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Coming Fall 2018.

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The Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Lecture Series

2017 Lecture in Religious Studies

Next lecture: October 3, 2017

Speaker: Lieutenant General Richard C. Harding, USAF, Retired

2018 Ethics in Society Lecture

Next lecture: March 6, 2018

Speaker: Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran

Honoring a legacy

In November 2000, John A. Schiffman, a member of the Columbia College Board of Trustees, gave a gift of historic proportions to the college.

In honor of his late wife, Althea, a 1941 graduate of Christian College, member of the Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1987 and Distinguished Alumna ‘85, Schiffman gave $1.5 million — the single largest contribution by a living donor in school history — to establish an endowed chair in ethics, religious studies and philosophy. “It is my hope that through the endowed chair and lecture series, Columbia College will become a force in carrying forward the message to students that integrity, honesty, fairness and compassion are just as important as intellect,” Schiffman said.

Portrait of John and Althea Schiffman

"Mr. Schiffman was passionate not only about higher education, but the roles of ethics, religion and moral development as part of an individual’s education."

Columbia College mourned the loss of Schiffman when he died August 5, 2015, in St. Louis, Missouri, where he resided. He was 99. Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple stated, “Mr. Schiffman was passionate not only about higher education, but the roles of ethics, religion and moral development as part of an individual’s education. He will truly be missed.”

Large Crowd at Schiffman Lecture

In fulfillment of Schiffman’s charge, the Schiffman Ethics in Society lecture series and the Lecture in Religious Studies series were created. The Lecture in Religious Studies draws noted scholars to the college to lecture on the influence of religion in politics, culture and education. Each year, nationally and internationally renowned scholars speak to students, faculty, staff and members of the community about how religion has shaped and continues to shape major issues of our day.

Dr. Anthony Alioto, Chair

Anthony M. Alioto is Professor and John Schiffman Endowed Chair in Ethics, Philosophy and Religious Studies at Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri.

Alioto earned a BS in history and literature from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and then served in the US Army during the Vietnam War as a personnel specialist. After his military service, he returned to graduate school at Ohio University, where he was the John F. Cady Fellow, earning his masters and doctorate in the history of science and philosophy.

He is the author of A History of Western Science, Prentice Hall, 1987; Second Edition published in 1993, a work of fiction entitled Toad Familiar, (NPI) 1996, a memoir entitled The Ninefold Path, Red Wheel/Weiser, 2012, and Saintly Sex: Sex, Gender and the Catholic Church with John McHale, 2014. His research and teaching have covered such subjects as: ancient, early-modern, and modern science, philosophy of religion, religion and science, ancient and modern cosmology, the quest for the historical Jesus, as well as Asian philosophies and religions. He teaches Buddhism, Religion and Science, and Revolutionary Theory at the University of Missouri-Osher Foundation. In 2007 he was selected to teach a course entitled The Buddha and Buddhism at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, N.Y.


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