A Message from the Chair
Dear Alumni and Friends,
In addition to the pandemic, this year our community has suffered a devastating loss. Last March our dear colleague, Steve White, passed away as a consequence of complications from heart surgery. He has been and will continue to be deeply missed by all of us. As you will read in this newsletter, we have organized several initiatives to properly honor and celebrate Steve’s life and work. In spite of the adverse circumstances, all the members of our community have given their best to keep our community together. As a consequence, our students and faculty have continued to thrive, the colloquia, workshops, conferences have continued to enrich the intellectual life of the whole community, and we kept our promise to celebrate our dear colleague, Ken Seeskin, with an online conference in his honor on the occasion of his retirement.
Some of the ongoing initiatives that are run by our undergraduate community and that you will find in the newsletter include groups such as the Undergraduate Philosophy Society (NUPS) and Women in Philosophy (WiPhi), and the PhilFEST to celebrate senior students who write honors theses, which yet again took the form of an online conference for undergraduates. This year the Bussey Lecture, an annual lecture organized by WiPhi, featured Prof. Michele Moody-Adams (Columbia University). In addition, the Ethics Bowl Team (a student-organized group that competes in ethical adjudication contests at the regional and national levels and is coached by our colleague, Prof. Horne) came in second at regionals and qualified for the national competition. All these initiatives and activities are only possible thanks to the continued efforts and engagement of the department’s undergraduate community.
To continue making our undergraduate program as vibrant and productive as possible, we constantly think about ways to improve our students’ experience. These include
- teaching students to meet the highest standards of scholarship and to acquire the needed skills to critically examine complex questions and to communicate effectively
- providing an expanding variety of courses to offer students a learning experience from a wide range of philosophical topics, perspectives and traditions
- recognizing superlative accomplishments in philosophical work and citizenship by conferring numerous annual awards for students’ outstanding achievements
- supporting research opportunities and providing funds to undergraduate students so that they can present their work at national and international venues
- emphasizing support for students’ initiatives like the Undergraduate Philosophy Society, Women in Philosophy, MAP, Ethics Bowl, etc.
- creating and supporting new ways of integrating undergraduate, graduate and faculty work in philosophy by fostering mentoring relationships, joint initiatives and research opportunities
- strengthening connections between our majors and professional networks that can help them jumpstart their professional careers after graduation.
The continued generosity of our alumni enables us to make this department a thriving, energetic, and welcoming environment. Any donation specifically earmarked as a gift to the philosophy department is used wholly to strengthen our programs and activities and to benefit philosophy students. A gift of any size ($1,000, $500, $100, or even $25) makes a considerable difference.
Thank you for your continuing friendship with the Philosophy Department and for your ongoing commitment to Northwestern.
Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of Philosophy and Chair
To make a gift online, please visit us at www.giving.northwestern.edu. You may also phone in a contribution to the development office at 847-467-3737.