President of Rhodes College receives Distinguished Alumnus Award
William E. Troutt, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Peabody during Commencement ceremonies on May 8.
“William Troutt is one of American higher education’s most talented leaders,” Dean Benbow said. “His leadership of Belmont University was simply brilliant, and now he is steadily moving Rhodes College up the ranks of national liberal arts colleges. He is an intelligent and charismatic leader and a role model for college presidents nationally.”
Troutt earned his Ph.D. in higher education from Peabody in 1978, one year prior to Peabody’s merger with Vanderbilt. He received his master’s degree from the University of Louisville (1972) and his bachelor’s degree from Union University (1971) in Jackson, Tenn.
Troutt served for 17 years as president of Belmont University in Nashville. At the time of his election to the Belmont presidency he was 32 and the youngest college president in America. Troutt was named president of Rhodes in 1999.
On being named Distinguished Alumnus, Troutt said, “I am so honored to receive this award. It is especially meaningful to return to Peabody at a time when it has just been recognized as our nation’s best.”
In April, Peabody was named the No. 1 graduate school of education in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Troutt also delivered the Commencement address as part of Peabody’s diploma awards ceremony for students receiving master’s or doctor of education degrees.
Troutt has written research articles for the Peabody Journal of Education, The Journal of Higher Education and New Directions for Institutional Research. He is currently completing a book on leadership.
Troutt and his wife, Carole, are the parents of Carole Ann Schmidt of Atlanta, Ga., and Jackson Cunliffe Troutt of Austin, Texas.