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Philosophy Department 100th Anniversary

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Faculty Appointments and Turning Points by Decade

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Philosophy Department 100th Anniversary

Philosophy Department 100th Anniversary

The Department of Philosophy has been a bedrock of the Penn State community since its creation on September 11, 1923. For 100 years, students have looked to us to study philosophical theory, explore its historical and cultural significance, and examine the role that philosophy continues to play in addressing the most pertinent social issues facing us today. We also play a significant role in preparing and diversifying future generations of philosophy scholars, thereby cementing our longstanding legacy as a vital contributor to the discipline.
 
We are planning a host of activities to commemorate our centennial throughout the 2023-2024 acedemic year – including our annual Public Speakers Series, which this year will feature alumni of our Ph.D. program. Please visit this page often throughout the year – and the Events link below in particular – to learn more about these exciting upcoming opportunities.

On September 11, 1923, The Pennsylvania State Faculty Bulletin announced that the Board of Trustees had established a Department of Philosophy within the College of Liberal Arts. While, “moral and intellectual philosophy” had been part of the curriculum of the Farmer’s High School as early as 1859, the newly formed Department was designed to offer specific instruction in the areas of “philosophy, logic, and ethics.” The faculty initially consisted of two members. The first was Edwin W. Runkle, who was appointed in 1893 to the now named Pennsylvania State College as an Instructor in Philosophy and Ethics; he then served as Head of Philosophy from 1923 to 1938. The second faculty member was Ray H. Dotterer, who subsequently served in the same position from 1938 to 1947. From the year of its foundation the Department offered a B.A. and M.A. curriculum to students at Penn State University Park, and in 1959, under the headship of John M. Anderson, it began its ongoing Ph.D. program. Over the last one hundred years the Department has been home to almost one hundred forty faculty members and has trained generations of scholars contributing internationally to the field of philosophy.

The first hundred years of the Penn State Philosophy Department (founded in 1923) have laid a remarkable foundation for its second hundred years. For decades, students interested in philosophy have looked to the Penn State Philosophy Department for its excellence in the history of philosophy and European philosophy. Students today still look to us for these same strengths but pressing social issues have been driving students to depend on us for our philosophical engagements with race, gender, and the environment. Through our traditional and new strengths, the Penn State Philosophy Department is responsive to and responsible for a changing society. In this way, the Penn State Philosophy Department aims to be a leader in the national and international philosophical community and in academia at large. 

What follows is an annual list of faculty appointments and turning points in the Department’s history. Included on this list are the names of all the Department’s faculty members who have served at the University Park campus, some of whom, for reasons unknown, were not included in the Department’s 50th anniversary program. As these women were active in the department as early as 1958, it is only fitting that they be acknowledged with the rest of the tenure-track and teaching faculty.

1920s

1923

The Department of Philosophy is established within the College of the Liberal Arts.

Edwin W. Runkle joins the Department faculty as Head, serving until 1938.

Ray H. Dotterer joins the Department faculty, initially serving until 1926.

B.A and M.A. programs in Philosophy are established for University Park students.

1926

S. McClellan Butt joins the Department faculty, serving until 1931.

1929

George Burch joins the Department faculty, serving until 1930.

Kurt Rosinger joins the Department faculty, serving until 1930.

1930s

1931

Ray H. Dotterer rejoins the Department faculty, serving until 1948.

1936

Aaron Druckman joins the Department faculty, serving until 1978.

1938

Ray H. Dotterer is appointed Head, serving in this role until 1947.

1939

John Baker joins the Department faculty, serving until 1946.

1940s

1946

John M. Anderson joins the Department faculty, serving until 1980.

Ernst H. Freund joins the Department faculty, serving until 1971.

John Mourant joins the Department faculty, serving until 1975.

1947

John Mourant is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role until 1948.

1948

John M. Anderson is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role until 1949.

Leslie Pape joins the Department faculty, serving until 1963.

1949

John Mourant is appointed Head, serving in this role until 1952.

Lester Eidemiller joins the Department faculty, serving until 1950.

Laurence Rosen joins the Department faculty, serving until 1952.

1950s

1950

Henry A. Finch joins the Department faculty, serving until 1969.

John J. O’Connor joins the Department faculty, serving until 1958.

1952

John M. Anderson is appointed Head, serving in this role until 1954.

1953

Henry W. Johnstone joins the Department faculty, serving until 1984.

1954

Ernst H. Freund is appointed as Acting Head, serving in this role until 1955.

1955

Ernst H. Freud is appointed as Head, serving in this role until 1958.

Robert Gahringer joins the Department faculty, serving until 1956.

Homer Mason joins the Department faculty, serving until 1959.

1956

Harry Nielsen joins the Department faculty, serving until 1957.

1957

Stanley Rosen joins the Department faculty, serving until 1994.

Jerry Stannard joins the Department faculty, serving until 1962.

1958

John M. Anderson is reappointed Head, serving in this role until 1961.

Gale M. Anderson joins the Department faculty, serving until 1960.

John Brown joins the Department faculty, serving until 1960.

Richard Gotshalk joins the Department faculty, serving until 1977.

Margery V.C. Johnstone joins the Department faculty, serving until 1959.

Ruby Riemer joins the Department faculty, serving until 1959.

1959

Ph.D. program in Philosophy is established for University Park students.

Rigoberto Juarez-Paz joins the Department faculty, serving until 1964.

1960s

1960

Donald Kuspit joins the Department faculty, serving until 1966

Chaninah Marienthal joins the Department faculty, serving until 1962.

Robert Price joins the Department faculty, serving until 1999.

Albert G. Tsugawa joins the Department faculty, serving until 1995.

1961

Henry W. Johnstone is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role until 1962.

Morris Grossman joins the Department faculty, serving until 1967.

Richard Kennington joins the Department faculty, serving until 1976.

1962

John M. Anderson is reappointed Head, serving in this role until 1967.

Henry Bugbee joins the Department faculty, serving until 1968.

Duane Whittier joins the Department faculty, serving until 1968.

1963

Joseph Fell joins the Department faculty, serving until 1964.

James Leach joins the Department faculty, serving until 1964.

William Wisdom joins the Department faculty, serving until 1965.

1964

Joseph Flay joins the Department faculty, serving until 1994.

1966

Henry Allison joins the Department faculty, serving until 1969.

1967

Carl Hausman joins the Department faculty, serving until 1994. He is joins as Head, serving in this role until 1982.

Barry Brown joins the Department faculty, serving until 1968.

James Kuehl joins the Department faculty, serving until 1970.

Alphonso Lingis joins the Department faculty, serving until 2002.

1968

Hiram Caton joins the Department faculty, serving until 1972.

Carl Vaught joins the Department faculty, serving until 1999, with one year of service at Penn State Ogontz during the 1972-1973 academic year.

1969

Joseph Kockelmans joins the Department faculty, serving until 1996.

1970s

1970

Steven Goldman joins the Department faculty, serving until 1978.

1971

Lewis Ford joins the Department faculty, serving until 1973.

1972

Andre Orianne joins the Department faculty, serving until 1974.

Donald Verene joins the Department faculty, serving until 1982.

1974

Gerald Press joins the Department faculty, serving until 1976.

Thomas Seebohm joins the Department faculty, serving until 1984.

1975

Corinna Delkeskamp joins the Department faculty, serving until 1977.

1976

Catherine Burke joins the Department faculty, serving until 1977.

1977

Robert Cater joins the Department faculty, serving until 1978.

Glen Helman joins the Department faculty, serving until 1986.

Marjorie Karp joins the Department faculty, serving until 1978.

1978

David Lachterman joins the Department faculty, serving initially until 1979.

1979

Emily Grosholz joins the Department faculty, serving until 2022.

1980s

1980

Nancy McKenzie joins the Department faculty, serving until 1983.

1982

Carl Vaught is appointed Head, serving in this role until 1993.

1983

Robert Corrington joins the Department faculty, serving until 1990.

1985

David Lachterman rejoins the Department faculty after six year of interim adjunct service. He serves full-time until 1991.

Veronique Foti joins the Department faculty, serving until 2015.

Irene Harvey joins the Department faculty, serving until 2015.

Dale Jacquette joins the Department faculty, serving until 2008.

1987

Salim Kemal joins the Department faculty, serving until 1995.

1989

Daniel Conway joins the Department faculty, serving until 2007.

Carl Mitcham joins the Department faculty, serving until 1999.

1990s

1991

Douglas Anderson joins the Department faculty, serving until 2006.

Pierre Kerzberg joins the Department faculty, serving until 2000.

1993

Carl Hausman is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role until 1994.

1994

John Stuhr joins the Department faculty as Head, serving until 2002.

Susan Schoenbohm joins the Department faculty, serving until 1998. Charles Scott joins the Department faculty, initially serving until 2005.

1996

John Russon joins the Department faculty, serving until 2003.

John Sallis joins the Department faculty, serving until 2004.

1998

John Christman joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Vincent Colapietro joins the Department faculty, serving until 2017.

Anna Fredlund joins the Department faculty, serving until 1999.

Richard Lee joins the Department faculty, serving until 2002.

Thomas Maxwell joins the Department faculty, serving until 1999.

Daniela Neu joins the Department faculty, serving until 1999.

Shannon Sullivan joins the Department faculty, serving until 2014.

1999

Phillip McReynolds joins the Department faculty, serving until 2014.

2000s

2000

Johannes Fritsche joins the Department faculty, serving until 2003.

Cal Golumbic joins the Department faculty, serving until 2008.

Claire Katz joins the Department faculty, serving until 2007.

Nancy Tuana joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

2002

Charles Scott is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role until 2003.

2003

Mitchell Aboulafia joins the Department faculty, serving until 2007. He is joins as Head, serving in this role until 2004.

Sean Erwin joins the Department faculty, serving until 2004.

Catherin Kemp joins the Department faculty, serving until 2007.

Dennis Schmidt joins the Department faculty, serving until 2015.

2004

Nancy Tuana is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role for the Spring Semester.

Ronald L Filippelli is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role for the Fall Semester.

2005

John Christman is appointed Acting Head, serving in this role until 2006.

Paula Droege joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Matthew Jordan joins the Department faculty, serving until 2007.

Christopher Long joins the Department faculty, serving until 2015.

Jennifer Mensch joins the Department faculty, serving until 2015.

2006

Shannon Sullivan is appointed Head, serving in this role until 2012.

2007

Brady Bowman joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Willian Behun joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

Stephen Faison joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

Mark Fisher joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Christopher Lauer joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

David Strong joins the Department faculty, serving until 2008.

Michael Steinmann joins the Department faculty, serving until 2008.

Henry Weng joins the Department faculty, serving until 2008.

2008

Robert Bernasconi joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Kathryn Belle (formerly Gines) joins the Department faculty, serving until 2023.

Marcus Dracos joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

Juliana Eimer joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

Kyle Grady joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

Leonard Lawlor joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Shawn Loht joins the Department faculty, serving until 2009.

2009

Christian Becker joins the Department faculty, serving until 2013.

2010s

2010

Jared Swanson joins the Department faculty, serving until 2011.

Paul Taylor joins the Department faculty, serving until 2018.

2011

Joshua Wretzel joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

2012

John Christman is reappointed Acting Head, serving in this position for the Fall Semester.

David Agler joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Sarah Clark Miller joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Christopher Moore joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

2013

Christopher Long is appointed Acting Head, serving in this position for the Spring Semester.

Shannon Sullivan is reappointed Head, serving in this position until 2014.

Michael Burroughs joins the Department faculty, serving until 2017.

2014

John Christman is reappointed Acting Head, serving in this position until 2015.

Joe Balay joins the Department faculty, serving until 2015.

2015

Amy Allen joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today. She joins as Head, serving in this role until 2021.

Eduardo Mendieta joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Mark Sentesy joins the Department faculty, serving until 2023.

Charles Scott rejoins the Department faculty, serving until 2022.

2016

Uygar Abaci joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Rachel Falkenstern joins the Department faculty, serving until 2017.

2017

Marianna Ortega joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Ted Toadvine joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Nicolas de Warren joins the Department, continuing to serve today.

Derek Aggleton joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Oidinposha Imamkhodjaeva joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Aaron Krempa joins the Department faculty, serving until 2021.

2018

Désirée Lim joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

2019

David Mariott joins the Department faculty, serving until 2021.

2020s

2021

Leonard Lawlor is appointed Acting Head, serving in this position until 2022.

Sabrina Aggleton joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Michael Augustin joins the Department, serving until 2021.

Colin Smith joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

David Sollenberger joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

2022

Leonard Lawlor is appointed Head, continuing his service in his position today.

Theodore Bergsma joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

Tony White joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.

2023

Kris Sealey joins the Department faculty, continuing to serve today.