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The Hank Center's 2018 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Jon Nilson

2018 Living Tradition Award [Nilson]

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who has exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

The 2018 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Jon Nilson, Professor Emeritus of Theology, Loyola University Chicago.

About Jon Nilson ‌

Jon Nilson is Professor Emeritus of Theology at Loyola University Chicago. After attending the minor and major seminaries of the Archdiocese of Chicago, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. Before coming to Loyola in 1975, he taught at St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University) and the University of Dallas. He has held visiting professorships at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and the General Theological Seminary (Protestant Episcopal) in New York.

He was appointed to Loyola’s Graduate Faculty in 1977 and was a member of many ad hoc and standing committees in the college and the university, including the Faculty Council, which he chaired from 1979-1983. He collaborated with his colleagues in the Theology Department in various ways, including service as Graduate Programs Director, membership on the Advisory Committee, and Department Chair.

His academic research and publications fall roughly into two periods. In the first period, his primary interest was ecclesiology and, more specifically, issues of authority in the Roman Catholic Church and its relationships with other Christian churches. The second period began in December 2000 when Theological Studies published a special issue entitled “The Catholic Reception of Black Theology.” It contained an article by his friend and colleague Jamie Phelps, O.P., that awakened him to the enduring, systemic, and destructive power of racism in the United States as a reality which demanded the attention of all Christian theologians. His 2003 presidential address to the Catholic Theological Society of America, “Confessions of a White Catholic Racist Theologian,” became the basis for his most recent book, Hearing Past the Pain. Why White Catholic Theologians Need Black Theology.

Much of his work has been made possible only by the love, support, and wisdom of his wife, Merle Taber. He is close to his three children, all Loyola graduates: Julie Chyna, married to Brent; Amy Connery, married to Matt; and Dan Nilson, married to Rebecca. Merle and Jon always enjoy being with their six grandchildren: Megan, Lindsay, Ella, Conor, Teague, and Eamon, who range from fourteen to six years of age. 

The Hank Center's 2017 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Francis Fennell

2017 Living Tradition Award [Fennell]

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who has exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

The 2017 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Francis Fennell.

About Francis Fennell

Frank Fennell joined the Loyola faculty as an Assistant Professor of English in 1968. Like other faculty in those days, teaching was his first priority: he would teach ten courses a year (three each semester and two in each summer session) to a total of over 400 students. Soon he added scholarly responsibilities in his field of Victorian literature, eventually publishing six books, three dozen articles, and numerous reviews, notes, and conference papers.

With the publications came promotions, to Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor in 1982, and also opportunities to serve the university in other ways (Chair of Undergraduate Admissions Committee, Member of the Board of Undergraduate Studies, Member of Faculty Council, Member of Committee on Academic Review and Planning, etc.). In the 1980s he also began his involvement with administrative positions outside the department, becoming Assistant Dean for the Humanities in CAS and serving for six years. He later returned to administration as CAS Associate Dean (1996-2001), Chair of English (2001-2008), and Dean of Arts and Sciences (2008-2012).

For his final three years, before retirement in 2015, Frank returned to what attracted him to Loyola in the first place: teaching Loyola’s students, finding in them the desire to become “persons for others” which has always been at the heart of Loyola’s teaching mission.

The Hank Center's 2016 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Pauline Viviano

2016 Living Tradition Award [Viviano]

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who has exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

The 2016 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Pauline Viviano.

About Pauline Viviano

Dr. Viviano is Professor Emerita in Loyola's Department of Theology, specializing in the Hebrew Scriptures. She received her doctorate in Biblical Languages and Literature from St. Louis University. Her areas of expertise include the Deuteronomistic history and formation, Genesis, Jeremiah, Hebrew poetry, Hebrew narrative, literary critical method, methods of interpretation, and the history of interpretation. Besides articles in academic and popular journals, her publications include reading guides for the Books of Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings and Ruth, for the Catholic Study Bible published by Oxford University Press (April 1990) and a commentary on the Book of Genesis in the Collegeville Bible Commentary series.

The Hank Center's 2015 Living Tradition Award Honors Dr. Adriaan Peperzak

2015 Living Tradition Award (Peperzak)

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who has exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

The 2015 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Adriaan Peperzak.

About Adriaan Peperzak

Adriaan Theodoor Peperzak was born in Java (Indonesia) as a Dutch citizen. He studied philosophy in Venraai and theology in Alverna and Weert (The Netherlands). He obtained a licentiate in philosophy at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of Louvain University (Belgium) and a PhD in the Humanities at the University of Paris (Sorbonne). His doctoral dissertation, Le jeune Hegel et la vision morale du monde (director: Paul Ricoeur), was published in 1960 and again in 1969.

Peperzak taught at various universities of The Netherlands (including those of Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Nijmegen) and, as visiting professor, at the universities of Bandung (Indonesia), Mallorca (Spain), the Scuola Normale of Pisa (Italia), the Istituto degli Studi Filosofici of Naples (Italia), the University of Nice (France), Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania State University (State College), Boston College, Loyola University Chicago, Villanova University, and Stanford University, and he lectured at many others. Dr. Peperzak was until recently the Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy here at Loyola University Chicago.

His research in the history of philosophy has focused on Hegel (six books and numerous articles) and Emmanuel Levinas (two books and three others edited). He also published on Plato, Aristotle, Bonaventura, Descartes, Heidegger, and Ricoeur, and on thematic questions in ethics, social and political philosophy, metaphilosophy, and philosophy of religion.

"Professor Peperzak’s scholarship is breath-taking in its quantity, its quality, and its audacity. In Professor Peperzak’s judgment, philosophy cannot really be separated from one’s convictions, especially one’s convictions of faith ... It is only proper, then, that we recognize Professor Peperzak for his extraordinary career and his powerful presence in our Loyola community of faith and philosophy."
~Dr. Mark H. Waymack (Chair, Department of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago)

The Hank Center's 2014 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Marcel Fredericks

2014 Living Tradition Award (Fredericks)

Every year the Hank Center presents the Living Tradition Award to a Loyola University Chicago emeritus faculty member who exemplified the integration of Catholic thought into their work, research, and teaching.

The 2014 Living Tradition Award honors Dr. Marcel Fredericks.

About Marcel Fredericks

"Marcel Fredericks, Ph.D. was connected to Loyola University Chicago for 60 years, ten as a student and 50 as a full-time faculty member. Educated through the University of Cambridge and the University of London before coming to Chicago, he received his B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Loyola. Along the way he was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, a Research Associate in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Boston, and Research Associate in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Fredericks joined the Loyola Sociology faculty in 1963 and established the Office of Research in Medical Sociology, where he served as Director for 50 years. He was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1969, and promoted to Full Professor in 1974.

With research and teaching interests in Medical Sociology and the Sociology of Health Care, Dr. Fredericks' curriculum vitae lists over 20 books and monographs, several of which have multiple editions, and over 125 articles, reports, and chapters in edited collections - in journals in many different fields of research, including sociology, psychology, education, genetics, theology, and medical and dental education.

Along with all the research recognition Dr. Fredericks has received over many years, perhaps the most notable part of his career has been his connection to his students. Many former students stay in touch with Dr. Fredericks or the department, and have written letters and notes reporting on the significant impact he had on their lives. That he touched so many lives through his teaching and mentoring is a highlight of a long and storied career."

~ Dr. Rhys H. Williams,
Chair, Department of Sociology, Loyola University Chicago

To read Dr. Fredericks' remarks on the Catholic intellectual heritage and Catholic education, please click on the following link: Marcel Fredericks Remarks 2014 Living Tradition Award.