‘Ann Tuttle Inspires Me to Chase My Dreams’

As she prepares to retire, the chair of the business and management division says she will “remain a friend of Keuka College” for life.

Monday, March 25, 2019
4 min. read

One of Keuka College’s biggest cheerleaders is arguably Ann Tuttle, chair of the Division of Business and Management and professor of management.

A consistent and faithful donor to the College, Ann has helped support the Keuka Fund and the Day of Giving, was a sponsor for the Keuka College Golf Classic, is a contributor to the Joan Magnusen Scholarship, is a member of the Keuka College Leadership Circle and the Booster Club, and donated to the Campaign to Save Ball Hall.  

Ann has extended her financial commitment to the College by serving as the faculty chair of The Next 125: The Comprehensive Campaign for Keuka College.

“I donate to Keuka College because I truly believe in the College, and I believe that what we do here deserves my support in advancing our mission,” she says. 

A Strong Bond

Ann insists that commitment won’t wane, even as she prepares to step down from the campus – and career – she has filled for more than two decades.

“I will be transitioning the international program for the new division chair next year, but I will be doing that remotely,” says Ann. “I will be retiring from teaching, campus activities, and all my other duties, but will help the transition for a year. I will remain a friend of Keuka College for the rest of my life.”

In fact, Ann, who began her career at Keuka College in 1995, believes in the College’s mission so much, she passed her love for the College to her children—both of whom are College graduates.

“I’m grateful for the education both of my children received here,” says Ann. “They were accepted at other schools, and could have gone anywhere, but they both wanted to come here. My son is in business, and my daughter is a teacher.”

Being a teacher is something Ann had considered since she was in college. 

“I wanted to be in the fields of business and education, and I thought I’d be a high school business teacher,” says Ann. “But in my junior year, I thought more about teaching on a college level.” 

But before looking for a teaching position, Ann was offered—and accepted—a job at Corning Inc. in the word processing call center after graduation. 

“I felt I needed more business experience with a Fortune 500 company to better manage people, and this job gave me great experience,” she says. “I was able to hire and fire people, administer performance reviews, and serve on a variety of committees. I also began to look for jobs at colleges, and taught a class at Corning Community College during my lunch hours and Monday nights.”

Finding Keuka College

Teaching at a college level was a perfect match, and so Ann began to search for an adjunct teaching position. 

“That’s how I found Keuka College,” she says. “It was perfect timing, as I was pregnant with my first child, and teaching a couple of courses worked well. After teaching as an adjunct, a full-time position opened and I’ve been here ever since.”

When Ann arrived on campus 24 years ago, Keuka College had only 19 graduates in the business program, the College did not have programs in China or Vietnam, there was no adult education, and there was no accreditation for the business program. 

“Now, we have all of that, and we have been accredited by the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) since 2007,” says Ann. “During the initial accreditation process, I asked a lot of questions, and then I attended the annual IACBE meeting. I was then asked to join the board, where I served for three years before becoming vice chair, and later, chair.”

Ann credits Keuka College for the myriad opportunities she has been given.

“I’m so grateful to Keuka College because it has afforded me the opportunity to go all over the country and the world,” says Ann. “I have led four international Field Period® trips, and it was as important to my development as it was to the students’. I have been to China, Italy, France, and Mexico. I have been across the country because of my role with IACBE. I never would have gotten these opportunities at a larger institution. Because we are smaller, if you are willing to get involved, the sky’s the limit.” 

People with Passion

It’s not just the opportunities she has been given that Ann loves about the College.

“I love the administration, and am encouraged,” says Ann. “I think having chairs of each division on the President’s Cabinet is very positive and forward-thinking. Being part of the Cabinet has helped me improve my budgeting and decision-making processes. [Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs] Dr. Brad Fuster has empowered and supported us, and he has given us the tools we need to do our jobs to the best of our ability.”

Ann also credits Sally Wedge and Dr. Diane Burke, two former education professors. Both are professor emerita, having served as chairs of the Division of Education, and both, Ann says, influenced her during different times in her career.

“Sally was chair of the education division, and made an indelible impact on me,” says Ann. “When I was still a new adjunct, I spent the entire academic year pregnant. There were no other females in the division, and so I didn’t really feel a kinship to anyone. But Sally took me in and gave me her pearls of wisdom, and helped me transition from the business world into higher education.” 

Later, Ann says, Dr. Burke was the chair of the education division while she was chair of the business division, and she, too, “was a terrific influence on me.” 

As chair of the Division of Business and Management—a position she has held several times during her tenure—one of Ann’s responsibilities is to regularly conduct program reviews to ensure the College remains current with industry standards. 

“For example, all of our accounting classes are taught using accounting software, and we regularly invite guest speakers in the industry to talk to our students,” says Ann. “This gives them an accurate picture of the profession, and helps them make business connections, possibly leading to Field Period® placements or jobs following commencement.”

It was at Commencement in 2007 that Ann was recognized for her dedication and inspiration to her students by being named Keuka College’s Professor of the Year.

That dedication and inspiration is something Michaela Martin ’19 sees every day.

“Ann Tuttle has inspired me to chase my dreams in the business world, even though there’s a high chance of hitting a glass ceiling. Seeing her success has inspired me to create my own, and for that I’m forever grateful,”says Michaela. 

Shelby Lamb ’20, agrees.

“Professor Tuttle has always pushed everyone to do their best and work their hardest,” says Shelby. “I always loved walking into her classes and being greeted with her smile and jokes and nicknames for everyone. I felt encouraged by Professor Tuttle, and learned so many new and different things from her. She always passes through campus with a smile. She’s been great since day one, and I am thankful to have had her as a professor.” 

Providing Total Support

Her support isn’t limited to the classroom—she regularly supports students outside the classroom as well.

“I want them to be the very best they can be,” Ann says. “I give students what I hope someone would give one of my children. I want to be a positive influence on them, and so I support them outside the classroom as well.” 

Ann admits to being tough on her students, which she says they accept because they know it comes from a place of caring.

“I love the transformation process that takes place,” says Ann. “We are that zone that takes these students from childhood to adulthood. Getting to know them outside of my classroom elicits better learning inside the classroom. I have never had a problem with classroom management, and the students show great respect to me and I, in turn, to them.”

Saying Farewell

And as much as Ann loves the College, and teaching, she will retire at the end of the academic year.

“I’m at a point where I’m ready to change directions,” says Ann. “I’ve given up a lot of opportunities with my family, and I want to put more time into the plans my husband and I have for our future. My husband has been very supportive, and I am ready for us to spend more time together. He has a demanding job that involves a lot of travel, and now I will be able to go with him. I am excited for this next chapter of my life.”

She will not only be busy in retirement, she will be missed.

“Ann Tuttle has been a defining leadership force for the Division of Business and Management and indeed, for the entire faculty,” says Dr. Fuster. “Business and management is the only division that currently teaches across all available modalities; on-campus, off-site, fully online, and in Asia. The success of all of these programs is a testament to Ann’s amazing ability to manage, lead, and execute. She does so with unwavering grace and elegance. I have learned so much from watching her work. Ann will be a deeply missed presence at Keuka College. I am thankful that our career paths intersected this year, and I wish her all the best in retirement!”

But Keuka College won’t be far from Ann’s heart.

“Keuka College empowered me to take on initiatives I wasn’t sure I could do,” says Ann. “The more I accomplished, the more responsibility I was given. This inspired me to take on more and more. We each can effect change; every person can have an influence on someone else, no matter how small. I am going to miss Keuka College—it is really hard to walk away.”