Terrell L. Tebbetts
Dr. Terrell L. Tebbetts, Martha Heasley Cox Chair in American Literature
B.A., Hendrix College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Arkansas
Building: Alphin Humanities Building
Dr. Tebbetts teaches English composition and the introductory literature course every year. For English majors he teaches American literature from Whitman and Dickinson through Cormac McCarthy, culminating in a senior seminar on the novels of William Faulkner, acclaimed around the world as America's greatest novelist. He's also famous for his course in Advanced Composition; students tell him repeatedly it's the most important single course they've taken at Lyon.
Dr. T. publishes a lot of scholarship in his field, with some forty articles in college journals and books, most of them on the American writers he loves to teach--Willa Cather, Upton Sinclair, Sherwood Anderson, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, Cormac McCarthy, and of course Faulkner--lots of them on Faulkner! He's Executive Secretary of Arkansas's college English society, the Arkansas Philological Association. That means he's the guy that keeps things running between the annual meetings. Each summer he leads "Teaching Faulkner" sessions at the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference at Ole Miss. Currently he's in line to guest-edit an issue of the international Faulkner Journal.
Lyon's students have named Dr. T. the college's Teacher of the Year five times. He has won Lyon's Lamar Williamson Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He's been named Professor of the Year for the state of Arkansas by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Dr. T. is a co-sponsor of Lyon's chapter of Alpha Chi National Scholarship Honor Society and travels with students every year to its regional and national conventions. He has been elected three times to Alpha Chi's governing board, its National Council. He also advises Lyon's award-winning chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, which holds receptions at his home every semester. The national fraternity gave him its John G. Tower Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996.
Out in Town
Dr. T. believes we're going to live in a world as good as we're willing to make it. So he's involved in a lot of activities. Here's a sample:
- Historic Preservation. Dr. T. has been president of the Batesville Preservation Association three times and has co-authored a book on Batesville's historic homes. He's hands-on, too, having restored three different houses in the historic district. If you ever need to know how to hang and finish drywall, he can teach you.
- His Church. Dr. T has taught Sunday School to high-schoolers and adults and has served as deacon & trustee.
- Developmental Disabilities. Dr. T. has chaired the Arkansas Governor's Developmental Disabilities Council, which plans services and advocates for community living for people with disabilities.
- Family Violence Prevention. He's been Board President of Family Violence Prevention, Inc., and helped get grants for rehabbing its shelter, Safe Haven.
- Journalism. He writes a column called "Here and Now" that appears bi-weekly in the Batesville Daily Guard.
Dr. T. has been named Citizen of the Year in Batesville and Parent of the Year for the State of Arkansas.
When he takes time for himself, Dr. T. is an avid reader of contemporary fiction, especially by Southern writers from Lee Smith to Cormac McCarthy and some contemporary British novelists like Graham Swift, Ian McEwan, and Nick Hornby.