Jack Ledbetter, Ph.D.

2002 Honorary Alumni

Biography as it appeared in 2002.

Jack Ledbetter’s dream was to carry a satchel of books across a college campus while students accompanied him listening to poetry.  And as Dr. Ledbetter sees it, his dream has been realized at CLU.

It was a warm, May evening when the teacher from Lutheran High School in Los Angeles first came to campus to give a poetry reading.  As the sun slanted off Mt. Clef and the ducks paddled in the creek, he thought then, “This would be a heck of a place to teach.”  He has been one of CLU’s most popular, influential and in-demand professors ever since.

With a Ph.D. in English from Nebraska Universtiy, Dr. Ledbetter began teaching at CLU in 1970.  Soon after his arrival, he established the award winning literary magazine Morning Glory and served as its advisor for 20 years.  He has taught a wide array of classes including American Literature, Creating Writing, Modern Poetry, as well as special classes on Frost, Faulkner and Hemingway.  In addition to teaching, Ledbetter has served as departmental chair, faculty chair, and as a member of numerous committees.

They say those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.  But in the multi-talented Professor Ledbetter’s case, he both teaches and does.  His “doing” includes numerous publications that range from poetry, anthologies, magazine articles and pieces, to works of fiction and orchestral arrangements.  In addition, Dr. Ledbetter has had two of his plays produced in the theatre.  He continues his poetry readings both nationally and internationally, and has presented papers at academic symposia across the country.

Professor Ledbetter has been an unfailing supporter of the mission of CLU as well as a long-term financial supporter.  He is responsible for putting into place the endowed Mark Van Doren Poetry Prize that each year awards approximately $1,000 to outstanding poetry students.

He and his wife, Dolores (MA ’82), also an educator, live in Thousand Oaks and are the parents of three children.