The Catholic University of America

Oct. 23, 2009

CUA Receives $2.5 Million Gift to Establish Endowed Chair in Philosophy

Rev. Kurt Pritzl, O.P.

Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, announced today that the university has received a gift of $2.5 million to establish an endowed chair in CUA's School of Philosophy. The donors wish to remain anonymous.

"Gifts of this magnitude enable the university to build on the reputation of its schools and faculties in a way that would not otherwise be possible," observed Father O'Connell.

"The School of Philosophy has long been a source of great pride for the university, frequently being cited as one of the best centers for philosophical education and research in the world," he added. "The donors have indicated to me that their gift comes in recognition of the outstanding leadership of the school's dean, Rev. Kurt Pritzl, O.P. I could not agree more and I am so grateful to them, to Father Pritzl and to the school's faculty."

For his part, Father Pritzl reflected that "The endowment of a chair to bring a scholar of the highest rank and eminence to the School of Philosophy expands an already distinguished faculty in the best possible way and testifies to the permanent and fundamental importance of the work of the school in fulfilling the Catholic academic mission of the university.

"This chair will advance in perpetuity the research, writing and teaching to which the school is devoted in service to society and the Church," Father Pritzl noted. "We cannot express adequately our thanks to the anonymous donors whose magnificent gift has made this new chair possible."

The School of Philosophy is one of only three philosophy faculties in the country organized as a separate school, along with those at Cornell and the University of Southern California. The school is unique for courses and scholarship grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition with an abiding concern for the relation between faith and reason, the intelligibility of nature and the possibility of an ethics and political philosophy based on rational insight into human nature.

The School of Philosophy's 42nd annual Fall Lecture Series, which runs through Dec. 4, is one of the longest continuously running major philosophy lecture series in the country.