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Modernized Fine Arts Center to be named for Hendrix family

Mar 06, 2019

Driven by their passion for community and improving the lives of the people of Phillips County, Bettye and the late Dick Hendrix have been strong advocates of Phillips Community College from the beginning. Their latest support has been in the form of a lead gift toward modernizing the façade of the College’s fine arts center. (photo provided)


This is the architect’s rendering of what the fine arts center’s remodeled façade will look like when it is completed this summer.  At that time, the facility will be rededicated and renamed in recognition of the Hendrix family’s generous gift. (photo provided)


Modernized PCCUA-Helena Fine Arts Center to be named for Hendrix family


            For Bettye and the late Dick Hendrix, their love of community has been the driving force behind the passion they have felt to give of their time and financial resources.

            “I truly believe that where we come from helps make us the people we become,” said Mrs. Hendrix. “It helps chart the course for the rest of our lives. That being said, Dick and I have always felt a need to do what we can to improve the quality of life in Phillips County.”

Their latest gesture of love is in the form of a lead gift toward reconstructing the façade of the 47-year-old Fine Arts Center at Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas-Helena. In this project, which began in late December, 2018, the front is receiving a dramatic facelift, during which the entrance and foyer will be expanded and enclosed by Moser Construction, of Bryant, designed by SCM Architects, of Little Rock. Featuring a much more modern look, the center will be rededicated and renamed the Hendrix Fine Arts Center in recognition of their generous gift. This much needed transformation, with an anticipated date of completion of July 20, is being funded by private donations as well as college funds/reserves.

            Over the years, the Hendrixes’ overwhelming sense of responsibility to community has led to active involvement in church, business, education, healthcare, and the performing arts.

            Strong advocates of Phillips Community College from the beginning, Mrs. Hendrix was among those who gathered signatures throughout the community seeking the authority for the establishment of the college to be placed on the ballot for legislative approval in the early 60s.

            Community leaders for decades, the Hendrixes have also been strong supporters of the performing arts and Helena Little Theatre, actively involved in the work of the Warfield Concert Committee, and patrons of the series that has been presented in the Fine Arts Center for over 50 years. Both Bettye (in 2004) and Dick (in 2009) have been acknowledged for their significant contributions to the community by having been selected Citizen of the Year by the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce.

            In the mid-90s, the couple generously supported the project to restore the college-owned, historic community landmark known as the Pillow-Thompson House, which is now open to visitors on a regular basis and represents one of the finest examples of Queen Anne architecture in the South.

            In 2003, the art gallery inside the PCCUA Fine Arts Center was named in honor of the Hendrixes, who provided a generous endowment to support the long-term maintenance of the room. The Hendrix Gallery is widely used by both the College and the community, hosting numerous meetings, receptions, exhibitions, and social gatherings each year.

            Realizing the College’s role and tremendous impact on Phillips County, the Hendrixes also chose to endow two Phillips Community College Foundation (PCCF) scholarships. Each year, the Hendrix Business Scholarship and the Hendrix Nursing Scholarship provide financial assistance to Phillips County residents majoring in those fields.

Believing in the College and its mission, Mr. Hendrix also served on the Phillips County Council of the PCCF beginning in 2004. His service involved looking at ways to seek and secure non-traditional resources to support educational excellence within the institution.

            Thanking the Hendrix family for their continuing support and latest gift, Rhonda St. Columbia, PCCUA vice chancellor for college advancement, said, “We are deeply grateful to Dick and Bettye, who have helped Phillips College help our students and community for over 50 years. It is this vital support that fuels our commitment to further student achievement, bring positive change to our community, and ensure that we continue providing excellent opportunities to students.”