Professor of Theatre Receives Ruth Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award


HIGH POINT, N.C., May 14, 2012 – Ed Simpson, professor of theatre at High Point University, was recently presented with the annual Ruth Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award during the 2012 graduation ceremony.

“This was a wonderful surprise – a great honor made all the more special because it was awarded to me by my peers,” says Simpson. “I’m particularly indebted to my colleagues and students in the Department of Theatre. I can’t think of a better or more supportive group of creative collaborators.”

Simpson came to the university in 2006 as an adjunct professor after a 26-year career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2007, he became chair of the department and professor of theatre. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Guilford College and a Master’s of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

During his time at HPU, the Department of Theatre has been named the top university theatre department in the state by the North Carolina Theatre Conference, and it has implemented many new initiatives.

He has written nearly 20 produced and published plays during his career, and two scripts that he penned were recently turned into films. This includes “Elephant Sighs,” which was filmed by New Garden Media in High Point and Thomasville and stars TV and movie great Edward Asner. “Elephant Sighs” will be distributed nationally this summer. He also co-wrote “Connected” with Jim Goodman, assistant professor of media production at HPU. The screenplay was turned into a movie by the two professors and HPU students in the fall of 2011. “Connected” was named the 2012 “Best of Fest” Award winner in the Short Subject Category of the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts Faculty Scriptwriting Competition.

“It is fitting that this award be presented to this outstanding scholar, esteemed colleague and respected teacher – indeed a remarkable man whose very life reflects both creativity and scholarship as well as personal and professional achievement,” says Dennis Carroll, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 44 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

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Pam Haynes

Communication Specialist


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