CONWAY, Ark. (April 3, 2023) – Thirty-five first-year Hendrix College students selected for the Murphy Scholars Program were formally inducted at a ceremony held the evening of March 30, 2023. 

Murphy Scholars explore literature and language at a more intensive level by participating in designated study, travel, research, and service experiences in literature and language during their sophomore, junior, and senior years at Hendrix. The program is open to students of all majors; this year’s cohort includes students majoring in 23 unique areas of study, including 11 who are double-majoring.  

Twenty-two percent of the first-year Hendrix College Class of 2026 applied to the program, and nearly half of those applicants were selected as Murphy Scholars. 

“It’s a joy to see such a variety of identities and interests in this new cohort,” said Hope Coulter, director of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, which developed and oversees the Murphy Scholars Program. “They had very positive references from faculty members who’ve gotten to know them this year. Some of the new Scholars have very specific interests in literature and language—for example, learning Japanese, or studying how narrative and literature can be used therapeutically. Several of them have already gotten involved in the literature and language scene at Hendrix, and others are eager to explore it.” 

The Class of 2026 Murphy Scholars in Literature and Language are: 

  • Adam Andrews of Tulsa, Oklahoma (Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology and Philosophy double major) 
  • Kendra Baldwin of Little Rock, Arkansas (Economics & Business major) 
  • West Boudreaux of Conway, Arkansas (Mathematics and Computer Science double major) 
  • Ivy Branum of Greenwood, Arkansas (Theatre Arts & Dance and Sociology double major) 
  • Avery Cagle of Austin, Texas (Mathematics and Classics double major) 
  • Dario Cano of Benton, Arkansas (Business and Philosophy double major) 
  • Campbell Christensen of Edmond, Oklahoma (English/ Film Studies and Studio Art double major) 
  • Carter Crane of Ozark, Arkansas (Politics major)  
  • Gillian Fast of Fayetteville, Arkansas (Undeclared) 
  • Luci Grossnickle of Warsaw, Indiana (Politics and Spanish double major) 
  • Landon Hardister of Cabot, Arkansas (Biology major) 
  • Natalie Hays of Coppell, Texas (Study of the Mind and Spanish double major) 
  • Ethne Hester of Fort Smith, Arkansas (Psychology major) 
  • Isabel Jara of Little Rock, Arkansas (Chemical Physics major) 
  • Isaiah Jellenik of Conway, Arkansas (English/ Literary Studies and French double major) 
  • Michelle Johnston of North Little Rock, Arkansas (Biology major) 
  • Harry Lance of Conway, Arkansas (Mathematics and Physics double major) 
  • Michelle Leyva of Little Rock, Arkansas (Politics major) 
  • Alaina May of Rogers, Arkansas (Undeclared) 
  • Satya McCarthy-Rotella of Floyd, Virginia (Chemistry major) 
  • Rowan McCollum of Louisville, Kentucky (Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology major) 
  • Charlotte Miller of Conway, Arkansas (Undeclared) 
  • Madeline Mundkowsky of Midland, Texas (English/ Creative Writing major) 
  • Faustine Neema of Kigali, Rwanda (Economics & Business major) 
  • Jake Nurkin of Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Undeclared)  
  • Alaina Palmer of Shreveport, Louisiana (Undeclared) 
  • Tyler Pruitt of Allen, Texas (Philosophy and French double-major) 
  • Sandra Ramirez of Little Rock, Arkansas (Sociology) 
  • Eden Robbins of Russellville, Arkansas (Study of the Mind major) 
  • Remi Roberts of Maumelle, Arkansas (Psychology major) 
  • Cecelia Schneider of Little Rock, Arkansas (Study of the Mind major) 
  • Sarah J. Schwartz of Lowell, Arkansas (Physics major) 
  • Colm Simmons of Little Rock, Arkansas (Studio Art major) 
  • Kailey Thurman of East End, Arkansas (Biology major) 
  • Demah Yousef of Little Rock, Arkansas (Chemistry major) 

All Murphy Scholars will graduate with distinction, having completed an Oxford-style tutorial course in language and literature and at least three of the Murphy Scholar Program’s approved co-curricular experiences in literature and language. 

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About the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation 
Hendrix-Murphy Programs enrich the study of literature and language for Hendrix College as a whole as well as for students with intensive interest in those areas. The late Mr. Charles H. Murphy, Jr., former Chair of the Board of Murphy Oil Corporation and former member of the Hendrix Board of Trustees, established the Foundation in 1978 in memory of his mother, Mrs. Bertie Wilson Murphy. A 1905 graduate of Galloway Women’s College—which later became part of Hendrix College—Mrs. Murphy possessed a lifelong love of literature and language, to which these programs are exclusively dedicated.