Skip to main content

College of Fine Arts Knutson Award Goes to Mollman

Image Scott Mollman Scott Mollman, associate theatre professor, recipient of the 2016-2018 USD College of Fine Arts Knutson Distinguished Professor Award.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Scott Mollman, associate professor in the University of South Dakota Department of Theatre (technical design) will receive the 2016-2018 College of Fine Arts Knutson Distinguished Professor Award.

A college faculty committee, Knutson’s widow, Esther Knutson, and dean Larry Schou conveyed the honor after reviewing portfolios of tenured college faculty nominees who must display ongoing, notable and consistent research/creative scholarship over at least 12 years. Emphasis is placed on work outside USD, quality as well as quantity, and impact on the profession.

As the recipient, Mollman, will make a public presentation of his research/creative scholarship twice during the appointment, once each academic year. A plaque is placed on a wall in the main hallway of the College of Fine Arts to showcase the award winner, who also receives a $2,000 cash award.

“Scott Mollman is an outstanding talent and scholar in the theatre technical design area,” said Larry Schou, College of Fine Arts dean. "He is very well-respected nationally and is a go-to person for other professionals who seek his advice on aspects of theatre design. Scott is an inspiration to our theatre majors for his teaching and mentoring of those students who go on to wonderful careers in theatre.”

Wayne Knutson, Ph.D., who died last year, began his 35 years of service at USD in 1952 in a dual role as professor of speech and dramatic art and director of the university theatre. He was subsequently appointed to the positions of professor and chair of the department of English (1966-1971), dean and professor of fine arts (1972-1980), vice president for academic affairs and professor of Fine Arts (1980-1982), and professor of English and theatre (1982-1987). He was named “university distinguished professor” by the South Dakota Board of Regents, the first so named in the state system of public higher education. Knutson directed 70 plays at the university, the Black Hills Playhouse and community theatres across the state. He wrote 10 plays and opera librettos, which have been produced.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News