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Reynolds, John Hugh (1869-1954) | Hendrix College Archives

Name: Reynolds, John Hugh (1869-1954)

Historical Note:

Reynolds was born in 1869 in Faulkner County. He attended nearby Quitman College for a year. He then taught school at West Point in White County for another year before traveling to Altus to enroll at Hendrix. He went with the school when it relocated to Conway in 1890. Reynolds became an outstanding student, serving as the co-editor and assistant business manager of the Hendrix College Mirror.

Following his graduation from Hendrix in 1893, Reynolds had ambitions of becoming a lawyer, but difficult economic times forced him into a teaching career. In 1897, after earning the Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, he returned to Hendrix as a professor of history and political science. He moved to Fayetteville in 1902 where he became a professor of history and political science at the University of Arkansas.

Over the next decade he developed a reputation as one of the state's most active scholars. By 1910 he had become the head of the history department on the Fayetteville campus. That same year the Hendrix Board of Trustees offered Reynolds the presidency, but he declined, probably because he hoped to become the president of the University of Arkansas-a dream that almost came true. In 1913 Reynolds recognized his ambition of becoming the president of the Fayetteville campus would probably never be realized and accepted the position as president of Hendrix College - a post he would hold for the next thirty-two years. In doing so, he became the first non-clergyman to serve as president of the institution. At his retirement, Reynolds left a legacy of new buildings, increased endowment, outstanding faculty members and competent graduates.

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