Dean Tuttle receives prestigious Goldberg Citation

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, David Tuttle, dean of students and associate vice president of Student Life, was presented the Goldberg Citation, the primary Associated Colleges of the South award.

The Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) is an association made up of 16 liberal arts colleges in the southern United States. According to the website, ACS strives to improve liberal arts education by working with all its member institutions.

Tuttle was chosen to receive this award by 32 vice presidents and deans of students from the 16 member schools. Being selected for this award by this group of people made the award even more meaningful, according to Tuttle.

“It’s humbling because in that particular group, that’s a group I’ve been going to meetings with for like 20 years, and there are people who have been professional mentors of mine, people who have received the award from that group, people who I like and respect. To be considered that way is pretty humbling. It’s meaningful because of the people that are in it and because of the makeup of the group,” Tuttle said.

The Goldberg Citation was created to recognize an extraordinary leader who has achievements in student personnel administration and related endeavors. The criteria of the award include impactful leadership, a history of success and being a role model.

“I think structurally, dean of students is a tough job on a university campus, but [Tuttle is] really empathetic with you all. I feel like he pretty much works 24/7. He’s tireless, and he’d do anything for our students. I think we’re really fortunate to have him. It’s a really, really, really nice honor for him to get. He’s got a really tough job,” said Sheryl Tynes, vice president for Student Life.

Another criterion for the award is the creation of a new program or service. Tuttle has instated a number of programs, including Team Trinity, Half Marathon Challenge, the Responsible Friend Policy, the SPIn policy, B’Low Optimal and Optimal Buzz. Some have won national excellence awards.

“He does these quiet things, like his fingerprints are all over this campus. He’s very futuristic, and he’s always thinking about what we could be doing better for our students,” Tynes said. “There are a lot of things that are around campus that you guys wouldn’t necessarily know were him. He’s really a national leader, so this is just a super nice way to honor him. It’s a big deal.”

The final criterion is that the applicant must have at least 15 years in a position of student personnel administration or development. Tuttle has been the dean of students at Trinity since 1999.

“When you’re a dean of students on a college campus like this, you’re the only one of your kind. There’s several positions like that on campus, but there’s not really people who deal with the same kind of decision-making and issues and the stress and the rewards and different things. So, being with people who have that kind of shared experience is really meaningful. It meant a lot that it came from them. Those were the things that I thought about immediately,” Tuttle said.

The Goldberg Citation is not granted every year and is not limited to professionals at the ACS member schools.