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Looking Back: Department News from the Past

Harrelson Hall on NC State's campus
Harrelson Hall, home of the department between 1961 and 1981. The building was demolished in 2016.

2012/13: Levi McLaughlin (Ph.D. Princeton), an expert in East Asian Religions with a focus on Japanese religions, is appointed as assistant professor of religious studies after serving on the faculty at Wofford College for three years and spending a year as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Iowa’s Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. He is promoted to associate professor in 2018 and publishes Soka Gakkai’s Human Revolution: The Rise of a Mimetic Nation in Modern Japan (University of Hawai’i Press) in 2019. Gary Comstock, professor of philosophy publishes Research Ethics: A Philosophical Guide to the Responsible Conduct of Research (Cambridge University Press). William Adler, professor of religious studies, is appointed as a distinguished university professor in recognition of his outstanding scholarship and contributions to NC State.

2002/03: Harold Levin, associate professor of philosophy, resigns as interim department head in June 2003 and enters phased retirement. William Adler, professor of religious studies, publishes The Chronography of George Synkellos (Oxford University Press) with Paul Tuffin of the University of Adelaide. Gary Comstock (Ph.D. Chicago), newly appointed to NC State as professor of philosophy and director of the research ethics program, publishes Life Science Ethics (Iowa State Press). Christine Pierce, professor of philosophy and director of the women’s and gender studies program, publishes the third edition of The Environmental Ethics and Policy Book (Wadsworth) with Donald VanDeVeer, emeritus professor of philosophy. Visiting speakers include George Lakoff (Berkeley), Jerry Fodor (Rutgers) and Sigrun Svavarsdottir (Ohio State).

1992/93: One hundred six students enroll in the major in philosophy: sixty-nine in the B.A. in Philosophy, fourteen in the B.S. in Philosophy, thirteen in the B.A. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Religious Studies, and ten in the B.A. in Philosophy with a Concentration in Philosophy of Law. Twenty-five students graduate with philosophy degrees, three summa cum laude, one magna cum laude, and three cum laude. Twenty-one students graduate with a departmental minor: fourteen in philosophy, six in religious studies and one in cognitive science. Visiting speakers include George Bealer (Colorado), Norman Kretzmann (Cornell), Cynthia Miller (Wheaton College), Paul Keim (Indiana) and Samuel Freeman (Pennsylvania).

1982/83: Robert Hambourger (Ph.D. Rockefeller) is appointed as associate professor of philosophy, Joseph Hoffman (D.Phil. Oxford) as visiting assistant professor of religious studies, and Christine Pierce (Ph.D. Syracuse) as visiting associate professor of philosophy. Hambourger remains in the department until his retirement in July 2009. Hoffman moves on to another appointment. Pierce returns to SUNY College of Oswego for the 1983/84 academic year, after which she is appointed to our permanent faculty as an associate professor. She is promoted to professor in 1994 and retires in January 2014. James VanderKam, associate professor of religious studies, has a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship supporting his preparation of a new critical edition and translation of The Book of Jubilees, which is published later in two volumes (Peeters 1989).

1972/73: 2,406 students enroll in the department’s courses during the academic year, an increase of 11.3% from the previous academic year. The department hosts a public conference on The Liberation of Female Persons funded by a grant from the Sperry and Hutchinson Foundation. Speakers include Elizabeth Beardsley of Temple, Hugo Bedau of Tufts, and Judith Jarvis Thomson of MIT. Approximately one thousand people attend.