I decided to become a teacher because when I was a senior at Pekin Community High School, I received a tuition-free scholarship to enter the teaching profession.
Communication Professor Emeritus George Tuttle and wife, Joann.
I chose to attend Illinois State Normal University upon the recommendation of several of my teachers at Pekin high school. I have never regretted either of those decisions.
I finished a degree in social sciences education in 1958 and went on to teach speech, debate, drama, American history, American government, and sociology in Chicago suburban public high schools for 13 years. After completing my Ph.D. at University of Illinois in Urbana, I taught at Eastern Illinois University. In 1976 I came to ISU, where I taught a variety of communication courses.
Teaching was my full-time profession for 36 years and part time-effort for four additional years. During those 40 years I had roles in the classroom, in administration, and in governance. Before retiring in 1992 I served as president of the ISU Academic Senate and on occasion served as acting chair of the department. I served the University on several advisory committees to the Board of Higher Education and the Board of Regents.
It was the classroom which provided the most satisfaction. I believe the classroom is the most important place for a person to make positive impact on the lives of students. The challenges for the classroom teacher are many; but, the rewards from seeing students mature, achieve, and contribute to society are immeasurable. We often wonder how we might have lived our lives differently if we had the opportunity. I would still have chosen to be a classroom teacher. In 1954 ISNU was the premiere place to become a professional educator. It still is in 2011.
Sometimes when I attend alumni events I get my hats mixed up. Do I wear my alumni hat or my retiree hat? At those events I see former classmates from ISNU. We enjoy remembering the days when the campus was 3,300 students. At the same events I see former students. I enjoy hearing where they are and what they have been doing.
I met my wife, Joann (Swanson) ’68, M.S. ’73, while we were both undergraduates (click on How We Met for the story of their romance). We live in Bloomington, but winter about five months each year in Florida.
Our retirement hobbies are ballroom dancing, consumption of classical symphony music, reading, and walking, while Joann enjoys quilting. I have published four books of fiction and enjoy the creative process of fiction. It seemed like it might be more fun than academic and research writing, which was part of my pre-retirement academic career. My target is people who want an interesting plot and characters in an interesting location, but do not want all of the sex and mayhem that permeate much of contemporary literature.
Ties to the campus remain strong. Our three children all have one or more degrees from ISU, so between the five of us we have received eight degrees from the University.