Hendrix College will present Odyssey Medals to six alumni at the 2011 Founders Day convocation on Thursday, Oct. 27, at 11:10 a.m. in Staples Auditorium.
The medal winners are; Wendy R. Anderson ‘93, for Global Awareness; William Ragsdale ‘83, for Artistic Creativity; Tommy Sanders ‘76, for Special Projects; Benjamin Schumacher ‘82, for Research; William C. Temple ‘73, for Professional and Leadership Development; Dr. Joe Thompson ‘84, for Service to the World.
Hendrix will also honor Bill Fox ‘60, who received the 2009 Odyssey Medal for Professional and Leadership Development and was unable to attend the awards ceremony.
Odyssey Medals are given to alumni whose achievements exemplify the ideals of Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning, the college’s engaged learning initiative.
Wendy R. Anderson
After earning a religion degree from Hendrix, Wendy Anderson received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and studied the prevention of deadly conflict and the role of religion in it in Russia, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and India. She later completed a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Wendy R. Anderson is the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense at the US Department of Defense. Previously, she served as Special Assistant to the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics at the Department. Prior to joining the Department in 2010, she served as professional staff on the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. While Deputy Director of External Affairs at the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Anderson worked on post-conflict reconstruction in South Asia, the Middle East, and the Great Lakes region of Africa. She is a Senior Fellow at the Truman National Security Project, a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and served on the Council’s 2009-2010 Independent Task Force on Pakistan and Afghanistan.
William Ragsdale
After earning a humanities degree from Hendrix, El Dorado, Ark., native William Ragsdale attended the Drama Studio London’s American Program in Berkeley, Calif., where he studied Shakespeare and began to work in theater and commercials. His television, theater, and film roles include Smooth Talk with Laura Dern, Columbia Pictures’ Fright Night and its sequel, the Broadway production and national tour of Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues and its sequel Broadway Bound with Nathan Lane, the movie sequel Mannequin II, the title role in Fox Television’s Herman’s Head, and a Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s Getting Away With Murder. He has appeared as a guest artist on a number of successful television shows, including Ellen, Judging Amy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Desperate Housewives, and The Mentalist. His acting awards and honors include the National Society of Arts and Letters Drama Competition, San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award, Drama-Logue Award, Carbonell Award and a People Choice’s Award nomination.
Tommy Sanders
After earning a theatre arts degree from Hendrix, Magnolia, Ark., native Tommy Sanders joined the staff of Arkansas Educational Television as a cameraman, technical director, editor, producer-director and on-air talent. After attending New York University and working at a New York production company, he returned to Arkansas to work as a copywriter, broadcast producer, and creative director for a Little Rock advertising agency. During that time he began doing freelance voice and television work and has since done thousands of television and radio commercials, industrial and marketing films, public service spots and related projects. In 1989 he was selected to host ESPN Outdoors, the first ever outdoor block of programming for ESPN. Sanders also writes and performs for projects on networks such as National Geographic and the Outdoor Channel. He continues to host for On the Same Page, a book show on Arkansas Educational Television. In 2009, he was elected to the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame.
Benjamin Schumacher
After graduating from Hendrix, where he received the President’s Medal, Schumacher studied theoretical physics at the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and a University Fellow. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he is now Professor of Physics. Schumacher is one of the founders of quantum information theory, a multidisciplinary science that combines quantum physics, mathematics and computer science. Among his contributions, he discovered quantum data compression and introduced the term “qubit” for the basic unit of quantum information. He has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific work, and he has lectured at research universities and institutes worldwide. He is married to Carol Smith Schumacher, a Hendrix alumna and mathematics professor at Kenyon.
William C. Temple
After graduating from Hendrix, Temple attended the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. A native of Fort Smith, he served as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Sebastian County before embarking on a career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Temple completed his FBI career by being appointed Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Arkansas in 2002 and retired from the Bureau in May 2008. In October 2009, he began working for the Arkansas Department of Health as the Branch Chief for Trauma and Injury Prevention, where he is responsible for the implementation of the state’s new trauma system.
Dr. Joe Thompson
Dr. Joe Thompson is the director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, Surgeon General of Arkansas, and professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he attended medical school. A Fellow at the American College of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Thompson has received the American Lung Association of Arkansas’s Emily Bissell Award for Advocacy, the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health’s Public Health through Public Policy Award, and the Public Policy and Advocacy Award from the Academic Pediatric Association, among numerous other local, state, and national honors.
Bill Fox
After graduating from Hendrix, Fox spent a year as the Director of Activities at Winfield Methodist Church in Little Rock before entering the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, where he received his master’s degree and ultimately became the Dean of Men. He earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in literature and theology at Emory University in Atlanta, where he taught and served as an administrator in his academic department until 1979 when he was appointed Dean of Campus Life and later Vice President and Dean of Campus. Fox was named Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement in 1992 and served in that position until 2004, when he became the Senior Vice President for External Affairs, a position he held until he retired. He is now a Senior Vice President Emeritus at Emory.