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Autrey to deliver sixth-annual Moran Address, March 29

FLORENCE – Recently retired Francis Marion University professor of English Dr. Kenneth M. Autrey will deliver the sixth-annual William C. Moran address at FMU, Thursday, March 29. 

The program will begin at 4 p.m. in the Cauthen Educational Media Center’s Lowrimore Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public. A reception will be held in The Cottage following the program.  

Autrey’s address is titled “Poetry as Teaching/Teaching as Poetry: An Amateur’s Perspective.

He retired from FMU in 2011 as the J. Lorin Mason Distingished Professor.  

Autrey was born in Wilkes Barre, Pa., but was reared in Auburn, Ala. His mother was a homemaker while his father was a college professor in Auburn University’s School of Agriculture. Autrey’s father also led faculty governance initiatives serving as president of the faculty senate at Auburn University. 

After graduating high school, Autrey attended Davidson College where he earned the B.A. degree in English in 1967. It was then that he served for two years as a Peace Corps English teacher in Ghana, West Africa. Subsequently, he taught in upstate New York middle and junior high schools. 

Autrey joined the FMU faculty in 1989. Prior to coming to FMU, he taught at the University of South Carolina and Tougaloo College. In 1996-97, he was a visiting professor at Hiroshima University in Japan while on leave from FMU.

He earned the M.A. degree in English from Auburn University in 1973 and the Ph.D. degree in English from the University of South Carolina in 1986. 

He is the former chair of the FMU Faculty and taught courses in composition, poetry writing and literary nonfiction. He has published articles and chapters on the teaching of writing and on contemporary poets. His poetry has appeared in many magazines and anthologies. 

In 2007, he received the Charlene Wages Shared Governance Award and, in 2010, the Distinguished Professor Award. The University granted him an honorary doctorate in 2008. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies, as well as Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.

Autrey and his wife, the former Janne Weir Debes, have two daughters: Tess Autrey Bosher of Richmond, Va., and Nell Autrey Driggers of Ocean Springs, Miss. Autrey has six grandchildren. 

Following his retirement in 2011, he and his wife moved to Auburn, Ala., his hometown.  

The Moran Address is delivered by a retiring or retired FMU professor. Previous speakers were History Professor Larry Nelson, History Professor Lorraine de Montluzin, Mathematics Professor Bucky Allen, English Professor Mary McNulty and Biology Professor Julia Krebs.  The event honors the service to this state and university of Dr. William C. Moran, who was FMU’s vice president of Academic Affairs from 1978-1992, after which he served as President of Lander University.  

Moran began his career as a teacher of high school Latin and English in Baltimore, Maryland. After earning his doctorate in English at the University of Tennessee in 1965, he taught at Southeast Missouri State University and then at Berry College, where he also chaired the department of English and was named Faculty Member of the Year and Charles A. Dana Distinguished Professor.   In 1971, he acceded to Academic Dean at Berry, and from 1975 to 1978 was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Winthrop University.     

During his extraordinary career, Moran chaired or served on numerous civic, educational and charitable committees affiliated with, for instance, the United Way, the Boy Scouts of America, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the Peach Belt Athletic Conference, the South Carolina Association of State Colleges and Universities, and Kiwanis International.  

Upon his retirement from Lander in 2000, Moran was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, and accepted a post as Special Assistant to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the United Arab Emirates.   In 2008, in recognition of his many contributions to South Carolina’s cultural and intellectual vitality, he received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities. He died in 2009 and is survived by, among others, his wife, Margaret and their son Thomas, and is remembered fondly by his many colleagues.  

For more information about the Moran Address, contact FMU English Professor Jon Tuttle at 843. 661.1521. 


Last Published: June 18, 2012 9:34 AM
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