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Soulis named to endowed chair in theater

Tim SoulisDrama professor Tim Soulis was named in April as the recipient of the Lucille C. Little Endowed Chair in Theater, the first endowed chair in any discipline at Transylvania. The University had received a challenge grant of $500,000 from the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation to establish the chair.

A member of the Transylvania faculty since 1994, Soulis has taught courses in drama and performance throughout the United States and directed more than 70 productions.

“The main purpose of Transylvania’s theater program is to develop in student actors, technicians, directors, and playwrights the vocal and physical skills and intellectual and emotional maturity to explore drama as an important form of artistic and personal expression and fulfillment,” Soulis said. “This is in harmony with the University’s goals as a liberal arts institution to broaden students’ intellectual and creative abilities.”

These goals will be enhanced by the endowed chair, which will allow operating funds to be redirected to new initiatives, which may include engaging an adjunct professor to develop and teach a course in children’s theater; employing guest artists to direct theater productions; arranging trips to New York City for drama majors and minors to attend plays and musicals; organizing workshops featuring visiting actors, directors, playwrights, and designers; and augmenting funds for drama faculty travel, enrichment, and professional development.

At a reception for Soulis, William F. Pollard, vice-president and dean of the college, expressed his gratitude for the foundation’s support of the arts at Transylvania and Soulis’ commitment to the theater program.

“Today we recognize an outstanding faculty member and look forward to the continued growth and development of a wonderful program,” he said.

Transylvania’s grant request is among the first awarded by the 13-member foundation board established by Lucille C. Little ’28, a Transylvania trustee who was known in central Kentucky as an avid patron and generous supporter of the arts. Transy’s theater, dedicated in 1999, is named for Little, who provided the lead gift for the project. She died in 2002.

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