today announced its largest gift ever — $26 million from the estate of Mary Ann Dawkins
, an executive of an oil distributorship who died in 2014.
The college said the money will provide aid to students in the form of scholarships and reduced costs, and it's hoped to inspire others to contribute to a drive to build a welcome center on campus.
Dawkins established an endowment for a scholarship fund in memory of her late husband, Dr. David Dawkins, after attending a Hendrix choir concert in 1986. She was retired from Coulson Oil Company, founded by her parents, and had been corporate secretary.
The gift pushed the college's endowment over $200 million. Its previous record gift was $10.9 million from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
Later in the day, Dawkins' brother, Mike Coulson issued a statement:
“On behalf of all members of the Coulson family, we are very pleased and proud that my late sister, Mary Ann Dawkins chose to bestow such a major contribution to higher education in Arkansas, especially to a progressive and life-changing institution like Hendrix College.
“Our family, along with our professional family at Coulson Oil, is eager to see how Mary Ann’s gift will support the Hendrix community’s long-recognized culture of vision, innovation and life engagement. We wish the college our very best as the leadership continues to advance and sustain its position as a transformative force in higher education today.”