Hendrix College was founded as a primary school called Central Institute in 1876 at Altus, Arkansas, by Rev. Isham L. Burrow. In 1881 it was renamed Central Collegiate Institute when secondary and collegiate departments were added. The next year the first graduating collegiate class, composed of three women, were awarded "Mistress of English Literature" degrees. In 1884, three conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South purchased the school. This began the school's relationship with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and laterThe Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church. The Central Collegiate Institute was renamed Hendrix College in 1889 in honor of Rev. Eugene Russell Hendrix, a presiding bishop over three Arkansas Methodist conferences. This same year, the primary school was discontinued.
Hendrix College was initially designated a male college, but by the time of the name change in 1889, the college allowed for the enrollment of women who were interested in the college's course of study. In 1890, after receiving bids from seven other Arkansas towns, the Hendrix Board of Trustees chose Conway as the new location for the college. Secondary education was discontinued in 1925. In 1929 the college merged with Henderson-Brown College, a private school in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, which briefly created Hendrix-Henderson College. Two years later the name reverted to Hendrix College. The merger resulted in Hendrix Bull Dogs becoming the Hendrix Warriors, and the college newspaper, the Bull Dog, being renamed the College Profile.
The newly expanded college planned to move to Little Rock, Arkansas, but the city of Conway was able to raise $150,000 to keep the school located there. In 1930 the name was briefly changed to Trinity College but was reverted to Hendrix College after opposition by students, alumni and townspeople. . The financially troubled Galloway Woman’s College in Searcy, Arkansas was absorbed by Hendrix in 1933 during the Great Depression.
On November 1, 2013, the college announced that William Tsutsui will become its 11th president beginning in June 2014. The current acting president is W. Ellis Arnold III.
Hendrix is an undergraduate institution with 34 majors and 38 minors. The student body is about 1400, with students coming from most U. S. states and from over a dozen foreign countries. Notable are the Rwandan Presidential Scholars. Hendrix is the lead institution in a consortium of 19 private and public higher education institutions that together host over 220 students from Rwanda.
The Student Senate is the governing body of the student association. It has officers that are elected campus-wide along with representatives from each class, residence hall and apartment building.
Hendrix has no social fraternities or sororities. There are 65 student organizations that offer a wide range of activities, funded by a student activity fee. The largest student organization is Social Committee, or SoCo, which plans the major events on campus. The Office of Student Activities organizes weekend and Wednesday evening events. Major social events are usually held in "The Brick Pit", an outdoor area in the center of the campus. The most famous event is "Shirttails," a freshman dance-off that includes a serenade by the men's dorms.
Hendrix College has been recognized for its excellence by a number of rating organizations. These include being named in 2011 in US News and World Report's America's Best Colleges as one of the top "up and coming" liberal arts colleges, being listed in 2010 as number 102 of Forbes “America's Best Colleges” and also in 2010, being listed as one of 44 national "Best Buy" colleges in The Fiske Guide to Colleges.
Admin Houses: Health services, counseling services.
Art Complex: Art department.
Charles D. Morgan Center for Physical Sciences/Acxiom Hall: Chemistry department, Physics department.
Olin C. Bailey Library
Buhler Hall: Currently vacant, due to the addition of the Student Life and Technology Center.
Donald W. Reynolds Center for Life Sciences: Biology department, Psychology department.
Ellis Hall: Office of Admissions, Financial Aid, (NRoHP).
Fausett Hall: Office of Administration, English department, Foreign Language departments.
Greene Chapel: School's official chapel, venue for annual Candlelight Carol service.
I.T.: Information technology offices.
Morgan Center/John Hugh Reynolds: Mathematics and Computer Science department, Physics department, Chemistry department.
Mills Center: Cabe Theater, Economics and Business department, Education department, History department, Politics and International Relations department, Sociology and Anthropology department.
Bertie Wilson Murphy Building: Hendrix-Murphy Foundation.
Physical Plant: (Originally built as short-term housing and called “East Hall”)
Public Safety: Mainly deals with security and parking issues.
Raney Building: Religion and Philosophy department.
Staples Auditorium: Large auditorium, also houses Greene Chapel.
Trieschmann Building: Music department, Dance studio, Reves Recital Hall, and Trieschmann gallery.
Student Life and Technology Center: Office of Student Affairs, Social Committee, Master Calendar, cafeteria, the Burrow (student deli), Oathout Technology Center (computer lab), IT Help Desk, Odyssey, and Career Services. It also contains all student activities and organization offices, the KHDX radio station, the Religious Life Suite, Residence Life offices and the post office.
The Eco-House: Co-ed house with an emphasis on environmental sustainability.
Apartments on Clifton Street
Couch Hall: Co-ed residence hall named after Arkansas entrepreneur Harvey Couch.
The Hendrix Corner Apartments: Apartments located at the intersection of Front Street and Mill Street. (also called the Mill Street Apartments)
Front Street Apartments: Apartments at the intersection of Front Street and Spruce Street.
Hardin Hall: Male residence hall whose namesake, G.C. Hardin, was a 1905 graduate.
Huntington Apartments: College-owned apartments located on Clifton Street.
Martin Hall: Male residence hall (NRoHP) named in honor of Conway civic leader Capt. W. W. Martin, who worked to bring Hendrix to Conway 
The Quad: Four co-ed residence houses: Cook, Dickinson, McCreight, and Browne.
Brown House and Stella Boyle Smith House (commonly Smith House): Two co-ed residential houses close to The Quad.
Language House: Single-language themed co-ed house. Rotates annually among French, German, and Spanish.
Raney Hall: Female residence hall named in 1960 for Alton B. Raney, a former trustee of the college.
Veasey Hall: Female residence hall named to honor former trustee Ruth Veasey.
The Village Apartments Two mixed-use buildings with commercial space on the ground floors and student apartments on the upper floors, part of the Village at Hendrix, a New Urban-style housing development project.
Wellness and Athletics Center: Houses the Physical Education department, basketball courts, a swimming pool, a free weights room, lacrosse field, an indoor track, a soccer field, and a baseball field. The underpass nearby, which connects the building to the main campus and runs under Harkrider Street, is the location of an interactive art exhibit by Christopher Janney titled Harmonic Fugue.