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Ohio University announces first recipient of Crowl Professorship


Dean Howard Dewald of the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University, and the department of English, today announced Marsha Dutton as the first recipient of the Samuel and Susan Crowl Professorship in English Literature.

Established in 2011, the endowed professorship honors retired English professors Samuel and Susan Crowl and recognizes a tenured literature faculty member with an established record as an outstanding teacher, productive scholar and active participant in the department, the college or University governance or service.

Dutton, a professor of medieval literature and chair of the department of English, exemplifies each of these qualities and more, said Dinty Moore, chair of the Crowl Professorship selection committee.

“Marsha is a role model for the entire department,” he said. “No one works harder. She is endlessly generous as a teacher, yet always challenging her students to read more deeply and to think and write with clarity and precision. She challenges herself as well, and has the respect of literary colleagues across the globe.”

The Crowl Professorship will rotate and be held by each recipient for a maximum of five years. Recipients of the professorship must be engaging and demanding teachers, productive scholars and active participants in the life of the department and university.

Over the course of her career, Dutton has written and edited six books, dozens of articles and is a leading expert on the work of Aelred of Rievaulx, a 12th century Cistercian monk from Northumbria. She is also known and respected for being a caring, energetic and imaginative teacher, helping many of her students to embark on distinguished careers in the profession.

"Professor Dutton is an outstanding scholar and teacher who sets an unassailable example and always exhorts her students to meet the very highest standards," said former student Taylor Hagood, now an associate professor of American Literature at Florida Atlantic University. "The period of time during which I wrote my master of arts thesis under her direction was one in which I grew the most as an academic writer. She went far beyond the call of duty to help guide me through the stages of writing a thesis, never letting me settle for anything but the best work. That kind of dedication has had a lasting impact on me, as it has on many other students. I am so proud for her to hold the Crowl Professorship; it is a well-deserved honor for a major scholar and deeply committed teacher."

Dewald said the Crowls were pleased Dutton will be the first faculty member to receive the professorship, having worked with her for many years.

“Marsha has been a productive and adventurous scholar, a generous and lively colleague and an able administrative leader," Sam Crowl said. "She has taken her research and teaching to far corners of the world, from Cistercian convents in remote Norwegian islands to Cathar backgrounds and modern classrooms in Toulouse. Her students retain the imprint as well as the content of her energies and wealth of experience, and have taken these forward into their own careers. We know because they have told us so.”

Establishment of the Crowl Professorship was made possible by endowed gifts to the college through the Ohio University Foundation. In addition to the Crowls, alumni and friends of the college also served as donors, including Barbara Strom Thompson, Douglas Roberts, Scott Roberts, Brad and Chris Lafferty, Beth Stocker, Richard and Vera Gardner, John Wiegman, Charles and Lizabeth Emrick, Will and Ann Lee Konneker, Sanford Elsass, Anne and Stuart Scott, the Quattrocki family, and the Patrick family.

The Crowl Professorship is the fourth endowed award in the College of Arts and Sciences created by alumni and friends of the university to honor outstanding faculty members. Others have been established in honor of Charles Ping, former Ohio University president and director of the Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities; the late Rush Elliot, professor of biological sciences and Eric Wagner, professor emeritus of sociology.