Professor wins award

South Carolina Humanities awarded Jon Tuttle, professor of English and director of the honors program, the Governor’s Award in the Humanities for his work in the literary community and his commitment to FMU.

The Governor’s Award is given to people who have made contributions to teaching the humanities and to the South Carolina community, both local and academic. Tuttle said he was honored to receive this award.

“The work itself is its own reward, but a little appreciation from an agency like SC Humanities goes a long away,” said Tuttle. “I’m most pleased that my name will join other members of the FMU community on the list of those who received it.”

Tuttle is responsible for bringing several different events to FMU, such as the Mother Emanuel Symposium in 2018 and the Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial. He is also the author of a book of plays titled, “The Trustus Collection.”

The Mother Emanuel Symposium was a three-day panel that discussed race and race relations. It was held in the Chapman Auditorium and hosted a wide variety of speakers from across South Carolina. As it progressed, attendance grew, resulting in a nearly full house on the last day of the symposium. Tuttle brought the symposium to campus shortly after a fight broke out between protestors in Charlottesville, VA. Tuttle said this event was the inspiration for hosting the symposium at FMU.

Tuttle was also responsible for bringing the Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial to FMU. A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., people from all walks of life were able to visit the memorial for its week-long stay. Tuttle taught a course on the Vietnam War and American culture that semester, and his students helped prepare the wall for display. Tuttle said he was ecstatic to give people who hadn’t seen the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., a chance to see it.

“I should add here that I don’t organize these events alone,” said Tuttle. “They’re a product of many offices on campus, and a lot of cooperation.”

Currently, Tuttle is working on “South Carolina Onstage,” a collection of plays written by South Carolinians over the years. Tuttle is compiling and transcribing the plays. According to Tuttle, the book is progressing smoothly and will most likely be completed before its 2023 deadline.

Tuttle is also the Nellie Cooke Sparrow Writer-in-Residence for FMU, which is an endowed chair that grants a small reduction in teaching hours, among other things. He credits the position as a huge help in bringing about “The Trustus Collection” and “South Carolina Onstage.”

The Governor’s Award is relatively new, having been founded in 1991. Among the recipients are President Carter, and two late FMU professors: Bill Moran and Joe Stukes.

“The Governor’s Award is really a reflection on how healthy and functional this whole university is, and what we value,” said Tuttle, “If I didn’t work here, I’d never have received it.”