Jon Tuttle, professor of English at Francis Marion University,was announced as FMU’s J. Lorin Mason Distinguished Professor for the 2013-14 academic year at the school’s annual faculty awards dinner Thursday night (April 17).
The award, named in honor of a former chairman of the FMU Board of Trustees, is the highest honor to be bestowed upon an FMU faculty member. While it was announced at Thursday’s dinner, it will be presented formally at FMU’s spring commencement Saturday, May 3.
The award has been given since the 1975-76 school year and is based upon a faculty member’s contributions to teaching, professional service and scholarly activities. It is FMU’s highest academic award and also means Tuttle will be the FMU nominee for the Governor’s Professor of the Year Award competition in the fall.
“Jon Tuttle has made significant contributions to Francis Marion University and its students through his teaching, his scholarship and his leadership of our honors program,” said Dr. Luther F. Carter, Francis Marion University’s president. “The university is a better place because he’s here.”
Tuttle joined the FMU faculty in 1990. He specializes in dramatic and modern literature. Tuttle is director of FMU’s Honors Program and co-coordinator of the international studies program.
Tuttle is also playwright-in-residence and literary manager at Trustus Theatre in Columbia. His plays have won national and regional awards and have been produced or received staged readings in 25 states.
Tuttle’s plays include: Holy Ghost, which premiered at Trustus in August 2005; The White Problem, which was commissioned by and premiered at the University of South Carolina before moving to the 2001 Piccolo Spoleto Festival; Drift, winner of the 1998 S.C. Playwrights' Festival Award and 2003 silver medalist in the Pinter Review international competition; The Hammerstone was winner of the 1994 S.C. Playwrights' Festival Award; Terminal Café, winner of the S.C. New Voices' Award; Sonata for Armadillos, which has been produced several times off-Broadway and more than 30 times around the country; and A Fish Story, a finalist in the 1993 Interplay International Play Festival competition.
Tuttle also has published numerous articles, made many academic presentations, conducted writers' workshops and served as adjudicator for various playwriting and fellowship competitions. He is a member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Alpha Psi Omega Dramatic Fraternity.
Tuttle earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications from the University of Utah, and master's and doctoral degrees in English from the University of New Mexico, where he also taught. He also earned a certificate in modern British literature and culture from Edinburgh University in Scotland.
In 2010, Tuttle received the Award for Excellence in Service by FMU.
In an unusual convergence, the announcement of Tuttle as the award winner coincided with his birthday.