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Contact: John Scarffe, KU Endowment Association, (785) 832-7336

KU American studies professor earns Chancellors Club career teaching award


LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas American studies Professor William M. Tuttle Jr., one of the nation's leading social historians and scholars of African-American life, is the recipient of the Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award for 2004.

The Chancellors Club, established in 1977 by the Kansas University Endowment Association, is KU's major-donor organization. Its annual Career Teaching Award honors a senior faculty member who exemplifies the university's commitment to outstanding teaching. KU faculty members, students and alumni submit nominations for the $5,000 award. Tuttle will receive the award tonight at the club's 27th annual meeting at the Kansas Union Ballroom.

"I'm absolutely thrilled by this award," Tuttle said. "An essential part of my self-identity is as a teacher."

Tuttle joined the KU faculty in 1967 after receiving master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor's degree from Denison University.

"One of the things I'm proudest of is all my students who have been published," Tuttle said. Six of his former doctoral students have published books in the past two years that began as doctoral dissertations supervised by Tuttle.

As a teacher, Tuttle said, his overriding goal is to be respectful of his students. "I teach them to be respectful of other cultures and encourage them to be involved in their communities, at any level, in any way," he said. "It's important to talk with them about issues that transcend their own concerns. They should know about McCarthyism, racial riots -- things that are unsettling about their country."

Tuttle has taught at KU for 37 years and has numerous teaching awards including a 1998 W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence; a 2001 H.O.P.E. Award (Honor for Outstanding Progressive Educator), a special honor given by the KU senior class; and a 2004 Higuchi/Endowment Research Achievement Award.

Years after graduating from KU, Tuttle's former students remember his classes and his influence on their professional lives.

"His classes were a potpourri of research, articulate presentation, insight, provocative inquiry, sensitive responses, and endless -- but apt -- analogies," wrote former student William R. Sampson in a letter of recommendation. Sampson is a partner with Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. in Overland Park, Kan.

Rusty L. Monhollon, a former student who is an assistant professor of history at Hood College in Frederick, Md., wrote, "Bill Tuttle has excelled at educating his students, unequivocally supporting their professional goals and giving generously of his time and knowledge to help them succeed." Monhollon is the author of "This Is America? The Sixties in Lawrence, Kansas," a book based on his doctoral thesis, which Tuttle directed.

Tuttle has six books and nearly 50 articles to his credit. His latest book, "Daddy's Gone to War: The Second World War in the Lives of America's Children," was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times.

Tuttle has received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Hall Center for the Humanities, among others. He has been a research fellow at Harvard University, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University.

The Kansas University Endowment Association is conducting KU First on behalf of KU through 2004 to raise funds for scholarships, fellowships, professorships, capital projects and program support. KU Endowment is an independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fund-raising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment is the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university and one of the largest.


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