Dr. Thorndike is Professor and Senior Fellow in the Honors Program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he's taught for over 20 years. He served as Director of the Honors Program from 2012-2018. In addition to Honors core and General Education courses, he teaches a Study Abroad course at King’s College-London on C. S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings.
Thorndike previously taught at Alma College, Rocky Mountain College, Lakeland University, and the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University. As an undergraduate, he spent one year doing mission work for a Presbyterian school for Native Americans in Sitka, Alaska.
Thorndike has led Study Abroad trips to Ireland, England, Japan, China, Greece, and Italy. He completed NEH seminars at the University of Arizona, at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and at Harvard University. He published one book on James Joyce, two books on American history, and over 50 essays on Japanese and British literature. Thorndike’s book Epperson vs. Arkansas won a state library book-of-the-year award, and he appeared on a panel with the novelist John Grisham. He was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award at Lakeland University and Belmont’s Presidential Achievement Award.
For ten years, he served as the Secretary-Treasurer for the southeast region of Alpha Chi National Honor Society and received Alpha Chi’s Distinguished Service Award. Working with colleagues at the National Collegiate Honors Council and area universities, Thorndike created the first consortium of Nashville Honors Colleges. Thorndike is a New American Colleges and Universities Ambassador responsible for reporting about NACU initiatives and facilitating campus participation in NACU. He is passionate about empowering students through education. He loves his family, church, hiking, cycling, and running the marathon including Boston. He plans to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail one day and visit every good coffee shop and Asian restaurant in Nashville.