Hendrix College President Ellis Arnold Announces Retirement

Hendrix College President Ellis Arnold Announces Retirement
Ellis Arnold III (Hendrix College)

Hendrix College President Ellis Arnold on Tuesday announced that he'll retire in June 2023 after more than three years leading the private liberal arts school in Conway.

The college said a national search for his successor will begin in the fall.

Under Arnold's leadership, Hendrix saw record endowment growth and fundraising, including a $150 million campaign that it expects to complete later this year. The college saw a record number of student applications for two straight years under Arnold.

"The Hendrix community is deeply grateful to Ellis for his service to the College and the progress achieved during his tenure as President," Jo Ann Biggs, chair of the Hendrix College board of trustees, said in a news release. "He has inspired the Hendrix community to reach new heights, and he has led with humble character, relentless focus on essential priorities, tireless optimism, and a deep love for the enduring reputation and traditions of Hendrix."

Arnold is a 1979 graduate of Hendrix College who went on to receive his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He practiced law in the city from 1982 to 1990, when he began his career in education as Hendrix's vice president for development and college relations. He also led the college's church relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing, and served as general counsel.

Arnold in 1996 was named president of Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee. He was the head of Pulaski Academy in Little Rock from 2004 to 2008. Arnold then returned to Hendrix College and held various leadership roles before taking over as president in 2019 for the retiring Bill Tsutsui.

"As someone whose life and career has been shaped by the values of Hendrix, I am honored for the opportunity to have played a role in advancing the College as a national leader in engaged learning and the liberal arts," Arnold said in the release. "It has been a privilege to work alongside our dedicated faculty and staff and talented students. Together, we capitalized on opportunities and confronted challenges with confidence and determination, emerging stronger and strategically positioned for the next decade." 

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