Hankering To Teach

June 4, 2004

His is a well-known name -- more readily associated with starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters than with the works of Chaucer or Sir Thomas Malory. And he is the only Baylor professor who has a drink named for him at a campus coffee shop.

But for scores of students through almost three decades, it's not by moniker or mocha that Tom Hanks is best known -- it's for his teaching excellence, recognized again this spring with the inaugural Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award.

D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor of English at Baylor since 1976, received the honor in April during the annual Honors Convocation at Armstrong Browning Library. Presented to a faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor, the award's criteria include teaching, research and service. As the recipient, Hanks, a scholar in Medieval English literature, will receive $20,000 and will present a public lecture on an academic topic of his choosing during the fall semester.

Baylor Magazine asked Hanks to share his thoughts about the award and the profession of teaching.


His is a well-known name -- more readily associated with starring roles in Hollywood blockbusters than with the works of Chaucer or Sir Thomas Malory. And he is the only Baylor professor who has a drink named for him at a campus coffee shop.

But for scores of students through almost three decades, it's not by moniker or mocha that Tom Hanks is best known -- it's for his teaching excellence, recognized again this spring with the inaugural Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award.

D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor of English at Baylor since 1976, received the honor in April during the annual Honors Convocation at Armstrong Browning Library. Presented to a faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor, the award's criteria include teaching, research and service. As the recipient, Hanks, a scholar in Medieval English literature, will receive $20,000 and will present a public lecture on an academic topic of his choosing during the fall semester.

Baylor Magazine asked Hanks to share his thoughts about the award and the profession of teaching.


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