The Fire That Led to Fausett

In the early morning of February 6, 1982, an electrical malfunction sparked a fire in the computer room of Hendrix’s Administration Building. At 4 a.m., the Conway Fire Department responded to the blaze. It was thirteen degrees outside. Water shot from hoses and froze in mid-air. Conway FD was aided by various local volunteer departments, but the fire couldn’t be controlled. The building burned to the ground, just as College Hall had burned in the same spot in 1928.

Since the fire occurred early on a Saturday morning, the building was vacant, and no one was injured. However, all of the resources housed in the building—the computer and centralized telephone systems, classrooms, and administrative and faculty offices—were lost. Then-President Joe Hatcher categorized the loss of the Administration Building as “a severe blow to the college”, citing the building’s historical and emotional significance to the Hendrix community.

Hendrix quickly sought to replace the old building. President Thatcher appointed a committee charged with planning a new structure. In October 1973, eight months after the Administration Building was destroyed, the new administration building was dedicated. Hendrix named the building in honor of Elbert L. Fausett, a member of the board of trustees who had given over $1.5 million dollars to the school. Fausett Hall, standing slightly east of where its predecessor had been, was designed to act as the central hub of campus life as Hendrix lived on into its second century.

 

Photo Credit: Hendrix College Archives

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