Three New Members Join Hendrix College Board of Trustees

The Hendrix College Board of Trustees announces three new members to fill open at-large positions. The new trustees, all of whom are Hendrix alumni, will begin their three-year terms at the Board’s October meeting.

Susan Farris DeBoard ’71 of Conway is a retired educator. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix, she earned a Master of Arts from the University of Central Arkansas in 1983. She spent much of her career teaching high school and served as a visiting instructor at Hendrix in English and German from 2007 through 2013. Her service to the College has included membership on the Alumni Association Board of Governors. DeBoard is not the first in her family to serve on the Hendrix Board of Trustees; her father, Bill Farris, was a Board member in the 1990s. She and her husband, Charlie, have three adult children, one of whom is also a Hendrix alumnus (Charles, class of ’91).

Luke Duffield ’91 leads Blackstone Construction in Russellville, Arkansas. A former Hendrix athlete who is passionate about the liberal arts, Duffield has supported several of the College’s athletics-related capital projects in recent years, and served on the committee for the recent Be Hendrix capital campaign, through which he provided support for the construction of the Dawkins Welcome Center. He is a member of the Russellville City Planning Commission, the Russellville Regional Economic Development Alliance Board, and a board member of Friendship Community Care and John L. Rankin Senior Living, a low-income housing project for seniors in Russellville. Duffield and his wife, Stephanie, have four daughters. 

Derrick Smith ’97 of Little Rock is an attorney with the Mitchell Williams Law Firm and serves on the firm’s Board of Directors. His practice focuses on insurance regulatory law, government relations, and energy and utility law, where he represents clients in their interactions with Arkansas governmental entities and state insurance departments throughout the United States. He has previously served as chair of the firm’s Regulated Business practice. Smith has been named in The Best Lawyers in America for Administrative/Regulatory Law for 2016-2020 and one of the “250 Most Influential Leaders” by Arkansas Business in 2019. He is a member of the Pulaski Academy Board of Trustees and a former member of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission and the Arkansas Lottery Commission. His past service to the College includes a term on the Alumni Association Board of Governors, of which he was President in 2003-2004, and as a member of the Be Hendrix campaign committee. He and his wife, Dr. Gwendolyn Bryant-Smith, have one son.

“We are excited to welcome these three outstanding individuals to our Board of Trustees,” said Hendrix President Ellis Arnold. “Hendrix has enjoyed a long history of visionary board leadership, and I am confident our new members will continue that tradition and work with their fellow Trustees for the long-term success of the College.”