ABOUT LYON: Lyon College is a selective undergraduate liberal arts college located in the city of Batesville (pop. 10,000) and in the foothills of the scenic Ozark Mountains. Undergraduates pursue 16 majors as well as several pre-professional programs at Lyon. Ninety-nine percent of Lyon students receive financial aid and the College offers extensive merit scholarships, need-based aid, and athletic grants (NAIA). Founded as Arkansas College by Arkansas Presbyterians, Lyon College opened its doors in September 1872. It was originally located on the “downtown” block now occupied by the First Presbyterian Church. The College was co-educational from the beginning and remained dedicated to a classical course of study into the early 20th century. Lyon moved to its current campus in 1954; received accreditation in 1959; and saw significant physical expansion, as well as geographic and ethnic diversification of the student body, during the 1960s. In 1994, it adopted the name Lyon College to honor a family that had served it with distinction for more than a half century. The College also created Arkansas’s only student-run honor system in 1994.
ACADEMIC LIFE: Lyon faculty members are highly qualified, talented scholars who regularly contribute to their fields. Full-time faculty, 95 percent of whom hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree appropriate to their field, teach almost all classes. A student- faculty ratio of 14:1 ensures personalized attention for students and high quality instruction. Fourteen Lyon professors have earned C.A.S.E./Carnegie Foundation Arkansas Professor of the Year awards, a record unmatched by any other institution in the nation.
Independence, honesty, trust, and respect are the basic elements of Lyon’s Honor System. When beginning an academic career at Lyon, every student signs the Roll of Honor pledging to uphold high standards of academic integrity inside and outside the classroom. This includes taking exams without supervision and adhering to the Honor System when submitting homework and course assignments. The Honor System is governed and maintained by the Honor Council, which consists of student body members elected by their peers. The Honor Council fosters a spirit of honor on campus and hears and acts upon alleged violations of the Honor Code.
STUDENT LIFE: Campus culture is strongly residential, with over 75 percent of students living on campus. More than 45 clubs and organizations, including Greek Life, foster an active campus life. Lyon competes in the NAIA Division I American Midwest Conference and fields intercollegiate athletic teams in baseball (men), basketball (men and women), cheerleading (co-ed), competitive dance (co-ed), cross country (men and women), golf (men and women), soccer (men and women), softball (women), track and field (men and women), volleyball (women), and wrestling (men and women). In 2013, Lyon reinstated football, which participates as an associate member of the Sooner Athletic Conference. Lyon student athletes comprise over 40 percent of the total student body. The College has nine residence halls two apartment-style living spaces. The residential system was originally modeled after the British collegiate house system, and strives to integrate the academic and residential programs of the College. Within each house is a suite for a Resident Faculty Mentor who is a current college faculty or staff member. An ethic of service is fostered within the academic program, co-curricular program, and among faculty staff and students.
CAMPUS: Lyon’s handsome 136-acre campus is located in a comfortable residential setting in Batesville. It features modern, attractive academic facilities including the black box Holloway Theater, Lyon Business and Economics Building, Derby Center for Science and Mathematics, and historic academic buildings like Brown Chapel and the Alphin Humanities Building. The Mabee-Simpson Library contains 215,000 books and sound and video recordings, and provides access to more than 20,000 periodical subscriptions. Recreational facilities include an outdoor walking track, regulation soccer field, intramural field, six lighted tennis courts, and a sand volleyball court. Becknell Gymnasium includes a fitness center and an indoor swimming pool. Lyon’s state of the art student center and dining hall (Edwards Commons) includes a game room and cardio room.
SURROUNDINGS: Batesville serves as a commercial, medical, governmental and cultural hub for the surrounding region, all enhanced by the presence of Lyon College. The proximity of the Ozarks and the beautiful White River offer an abundance of opportunities for hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, caving, rock climbing, water skiing, scenic photography, fishing, and hunting. To help students take advantage of these natural resources, the College developed the Lyon Education and Adventure Program (LEAP), providing students with information and access to many of these activities.
For over a quarter of a century, Lyon and the larger community have annually opened their doors to the Arkansas Scottish Festival, one of the premier gatherings in the south that honors Scottish heritage. Lyon recently introduced a Celtic Studies minor with exposure to language and literature, and a strong emphasis on history. In addition, the Scottish Heritage Program at Lyon has become one of the most significant in the nation for students interested in bagpiping, drumming, or Highland dancing.
The Main Street Batesville project has worked for three decades to promote the city’s viability. During the last couple of years, new businesses and restaurants have been established. In mid-2015, the Chamber of Commerce, collaborated on a ten-year strategic plan that provides a long-term vision to promote organized, sustained community development. A strong town-gown relationship has existed between Lyon and Batesville for several decades. Batesville is 90 minutes northeast of Little Rock and just over two hours west of Memphis.