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Lyon College awards honorary doctorate to Dr. Terrell Tebbetts

Lyon College awarded an honorary doctorate to Dr. Terrell Tebbetts at Commencement on May 22 in recognition of his lasting impact on both his students and the College as a whole.

Tebbetts, the Martha Heasley Cox Chair in American Literature, has taught thousands of students for over 50 years at Lyon, mentoring many as they discerned careers in law, politics, journalism, education and countless other fields.

“[Tebbetts] has gone above and beyond to help his students succeed, both inside and outside the classroom,” said Lyon President Dr. W. Joseph King.

When graduates attribute their writing and analytical skills to the College, King said, they often cite Tebbetts’ advanced composition course as an integral part of their education.

“He is known for his dedication to his students and his genuine desire for them to learn and achieve,” King said.

Tebbetts began his prodigious career at the College in 1970 as an associate professor of English, and he quickly excelled. He is a scholar, with 100 professional publications; a poet; and a community leader.  

His students have awarded him Professor of the Year four times. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation named him Arkansas Professor of the Year. 

Tebbetts is a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and has served as faculty advisor to the Lambda Iota Chapter for over four decades.

“Of course, his crowning achievement is his impact on his students,” King said. “His influence in their professional, personal and spiritual growth cannot be measured, yet it is invaluable.”

He concluded, “In recognition of his dedicated service to his profession and to this College, The Board of Trustees is pleased and honored to confer Terrell Tebbetts the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.”