Skip to main content

John Simons P'05

Gresham Riley Award

Professor Emeritus John Simons P'05 is the recipient of the Gresham Riley Award. He joined the Department of English at Colorado College in 1971, where he taught modern American literature and film studies. In the 1980s, he launched a popular course on James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” Simultaneously, he began teaching more courses on film, focusing on genre courses in Westerns and American crime movies.

He served on several noteworthy selection committees at the college, including the selection committee for the hiring of President Jill Tiefenthaler, the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center design and architectural selection committee, and the design/architect selection committee for the Charles L. Tutt Library. He wrote the original proposal for CC’s Film and Media Studies Program.

He co-authored “Peckinpah’s Tragic Westerns: A Critical Study” (2011) with Robert Merrill and the two are collaborating on “Marlowe’s Cat: Robert Altman and the Making of ‘The Long Goodbye’” (2020). Simons has written nearly 20 essays on literature and film and has presented papers at numerous literary and film conferences.

For three years, he was the National Endowment for the Humanities Professor. In 2018, Simons was a recipient of the President’s Leadership Award.

He earned a bachelor of arts from Hope College in 1966, a master of arts in 1967 and Ph.D. in English in 1972 from the University of Chicago.