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Loyal and dedicated are two words that describe Tom Lyttle's 35 years at UHD.
"I have been here for 35 years and I think I'll stay another 35 before I make my decision about this place," Lyttle said jokingly. "I do my work here with care and with a consciousness for the students."
Lyttle is a professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the coordinator of the drama area, music faculty and the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts (BAFA) degree program. He is also the first director of UHD's O'Kane Theatre, which was created nearly 35 years ago to introduce students to live theater, on and off the stage.
"I was directing for Houston's Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) when I heard about UHD's new theater program," Lyttle said. "I took a job here as a voice and diction teacher until I could apply for the program's director position."
When Lyttle was hired as theater director, he told J. Don Boney, UHD president from 1975 to 1979, "I'm yours for life." So far, Lyttle has kept his promise.
Lyttle has been with the theater program from its inception, when small one-act plays were the pinnacle of productions. Today, Lyttle produces about four large works a year, as well as a series of student-directed, one-act plays.
"Musicals are my favorite because of my previous work with TUTS," he said. "Agatha Christie plays are always fun, the Greek plays are educational and surprisingly contemporary in their themes, but I can never wait to produce a musical."
For his work and dedication to UHD, Lyttle received the 1996 Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Professional Activity.
"The students make all the work worthwhile," he said. "What they go through to just be in a play, with work, school, families and commuting, is unbelievable. They're just marvelous students."
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Last updated or reviewed on 2/24/12