Peter Sargent Honored by National Performing Arts Association

Dec. 8, 2016

Peter Sargent Honored by National Performing Arts Association
Peter Sargent, dean of the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts

Peter Sargent, dean of Webster University’s Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, will receive the 2017 Thomas DeGaetani Award, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) announced this week. USITT is an association for performing arts and entertainment professionals. 

The national award is named after the first president of USITT. Past honorees include Cleveland’s Playhouse Square and Keven Myhre, the co-executive Producer at the Salt Lake Acting Company. The award annually honors an outstanding lifetime contribution to the performing arts or entertainment industry.

Sargent has been at Webster University for 50 years. Originally hired as the lighting and stage director for the then-new Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, he has risen through the ranks of Webster University to become the first dean for the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts.

Besides his work at Webster University, Sargent is secretary for the Board of Directors of the Arts and Education Council where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also a past recipient of USITT’s Special Citation for Education. He is a member of the Educational Theatre Association Hall of Fame and the College of Fellows of American Theatre and National Theatre Conference. He is a board member for The Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, The Tennessee Williams Festival of St. Louis, Dance St. Louis, and The Insight Theatre.

Last year, the Peter E. Sargent Chair was created through a combined estate gift from Laura House Herring ’70 and Mary Alice Dwyer-Dobbin ’63. It’s the first endowed chair in the College of Fine Arts and will focus on acting. In 2014, Sargent was selected by the Missouri Arts Council and the state of Missouri as the Missouri Arts Awards honoree in the Leadership in the Arts category.

Sargent will be honored at the 57th Annual Conference & Stage Expo in St. Louis, March 8-11, 2017. The annual conference provides technical sessions, workshops, and discussions on topics from architecture, costume design & technology, engineering, rigging safety, lighting design & technology, stage management, scenic design & technology, sound design & technology, and technical production.

USITT is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at

tags:  college of fine arts, employee news, faculty, home page, webster today,