October 18, 2013

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU’s Duke Guthrie Honored for Commitment to Georgia Theatre

VALDOSTA — H. Duke Guthrie is the latest recipient of the highly coveted Leighton M. Ballew Award for Distinguished Service to Theatre in Georgia, presented by the Georgia Theatre Conference. The Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance Area professor was presented the award at the group’s 49th convention in Kingsland on Oct. 12.

Guthrie is the fourth VSU faculty member to receive the Leighton M. Ballew Award. Randy Wheeler, professor emeritus, was honored in 1992. Jacque Wheeler, head of the Theatre and Dance Area and professor, was recognized in 1999. In 2008, Vicki Pennington, who has since retired, was honored.

The award is named for Dr. Leighton Ballew, who chaired the theatre department at the University of Georgia from 1946 to 1975 and was a leader in the founding of the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 1962 and the Georgia Theatre Conference one year later and in the field of theatre across the state and region.

Guthrie currently serves as treasurer of the Southeastern Theatre Conference and previously served as a member of the SETC’s Finance Committee and chairman of the SETC’s Endowment Committee. He served as program chairman for the Georgia Theatre Conference’s fall 2000 convention, was elected treasurer for two terms, and served as the GTC’s representative to the SETC, president, and past president. 

In 2010, Guthrie was presented VSU’s Faculty Excellence Award for Service. He is managing director of Peach State Summer Theatre, Valdosta’s premiere professional summer stock theatre that brings dozens of singers, dancers, technicians, managers, and creators from across the country to the VSU campus for nine weeks of building, rehearsing, and presenting three musicals in rotating repertory. He is also a director and actor whose work has been seen at the Jekyll Island Musical Theatre Festival, VSU, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and more.

Guthrie has served as a respondent and adjudicator at a number of festivals and auditions sponsored by the Alabama Conference of Theatre, Georgia High School Association, Florida Theatre Conference, and Tennessee Theatre Association. He holds degrees from the University of Georgia, Valdosta State College, and Brooklyn College of the City of New York. Before joining the VSU family in 1999, he worked for a New York-based general management firm specializing in touring theatricals.

Contact H. Duke Guthrie at (229) 333-5307 or dguthrie@valdosta.edu to learn more.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.