[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

                                                                                                                                Sept. 29, 2005

CUA’s Theological College Alumni Event Celebrates Basselin Program

Monsignor John Wippel to Receive Seminary’s Lifetime Service Award


Monsignor John Wippel

Theological College will spotlight the Basselin Scholars program during its annual Alumni Days celebration on Oct. 4 to 5, when Monsignor John Wippel, the Theodore Basselin Professor of Philosophy, will receive the seminary’s annual Alumnus Lifetime Service Award.


Wippel, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s and S.T.L. degrees from Catholic University, was himself a Basselin scholar as a seminarian at Theological College. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Louvain, Belgium, in 1965 and was awarded the prestigious post-doctoral degree Maître-Agrégé from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve in 1981. Wippel, who served as CUA’s academic vice president/provost from 1989 to 1997, first was appointed instructor in the School of Philosophy in 1960 and became ordinary professor in 1972. He was named to the Basselin chair in 2001.

Well known for his stature as a metaphysician and his work in medieval philosophy, Wippel is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, including “The Metaphysical Thought of Thomas Aquinas” and “The Metaphysical Thought of Godfrey of Fontaines.”  He is the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors, including the Aquinas Medal of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and has held two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We are particularly honored to have a priest, philosopher and educator of Monsignor Wippel’s stature as a faculty member and alumnus,” says Rev. Thomas Hurst, S.S., rector of Theological College. “He exemplifies all the qualities we look for when selecting a recipient for the Alumnus Lifetime Service Award.”


Hurst hopes the award also will bring recognition to the Theodore B. Basselin Program, a three-year scholarship program in philosophy, consisting of the junior and senior years of undergraduate study and one year of graduate work, leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Designed to educate future priests, it is supported with an endowment from Theodore Basselin, a New York businessman who died in 1914. More than 400 young men have completed the program during its 90-year history.


Wippel teaches the core courses in the Basselin program, including a required course sequence in Thomistic metaphysics.


Wippel’s award will be given at an awards dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 5.


Rev. Kurt Pritzl, O.P., dean of CUA’s School of Philosophy, will give a presentation to visiting alumni that morning, and the School of Philosophy will be honored that evening for its special contributions to priestly education.


The seminary of CUA, Theological College is sponsored and administered by the Society of St. Sulpice, an association of priests dedicated to the formation of seminarians for diocesan priesthood. 


MEDIA: For more information, contact Chris Harrison in the CUA Office of Public Affairs

 at 202-319-5600.








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Revised: 9/29/2005

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