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McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies

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 could.”


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 project.


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 them too!”