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Hendrix College-Longtime Friend to UCA

Dear Friends,

When the employees of the UCA Archives were putting together the display materials for the Chavares Block/Ryan Henderson Collection, we were amazed at the size and the number of signatures on the Hendrix condolence banner.  It reminded me of the close friendship that UCA and Hendrix College have enjoyed over the years.  Even though the two schools were staunch rivals in sports for many decades, they also worked closely together.

The following was taken from “Hendrix College A Centennial History” by James E. Lester Jr., “The creation of a normal school in Conway led to an institutional rivalry between Hendrix and Arkansas State Normal School.  Both schools vied for local support as well as supremacy in athletics and other intercollegiate competition.  Initially, however, the Hendrix community welcomed the arrival of the new school.  In October, 10, 1908 the Mirror assured the faculty and students of the Normal School that ‘Hendrix entertains the best of good will towards the Arkansas State Normal…We do not believe that the life of your school means the death of ours, the existence of both can only work to the upbuilding of Conway and education…the promise for the future is bright.  We wish you success.'” The Hendrix College Mirror was a literary magazine.

The relationship between UCA’s second president, B.W. Torreyson and Hendrix College president, Dr. John Hugh Reynolds, was very close.  Torreyson and Reynolds were famous for playing practical jokes on one another.  In one instance, at the meeting of the Conway Rotary Club where both men were members, the following took place – but a bit of background information will help.

Torreyson, a native of Hillsboro, Virginia, was 61 years old when he became president of Arkansas State Normal School.  In 1923, when Dr. Reynolds made his comments, Torreyson was 67 years of age.  According to Ted Worley, author of “A History of Arkansas State Teachers College,” the following took place in 1923. “Rotary was the scene of much good-natured jousting between Torreyson and Dr. John Hugh Reynolds, president of Hendrix.  A typical exchange of compliments was that of 1923 when Dr. Reynolds remarked that Virginia men matured very late in life and therefore he had not abandoned hope for Torreyson.”

In 1959, UCA’s fifth president, Silas D. Snow, was granted an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) from Hendrix College.  Hendrix College has been a good friend to UCA and this friendship continued to be exhibited in the large 4′ x 12′ condolence banner that Hendrix students, faculty and staff created for UCA after the October 26, 2008 murders of Ryan Henderson and Chavares Block. This was a very kind gesture and UCA is indeed grateful to Hendrix for being so thoughtful.

There are approximately 500 names on the banner and some students left words of encouragement.  A few of those comments were captured on camera and are attached to this email.  This large banner will continue to be preserved, along with the Northern Illinois University banner, and with other materials in the Block/Henderson Collection in the UCA Archives.

Sincerely,
Jimmy