It’s Thanksgiving week. Like nearly everything else in 2020, it will be different. For some, it’s a tragic week because COVID has taken your loved ones or disrupted lives of people you care about. For almost everyone, it’s a disappointing week because you won’t be able to enjoy all the traditions that are part of your Thanksgiving holiday. This is why it’s especially important to remember to give thanks this year for what you have that matters most: God’s blessings, the people in your life you cherish, and all those on the front lines working to keep you safe and healthy. After all, giving God thanks is always better than complaining about what you think you’re missing.
Let me admit to You what You already know about me. Sometimes I get frustrated with what happens in life. Sometimes righteously angry. Sometimes weary beyond words, especially right now. And sometimes so overwhelmed I fail to live with the courage and hope You plant in my soul.
But even when I am at my lowest, I discover thanks and praise welling up inside me that simply cannot stay quiet. So today I give You praise and thanks because You have created all that is, and love Your creation passionately. Today I give You praise and thanks because You have created me uniquely, and desire for me to become the best me I can become. Today I give You thanks and praise because Your love turns me toward my neighbors to love them as I love You. And today I give You thanks and praise because You do whatever it takes to pursue me until I experience the fullness of Your love and life in Jesus.
May I dwell in this praise and thanks and experience how it opens my heart to Your grace, lifts me out of the valley, fills me with hope, and enables me to experience how I can be more thankful than ever – regardless of what’s going on.
I pray this in the strong name and power of Jesus.
Do you let distress drive you to God – or do you let it drive you away from God? While you know how you want to answer the question, you also know that you let distress drive you away from God far too often. It’s yet another example of the human condition described so well by the Apostle Paul – you don’t do the things you want to do and you do the very things you never want to do. But you don’t need to be perfect before you go to God – you’ve just got to get there. Even if it is with all kinds of questions, in the midst of one of your worst moments or messy. That’s because God’s waiting to embrace and heal you from the inside-out. And once you experience this, you’ll find yourself saying, “That horrible time of distress got me to God. Who crafted me into a person I never would have been otherwise. And I’m more thankful than ever – even in the midst of distress.”
Hendrix Receives Largest Outright Gift in College History
$15 million Windgate Foundation gift expands campaign to $150 million
Photo by Mike Kemp
CONWAY, Ark. (November 20, 2020) — Hendrix College has received a $15 million gift from the Windgate Foundation, the largest outright gift in Hendrix’s history.
“We are grateful for the support of the Windgate Foundation,” said Hendrix President W. Ellis Arnold III. “More than ever, it is critical that we continue moving forward, to meet today’s challenges and to continue to be a leader in higher education in the future.”
This year, the College surpassed its $110 million campaign goal a year ahead of schedule with $114 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign, which was scheduled to end in 2021, will be expanded to $150 million and will extend to 2023. The campaign now stands at $129 million.
“During this campaign, thanks to the support of alumni and friends of the College, we have strengthened the academic and student life experience with new programs and initiatives,” said Arnold. “We have added new facilities that celebrate the residential experience and support student recruitment, and we have continued to make Hendrix more affordable and accessible for students and families.”
This spring, as part of the campaign expansion, Hendrix will launch a multimillion-dollar Residence Hall Renewal Project, beginning with renovations of Veasey Hall. Fundraising efforts for the project will also support renovations of historic Martin Hall.
In addition, the expanded campaign will seek additional funds for the College’s endowment. $10 million of the Windgate gift will provide endowed scholarships for Hendrix students.
“These priorities – the Residence Hall Renewal Project and increasing the College’s endowment – will support student recruitment and retention,” said Arnold. “They will keep Hendrix accessible and affordable to students and families, and they will ensure that Hendrix remains one of the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, innovation, and value.”
The expanded Hendrix campaign will be called A Time to Lead: The Campaign for Today and Tomorrow.
“The time for Hendrix to lead is now. We know that many students and families are concerned by the cost of higher education today,” said Arnold. “That is why we recently announced a tuition reset and lowered our tuition by 32% for new students.”
“We also know that our current students’ residential experience at Hendrix was disrupted by COVID-19,” he said. “That is why – in addition to our tuition reset for new students – we developed a tuition-free fifth year program for current students to provide the opportunity to have a complete residential student experience at Hendrix.”
Arnold added that these recent offerings are just two examples of how Hendrix is leading today. “We must continue to lead in quality, innovation, and value,” he said. “The Residence Hall Renewal Project will reinforce the vital role of the residential campus experience at Hendrix and growing our endowment will strengthen the College’s financial position to support students today and tomorrow.”
About Hendrix College
A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.
If you are a Christian who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, I pray that your heart hurts deeply for all those COVID-19 is killing, infecting with a virus that will have lifelong medical effects, and putting at risk of financial ruin. If you are a disciple of Jesus, I pray that you will help our nation get beyond the belief so many have that this pandemic is primarily some sort of a political – and not a medical – battle. And if you are longing to live out Jesus’ Great Commandment of loving God and loving neighbor with everything you’ve got, I pray that you will demonstrate through simple acts of wearing a mask, social distancing and washing your hands just how much you’re trying to live the Jesus’ way. Lord, in Your mercy, please keep loving us as we struggle to love each other.