Boston College Scholar Appointed Dean Of Honors College

  • News Photo 1182
    At Boston College, Thomas Hibbs taught popular courses on nihilism and pop culture and philosophy and film noir, among others.
  • News Photo 1181
    Dr. Thomas S. Hibbs, professor and chair of philosophy at Boston College, has been appointed as dean of Baylor University?s Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, effective July 1.
March 12, 2003

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan Jr. today announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas S. Hibbs, professor and chair of philosophy at Boston College, as dean of the university's Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture, effective July 1.

"The appointment of Tom Hibbs brings an eminently qualified and noted public intellectual to lead the Honors College," Sloan said. "As an outstanding scholar-teacher, he represents the university's aspirations for a world-class faculty as expressed in Baylor 2012, our 10-year vision. I believe Dr. Hibbs will shape our new Honors College into the kind of academic enterprise that will bring further distinction to Baylor University."

Hibbs, who has been a member of the Boston College philosophy faculty since 1990 and department chair since 2002, becomes the first permanent dean of Baylor's Honors College, which was established June 1, 2002. Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities and provost-elect, has been serving as administrative head of the new college, which is one of the first major academic programs to be implemented as part of Baylor 2012.

"To be appointed dean of the Honors College at Baylor is a tremendous honor," Hibbs said. "It is an intellectually exciting time to join the university in its fulfillment of Baylor 2012, a vision that, in its integration of academic excellence and Christian mission, will contribute to real diversity in American higher education."

A native of Washington, D.C., Hibbs earned his bachelor's degree in literature and his master's degree in philosophy from the University of Dallas. He holds a master's degree and doctorate in medieval studies from the University of Notre Dame, where he served as a James Mooney Visiting Scholar and a Fellow in the Center for the Philosophy of Religion. Before joining Boston College, he was a tutor in the great books program at Thomas Aquinas College.

Hibbs has edited works of Augustine and Aquinas and authored two books on Aquinas, including Virtue's Splendor: Wisdom, Prudence, and the Good Life and Dialectic and Narrative in Aquinas: An Interpretation of the Summa Contra Gentiles. A specialist in medieval philosophy, ethics and philosophy of popular culture, Hibbs also is the author of Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld. He reviews films and writes about cultural issues for National Review Online and reviews books for The Weekly Standard.

Hibbs has appeared on television and radio, including a number of nationally syndicated NPR programs, to discuss film, popular culture and the cultural impact of Sept. 11, 2001. Two of his essays on Sept. 11 - "What Kind of Evil?" and "Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Virtues" - were published in The Chronicle of Higher Education's coverage of attack's cultural aftermath. Hibbs also has written or edited numerous articles for academic journals, including Religion and the Arts and International Philosophical Quarterly.

"I cannot imagine a stronger appointment as the inaugural dean of Baylor's new Honors College than Tom Hibbs," said Dr. Donald D. Schmeltekopf, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Not only is he a top scholar and teacher, but he also brings important administrative experience to this new deanship. These qualities and his connections in the higher education community will enable him to build one of the finest honors colleges in the nation."

Looking for more news from Baylor University?