Nathan Tuttle ’14 on Giving Back
Six days after graduating from Southwestern, Nathan Tuttle ’14 began working as a communication specialist with the San Antonio Clubhouse, a non-profit organization that works with adults living with serious mental illness. The organization helps members form meaningful relationships that enhance their quality of life. “One of Southwestern’s core values is ‘Encouraging activism in the pursuit of justice and the common good.’ The emphasis at Southwestern on social justice had a big influence on me. As I approached graduation, I knew that I wanted to do something that would help other people,” says Tuttle.
As a study abroad student, my mind was opened to cultures that were totally foreign to me. Those experiences were all integral in shaping my attitude as a professional.
A sociology major at Southwestern, Tuttle says that the University gave him a “safe space in which I was able to challenge myself and try new things every day.” Serving as the student body president as a senior helped him hone leadership skills and provided valuable lessons in navigating the sometimes difficult world of campus life. “I was encouraged to be curious and ask questions,” he says. “As a study abroad student, my mind was opened to cultures that were totally foreign to me. Those experiences were all integral in shaping my attitude as a professional.”
A San Antonio native and the son of a Trinity University employee, Tuttle remembers going to sporting events and enjoying the Trinity-Southwestern rivalry. However, after touring the Southwestern campus, he says it was an easy decision to matriculate to Southwestern. “I immediately fell in love with the Southwestern campus. The tour guide talked about all of the opportunities the University had to offer, and when she explained the concept of the Living Learning Communities and Paideia, I was hooked.”
During his junior year, Tuttle worked closely with Maria Lowe and Reggie Bryon, professor and assistant professor of sociology respectively, on a student-driven research project. He says he was involved in every level of the research, from developing a survey instrument to conducting the interviews, analyzing the data and traveling to Charlotte, N.C. to present the results at the Southern Sociological Society meeting. “Few undergraduates get to collaborate with faculty on research project; I am thankful that I was able to at Southwestern.”
Tuttle says of the Southwestern faculty, “They have dedicated their lives to mentoring Southwestern students. To this day, I feel the impact that my mentors had on me, and I want to give the same feeling to others.” About his peers, he sees them as “agents for positive change in the world as a direct result of the liberal arts education that Southwestern offers” and believes that this is the reason giving to Southwestern makes sense.
In his still-new job at The Clubhouse, Tuttle says much of his work involves networking and building relationships, which is second nature, thanks to his time on the close-knit Southwestern campus. But what he misses most is the academic experience. “I loved the tremendous value that Southwestern places on intellectual curiosity, exploration and discovery.”
Story by Taylor Kidd
Photography by Andrew Loehman