Ralph McInerny Center announces the establishment of the Thomas
International Chair in Public Philosophy
Fulvio Di Blasi, President of Thomas International and Co-Director
of the Ralph McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies, announced
the establishment of the Thomas International Chair in Public
Philosophy at the second annual Ralph McInerny Banquet in
Washington DC on March 9, 2007.
Christopher Wolfe, Co-Director of the RMC, will hold the first
chair established by the Thomas International project.
The chair has been made possible by the financial commitment
of an anonymous donor, and will provide support that makes
it possible for Dr. Wolfe to leave his current position as
professor of political science at Marquette University and
work full-time on the McInerny Center and the potential university
project. “I can’t express the depth of my appreciation
to the donor who made this possible,” Dr. Wolfe said. “His
generosity in establishing the chair makes it possible for
the whole project to move forward much faster than it otherwise
The financial commitment for the chair totals more than a
million dollars, and funds the chair through the year 2015.
“When I started the Thomas International project,” said Dr.
Di Blasi, “I knew at once that I would need the help of some
senior American scholars sharing my values and ideals, who
could help me work through the enormously difficult tasks
this project will entail. Of course, the first person I talked
to was Ralph McInerny. As we often did, we had lunch at the
Notre Dame University Club, and, after a glass of good red
wine, he said that this was crazy but marvelous,
and that I was crazy enough, young enough (and a few other
things enough) to get it done. Since then, Ralph has been
the Senior Advisor of the project and the main source (I should
add) of my self-confidence.
I needed somebody else, though… a little older than I, but
as crazy and enthused as I was. Somebody who would work closely
with me to bring the project to a successful completion. I
started searching and asking around; and soon Chris came along.
We realized immediately that we had long been searching for
the same thing, and waiting for the right circumstances to
make it happen. We started working together. And he became
a Co-Founder (an American one) of the Thomas International
I cannot say enough good things of Chris. He is an excellent
father of 10 children, husband of the wonderful Anne, an excellent
scholar and a most valuable friend. God bless him and his
family. When you have somebody ready to resign from a tenured
position as full professor in a major university in order
to be true to his dreams, you know that you can do everything.
Our TI dream will come true! You have no idea how much I’d
like to say something also about the generous couple that
made this possible (and that shares our dreams so vibrantly).
Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to. But they should know how
grateful I am. Their generous support will make TI project
speed up and go on much more quickly and steadily. God bless