September 10, 2020

aquinas illustration

For the third year in a row, the Society of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (SMRP) awarded its annual Founder’s Award to a graduate of Catholic University’s School of Philosophy.  

This year’s winner, Gaston LeNotre, Ph.D., 2017, received the prize for an essay entitled “Does Thomas Aquinas Change His Mind on the Individuation of Corporeal Substances?” LeNotre’s dissertation, which considered “Thomas Aquinas and the Method of Predication in Metaphysics,” was written under the direction of Gregory Doolan, associate professor of philosophy. 

In 2019, Benjamin Block, Ph.D., 2019, also won the Founder’s Award, as did Francis Feingold, Ph.D., 2017, the year before that. Block’s dissertation was also written under Doolan’s direction. Philosophy Professor Tobias Hoffmann served as Feingold’s director. 

Although the 2017 winner earned his doctorate from Yale, that winner, Stephen Ogden, is now an assistant professor at Catholic University. 

The School of Philosophy has had close ties to the SMRP since its inception, in 1977. Monsignor John F. Wippel was a founding member, and served as its third president (1983-84), a role that has been filled by two other members of the School’s faculty, Professor Emerita Thérèse-Anne Druart (2000-2001) and The Father Kurt Pritzl Chair of Philosophy Timothy Noone (2011-2012).

Other past winners of the SMRP’s Founder’s Award include Gloria Frost in 2012, who majored in philosophy at Catholic University before earning her doctorate at Notre Dame, and Therese Scarpelli Cory (2012), who earned her doctorate from Catholic University in 2009.