Alumni Profiles     

Col. (Ret.) John Sutton, US Army
Torchlighter Award, 2004

The Park University Alumni Associationís Torchlighter Award honors those who have made a significant, long standing contribution and commitment to Park University.  This yearís recipient, John Sutton, embodies this definition. 

Sutton began his 20-plus year commitment to Park when he was hired in 1983 by Park President Harold Condit to serve as the Assistant Director for Marketing, Military Resident Center System, and the School for Community Education.  In this role, Sutton served as an administrative representative who frequently traveled to Parkís Campus Centers, where he delivered commencement speeches and presented diplomas to Park graduates.  In 1984 Sutton became the Director of Title III, a strengthening program for Park, and was appointed as the Assistant to the President.  It was during this time that  Suttonís excellent fund raising abilities became apparent.  During his tenure at Park, he researched and assisted in securing more than four million dollars in grants, much of which still benefit Park students through existing academic programs.  Sutton also served as the Associate Dean and Director, School for Extended Learning and taught courses in math, history, business, English and military subjects. 

Suttonís development of Parkís ROTC program in the 1980s allowed him to further utilize his military expertise by building and promoting an integrated college/university ROTC program that has resulted in 40 Park graduates being commissioned into the United States Army. 

Sutton entered World War II as a draftee and was enrolled in Infantry Officer Candidate School when the war ended.  He won a Congressional appointment to the West Point United States Military Academy, from which he graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree.  He also attended the University of Kansas, Amherst College, and New York University.  He received a Masterís Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.  Sutton served 31 years of active duty in the United States Army, including ten years in Europe and a year each in Korea and Vietnam.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk.  His assignments included duty on the General Staff in the Pentagon; Assistant Professor of Mathematics at West Point; department head at the Staff College at Leavenworth; command of a logistic battalion in Vietnam; and six years at the United States European Command Headquarters in Paris and Stuttgart where he was also the US Delegate to a 15-nation NATO logistic planning board.  His military decorations include three Legion of Merit Medals. 

Sutton, who retired from Park in 2003 continues to represent the University at seminars and conferences, and enjoys more time to cultivate his lifelong interest in aviation by scheduling flight time at least once a week.  He has owned a 1942 WWII Army liaison Taylorcraft L-2 and a 1947 ERCOUPE.  Sutton also has a passion for collecting model airplanes and toy trains, many of which are displayed on the walls of his home office.  Other interests include; opera, music and ballet -- activities enjoyed with Dana, his wife, for 55 years.  They have two children and five grandchildren.

For over twenty years Sutton has utilized this impressive combination of academic and military accomplishments and skills to support the mission of Park University.  The Alumni Association has chosen to thank Colonel John Sutton, US Army, Retired, for a job well done, by presenting him with the 2004 Torchlighter Award.