Who’s that Tuttle in Thomas?



Photo by Martina Almeida

Nathan Tuttle, residential life coordinator for the upper-division area at Trinity University, greeted me at the City Vista apartment complex main office late in the afternoon. This lavish office is where Tuttle can be found most often, where he assists the residents of City Vista with mail and other issues. But Tuttle’s duties go beyond managing the main office — with seven residential halls and seven resident assistants (RAs) under his supervision, Tuttle has plenty of responsibilities on his list.

“The interesting thing about Residential Life is, I would say, that there’s no such thing as a typical daily schedule,” Nathan Tuttle said.

Residential Life covers four categories of responsibilities: student needs, staff needs, building supervision and programs. Despite the numerous demands of his role at Trinity, Tuttle finds positives to his work. When asked about the best part of working at Residential Life, he pointed to the students and RAs.

“[My RAs] impress me every day with what they are able to do and the ways that they are able to connect,” Nathan Tuttle said.

Tuttle started his job working in the first-year area in October 2016 and has worked in upper-division since January 2019. Working in upper-division puts Tuttle in close relations with the juniors and seniors of Trinity.

“I feel like I can relate to them more because I’m not that far removed from my own experience of thinking about the future and graduation,” Nathan Tuttle said.

While the City Vista main office closes at 5 p.m. every day, Tuttle’s work does not end there. After all, the place he goes home to at the end of the day is on Trinity’s campus. Tuttle lives in an apartment in Bruce Thomas Hall with his wife, Savannah Helvey Tuttle, and their dog, Georgia.

“I love living on campus; my family’s close by,” Nathan Tuttle said. “It’s a really ideal situation for me right now.”

In fact, Nathan Tuttle is used to campus life, having been raised here since he was a child. David Tuttle, the dean of students as well as Nathan Tuttle’s father, lived in an apartment in the C. W. Miller Hall at the time of his birth.

“When I was born, [my dad] took me from the hospital to Miller,” Nathan Tuttle said. “We’ve lived on campus for my entire life growing up until I went to college.”

Tuttle was raised around Trinity students and gained a familiarity with the red brick campus. His undergraduate experience at Southwestern University in Georgetown gave him a new appreciation for college. He returned to San Antonio after he graduated in 2014 with a degree in sociology,

“I think it was important for me to go and establish my own identity there at Southwestern as opposed to staying at Trinity and being known as the dean’s son,” Nathan Tuttle said.

After graduation, Tuttle worked as a staff generalist at the nonprofit San Antonio Clubhouse, an organization that helps adults dealing with serious mental illnesses. After two years of working at the Clubhouse, Tuttle saw a Residential Life position open at Trinity.

“There were two components of [Residential Life] that resonated with me. One was that I had a great experience in my undergraduate at Southwestern, being in the liberal arts college environment,” Nathan Tuttle said. “And working at Clubhouse, I really refined some of my support skills.”

Nathan Tuttle holds a fond attachment to Trinity. Beyond being his childhood home, he met his wife, Savannah, working as a counselor at Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) in the Dick and Peggy Prassel Hall.

“[Savannah and I] started dating while we were [in Prassel],” Nathan Tuttle said. “And so, to bring it full circle, I’ve actually proposed to her in a room in Prassel.”

The two of them are expecting a new addition to the family in December. The gender of the baby is unknown, and so are the potential names.

“I will, just like [my dad], bring a baby home to an on-campus apartment,” Nathan Tuttle said.

The new baby will join the Tuttles and their dog, Georgia, in Thomas. Georgia turns six on Dec. 13, sharing her birthday with Nathan Tuttle.

“Savannah calls [Georgia] an ‘everything bagel hunt,’” Nathan Tuttle said when asked about his dog. “We did a DNA test, and there are quite a few breeds in there that we were not expecting. She’s a French mastiff and a chow chow and sheltie. She’s whatever she is. She’s cute.”

Students are familiar with Georgia, as she is typically seen being walked around campus and riding the Thomas elevator with her owners.

With his home established on Trinity’s campus, Tuttle sees himself staying in San Antonio for the foreseeable future.

“There’s just such a vibrant campus life here,” Nathan Tuttle said.

When asked about any cons to living on a college campus, Tuttle said it can be hard to find a work-life balance.

“I will say, you know, because I live where I work, you are never truly away from work,” Nathan Tuttle said. “I’m walking my dog around buildings that I’m in charge of and noticing things.”

Despite the nonstop nature of his job, Nathan Tuttle said he values his work and the people he serves.

“I want people to know that they have advocates and supporters here in Residential Life,” Nathan Tuttle said. “They think about students first when they make decisions on what’s best for students. They’re passionate. That’s why they get up every morning and do this job.”