BLACKSBURG, Va., June 22, 2004 – Paul A. Distler of Blacksburg, Va., Alumni Distinguished Professor and director of the School of the Arts at Virginia Tech, was conferred with the title Alumni Distinguished Professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors during the board's summer meeting June 7.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who have given exemplary service to the university and who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the University.
Since joining the university in 1967 as a member of the faculty in the Department of Theatre Arts, served as the founder and leader of the Department of Performing Arts and Communications, head of the Department of Theatre Arts, and director of the Division of Performing Arts, and of the School of the Arts. A noted teacher, performer, director, scholar, television host, and producer, Distler received the university's W.E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence, has been published in a variety of journals and books, and has hosted the 13-part television series "A Better Mousetrap" that was syndicated on numerous PBS stations.
Distler is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. He was a founding member of the National Association of Schools of Theater and served the organization for 23 years, during which time he organized conferences and conducted visitations to theater departments across the nation. He a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College and received a master's degree and Ph.D. from Tulane University.
Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities, and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg, and other campus centers in northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.