• UWA to commemorate 100th anniversary of Julia Strudwick Tutwiler’s death

    Posted: May 19, 2016

    Author: Public Relations

    The University of West Alabama will host a special event honoring the 100th anniversary of the death of the University library’s namesake, Julia Strudwick Tutwiler, on Sunday, June 12, at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the campus library.

    Ellise Mayor from Birmingham, Ala., will present a portrayal of Tutwiler entitled “My Name is Juila.” A reception will follow Mayor’s presentation.

    The one-woman play was authored by Alabama journalist, photographer, and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham. Much of Windham’s research for the play was conducted in Livingston, where Tutwiler served as the University’s first president.

    Tutwiler served first beginning in 1880 as co-principal of the institution, then named Livingston Female Academy. She became principal in 1888 after the name changed to Alabama Normal College and Livingston Female Academy. Her title was changed to president in 1890, making her Tutwiler the first and only female to have led the University. She served at the helm of the University for a total of 30 years until her retirement in 1910.

    Mayor has been steeped in theater all her life. She began teaching creative dramatics at The Birmingham Southern College Conservatory in 1997.

    Among other endeavors, Mayor has continued teaching this program with many of her students going on to perform professionally. Currently, Mayor is the artistic director of the Levite Community Center and a teaching artist for ArtPlay, a program of the Alys Stephens Center of University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    Mayor is also a guest artist and director at Vulcan Park and Museum and a contributing director at The Birmingham Festival Theater since 2007.

    Mayor received her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from The University of Alabama with a major in English literature and a double minor in theater and German.

    A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she has studied five languages. Mayor has received intensive training at the National Shakespeare Conservatory acquiring a Professional Certificate in Theater/Shakespeare. She also excelled at Birmingham Southern College in the master's program for public and private management, graduating with the top academic average in her class in 2011.

    Mayor is a Renaissance woman, a fitting performer to emulate Julia Strudwick Tutwiler because her own passions so often mirror Tutwiler’s. Mayor is especially active in the fields of arts and culture, civil rights and social action, the environment, and human rights.

    For more information, please contact Vivian Hauser at 205-652-3611.

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