he played football and received a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University.

The plaza, designed by Hendrix alumni Melanie Siegel ’85 and Will Lentz ’12, is located near the Bertie Wilson Murphy Building on Tabor Top, the former site of Tabor Hall, one of the original Hendrix buildings. In 1890, the area was recognized as the highest point in Conway.

In addition to the plaza, Hendrix will house the John Churchill Collection at Olin C. Bailey Library, and the College will also create an endowed scholarship in memory of Churchill and his wife, Jean, who died in September 2021. Jean Hill Churchill grew up in Little Rock, graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and later taught in the Conway Public Schools. Their oldest son, Will, is a 1999 Hendrix graduate.

To attend the Churchill Plaza dedication, RSVP to Ginny McMurray, Associate Vice President for Development, at mcmurray@hendrix.edu or 501-450-1431, by Monday, September 12.

To learn more about Dr. Churchill, visit the John Churchill Collection in Hendrix College’s Bailey Library Archives. Materials from the Churchill Collection will be on display at Bailey Library during the dedication of the Churchill Memorial Plaza. For inquiries about donating materials to the Churchill Collection or viewing the collection, contact Britt Anne Murphy, Director of the Library, at 501-450-1288 or murphyb@hendrix.edu.

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