St. Mary’s University will formally install two new academic chair holders on Feb. 2.
President Thomas Mengler and Aaron Tyler, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will install Gerald Poyo, Ph.D., as the O’Connor Chair in History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest, and James Greenaway, Ph.D., as the inaugural Charles H. Miller, M.D., Chair in Human Dignity.
“Congratulations to Dr. Poyo and Dr. Greenaway,” Mengler said. “These two brilliant academicians will use their respective positions as springboards to broaden minds in our campus community, in San Antonio, and far beyond. They will further our Catholic, Marianist mission for years to come.”
The installation and presentation ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. in the Law Alumni Room of the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, followed by a reception at 5 p.m.
Poyo, who joined the St. Mary’s faculty in 1992, currently teaches courses in colonial and modern Latin American history as well as U.S. ethnic and immigration history and the history of Latino communities in the U.S.
Greenaway came to St. Mary’s in 2011 and has vast expertise in medieval philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of law and philosophical anthropology.
O’Connor Chair in History of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest
The O’Connor Chair, which was established in 1980, will change slightly, to transform what has been a chair for a visiting professor from another university into a chair that will be awarded to recruit or retain a permanent member of the St. Mary’s History Department faculty.
The change will enable the O’Connor Chair to yield a more sustained focus on the history of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest. It will also enhance the University’s visibility and authority in this area of study. All historical discoveries, community presentations and scholarship will be the activities of a St. Mary’s University historian.
With the endowment now exceeding $3 million, the University will be able to support not only the salary of the O’Connor Chair, but also the programmatic goals of the History Department, especially as it relates to the study of Hispanic Texas.
Charles H. Miller, M.D., Chair in Human Dignity
The new Chair in Human Dignity will enhance the Catholic dimension and identity of St. Mary’s University. The chair holder will be part of the future Center for Catholic Studies, which will promote the study and understanding of the Catholicism and Marianist spirituality.
The chair holder will promote the interdisciplinary richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition, particularly regarding universal human dignity and its application to medical ethics. This distinguished scholar will have an understanding of servant leadership and fidelity to Catholic doctrine and will participate in and advance scholarship and teaching.
Additional responsibilities of the chair holder are to effectively communicate the insights of research to parish groups of various educational backgrounds, as well as establish a permanent program of lectures, seminars or workshops examining issues of human dignity affecting the Catholic Church, with an emphasis on issues of medical ethics.
St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.