Baylor Selects Winner Of $200,000 Teaching Award

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Feb. 4, 2004

Baylor University has named a philosophy professor at Saint Louis University as the recipient of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, the single largest award given to an individual for great teaching. Dr. Eleonore Stump, the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy, will receive $200,000 plus $25,000 for her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during the 2005 spring semester.

"It is important to honor teaching," Stump said. "Fundamentally, everything worthwhile we do is teaching. We are privileged to be able to spend our working day doing things that belong to the life of the mind, and that is a great gift. And for that gift, we have to give back to the community that has given us this blessing. The way we give back is entirely by teaching. There is no other way. Research is teaching through the written word and classroom teaching is teaching through the spoken word, but whether through the written word or the spoken word, teaching has always got to give back. If we don't give back, it is unspeakable, because the gift given to us is very great."

Stump, who is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, earned her bachelor's degree from Grinnell College, her master's degrees from Harvard University and Cornell University and her doctorate from Cornell. She taught at Oberlin College, Virginia Tech and the University of Notre Dame before coming to Saint Louis University in 1992.

She has published widely on the philosophy of religion, metaphysics and medieval philosophy and is the author or editor of 15 books and anthologies, including "Aquinas," the "Cambridge Companion to Augustine," "Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions" and "Reasoned Faith." She is past president of both the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Catholic Philosophical Association and presented the 2003 Gifford Lectures in Aberdeen, Scotland.

"Dr. Stump has an outstanding record as a teacher and as a scholar, and her residence at Baylor should bring many riches for Baylor students and faculty," said Dr. William Bellinger, professor of religion and chairman of the Cherry Award selection committee. "She is well known as one who serves sacrificially in the vocation of teaching.

"Professor Stump rose to the top of an excellent group of nominees this year. We had over 100 exceptional nominees from fine institutions of higher education in the English-speaking world. The Cherry Awards Committee is pleased that the award has enjoyed something of a renewal in recent years. It has become one of the most prestigious awards for teaching."

In addition to Stump, the Cherry Award finalists were Dr. Harry Stout, Jonathan Edwards Professor of American Religious History at Yale University, and Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology, Emeritus, at Yale's Divinity School.

The Cherry finalists each received $15,000 and presented a series of lectures at Baylor during the fall. The home department of the finalists also received $10,000 to foster the development of teaching skills.

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