Hendrix College will award an honorary degree to Mary Beard of Conway at a special convocation Thursday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. in Reves Recital Hall. 

 Beard is the founder of the Pine Street Free Clinic, a nonprofit health clinic that offers free medical care, testing and health services to low-income, unemployed and uninsured residents in central Arkansas.

Founded in 2002, the Pine Street Clinic is staffed by volunteer doctors and nurses, including Beard, who is a registered nurse at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock. The clinic located at the corner of Ingram and Spruce Streets. Beard grew up in the area and later graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif.

 Beard also started an academic outreach center to complement the clinic’s role in serving area residents. The outreach center provides tutoring services for 5th to 12th-grade students and enrichment activities for kindergarten through 5th-grade students. 

 "Mary Beard has demonstrated a deep empathy for the residents of this community who need access to education and health care and she translated that empathy into action," said Hendrix President Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd. "She is an exemplar of our values as a college and a tremendous example to our students."