As a distinguished teacher, mentor, and scholar, Professor Emeritus Bill Tuttle guided generations of KU students. Bill taught in American studies, history, and African and African-American studies, offering the first courses at KU in African American history and post-World War II American history. His teaching awards include a 1998 W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, the H.O.P.E Teaching Award from the Class of 2001, and the Chancellor's Club Career Teaching Award in 2004. His course on Recent America was legendary for attracting the very best seniors on campus. In 2007, he taught at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, holding the John Adams Distinguished Fulbright Chair. He has also lectured in Cuba and Japan.
Bill Tuttle has written seminal work in African American history, labor history, the history of childhood, and recent American history which has influenced scholars and students around the world. As a pioneer in history from the bottom up, he produced the classic books Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919, "Daddy's Gone to War": The Second World War in the Lives of America's Children, and the co-edited Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. Through seven editions of the co-authored A People and a Nation, Bill reached millions of students. His scholarly articles have been frequently reprinted and widely cited.
Bill is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians, and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, NEH, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute of Southern History, Johns Hopkins University, the Charles Warren Center, Harvard University, and the Stanford Humanities Center. In 2004 KU honored him with a Higuchi Award, the Balfour S. Jeffrey Award for Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences.
In Lawrence Bill Tuttle most recently co-chaired the Second Century Fund to restore Lawrence's historic St. Luke AME Church. He was a founding member of the University of Kansas branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and has worked with the Lorenzo J. Greene Branch in Kansas City. He is also a longtime member of the NAACP. For his community work, in 2006, Bill was recognized with the Steeples Service to Kansans Award. He and his wife Kathy are members of the Old West Lawrence Association, and they have made their historic home a center of university and community life.