Mr. and Mrs. Schiffman
Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Lecture Series
Ethics and Society Lecture
Details about religious studies lecture. Next lecture: March 9, 2015
Speaker: Jean-Michel Cousteau
Lecture in Religious Studies
Details about religious studies lecture. Next lecture: October 9, 2014
Speaker: John McHale and Anthony Alioto



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.

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.

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Ethics in Society Religious Studies
Dr. Anthony Alioto


Dr. Anthony Alioto, professor of history, has served as the Althea W. and John A. Schiffman chair in ethics, religious studies and philosophy at Columbia College since 2002.

Alioto joined Columbia College in 1981. During his tenure, he has been selected as Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Professor of the Year and Faculty Member of the Year. He also was selected as the 1996 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He is the author of “A History of Western Science,” as well as a work of fiction entitled “Toad Familiar,” which is based upon quantum theory, ancient religions and Eastern philosophy.