Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, has announced a $26 million gift from the estate of Mary Ann Dawkins of Little Rock.
The largest gift in the college's history will support scholarships, promote college affordability, and be used to launch a fundraising campaign for a new welcome center at the northeast corner of campus. With Dawkins' gift, the Hendrix endowment has surpassed $200 million for the first time in the school's history.
Dawkins, who passed away in December 2014, attended a 1986 performance of the Hendrix College Choir's Candlelight Carol Service at First United Methodist Church in North Little Rock that inspired her to establish the Dr. David and Mary Ann Dawkins Endowed Scholarship Fund at Hendrix in memory of her late husband. She retired from Coulson Oil Company, which was founded by her parents and where she served as corporate secretary and a member of the company's board of directors, after forty-one years. She also served on the boards of the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association and Mid-South Make-A-Wish Foundation and supported Special Olympics.
"We are grateful, honored, and humbled by Mary Ann Dawkins' extraordinary generosity," said Hendrix College president Bill Tsutsui. "This gift will help us continue to attract bright and talented students and keep the world-class liberal arts education and student experience at Hendrix within reach of all young people and their families."