By Sidney Nimmons

CLEMSON – John T. Acorn, professor emeritus of art, has earned Clemson University’s Distinguished Emeriti Award for 2010 for his continuing commitment to the university and the community after retirement.

Acorn began his tenure as assistant professor at Clemson in 1961. He became chairman of the art department in 1976, where he served until retirement in 1997. Acorn received the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, the highest honor for an artist in South Carolina in 1998 because of his service to Clemson and the surrounding communities.

“John Acorn is truly an example of someone who has remained engaged and active in retirement,” said Diane Smathers, director of Clemson’s Emeritus College. “His work can be seen throughout the Upstate and is impressive as well as expressive. He has a very rare, almost raw, talent that captures and expounds upon life in America.”

Born in Patterson, N.J., Acorn earned a B.A. in fine arts from Montclair State College. He earned his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Emeritus Day is an annual program sponsored by the Emeritus College in order to give emeriti an opportunity to return to campus, meet with colleagues, and learn about new programs. The first Distinguished Emeriti Award was given in 2008.

“The Emeritus College is invaluable in keeping retired faculty connected to the university,” Smathers said. “Not only do emeriti wish to continue interaction with each other and current faculty, but their ongoing love for students is prominent in the college’s programs.”