Jim Stutts ’78 receives the College of Education and Human Development’s Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award during Homecoming weekend

James “Jim” C. Stutts ’78 received the College of Education and Human Development’s Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at the “Reminisce Radford” breakfast held in Peters Hall during Homecoming weekend. He was presented the award by his dear friends, Drs. Lee and Mick Stewart, retired faculty who taught in Recreation, Parks and Tourism.

A graduate of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism program, Stutts has been a leader in the parks and recreation field for more than 43 years. He began his career as an outdoor recreation specialist at the Danville Virginia Department of Parks and Recreation. He then moved to the Virginia Recreation and Park Society (VRPS), a private non-profit professional organization dedicated to recreation, parks and other leisure services, where he was the youngest CEO of any professional association in the country. In September 2020, Stutts received the VRPS’ highest recognition, the Fellows Award. To celebrate his legacy in the parks and recreation profession, this award was renamed the James C. Stutts Fellows Award in his honor.

Stutts has been an advocate for Radford University throughout his career. Serving on the Board of Visitors for two terms, 1991-1999, Stutts coordinated visits to southwest Virginia for members of the Virginia General Assembly to ensure they had opportunities to understand the needs of Radford University and the surrounding area. Stutts is also a supporter of the College of Education and Human Development and has served on its advisory board, and he was a lead contributor to the Anna Lee Stewart Award for Excellence in Faculty Development. In 2000, Stutts received the Radford University Alumni Award for Outstanding Service.

“I’ve never had a bad experience in my association with Radford,” said Stutts. “I have a pretty unique viewpoint. I’ve seen it from the classroom, as a member of the Board of Visitors, from the President’s office, I’ve seen Radford active in the General Assembly, I’ve seen Radford host and feed legislators on the banks of the New River after a rafting trip, I’ve been to various alumni gatherings, and of course, my younger sister and her twin daughters graduated from here. It’s just something about Radford – it’s a special place. I knew it in the 70s, and after spending this afternoon walking around campus, I know it still is.”

His favorite part of coming back to campus time and time again is the pride he feels for his alma mater.

“I was fully prepared with confidence to start my career when I graduated from Radford, and it served me well for 43 years. I have a lot of fond memories. It actually changed my life,” said Stutts. “It’s easy to give back to Radford because it’s such a good cause.”