Earlier this year, Professor Dr. Mark Price was named Columbia College’s new Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Endowed Chair in Ethics, Philosophy and Religious Studies. The appointment is a three-year term.

Dr. Mark Price

Dr. Price will continue to teach in the classroom and also carry out the charge of creating student programming that enriches learning opportunities in ethics. Dr. Price will also coordinate the Althea W. and John A. Schiffman Lecture Series, including the Religious Studies lecture in the fall and the Ethics in Society lecture in the spring.

Created following a philanthropic gift by John A. Schiffman in honor of his wife and alumna, Althea, in 2000, the Schiffman Lecture Series annually draws noted scholars to the college to lecture on the influence of religion in politics, culture and education, and ethics in society.

“We’re fortunate to have Dr. Price in this role and we all congratulate him on this prestigious appointment,” said Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Piyusha Singh. “He’s well suited for this honor and is only the second faculty member to hold this position after Dr. Anthony Alioto served as the Schiffman Lecture Series inaugural chair from 2000 to 2018.”

Price holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Georgia and both a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, all in philosophy. His specialization is in ethics and moral philosophy, with his dissertation and subsequent scholarship focused on those areas.

After joining Columbia College originally as a visiting assistant professor of philosophy in 2001, Price was named an assistant professor at the college the following year and was promoted to associate professor in 2007 before attaining full professorship in 2012.

For Price, receiving this position within the college, sparked a flurry of emotions.

“As someone whose professional life has largely been devoted to promoting ethical discourse, I’m excited and energized to get this opportunity to serve as Schiffman Endowed Chair,” said Price. “I’m also mindful that this is a fairly high-profile position at the college, and CC’s only endowed chair, so it’s also daunting and humbling. At the end of the day, however, it’s simply an opportunity to serve the college and the community.”

As only the second-ever faculty member to hold this role, Price realizes the importance of the position and how he can impact the college presently and in the future. The CC community will be able to hear and connect with prominent scholars in ethics, which Price acknowledges is a unique opportunity for everyone involved.

“My primary ambition is to provide Columbia College students with an opportunity to interact with the leading scholars in ethics today,” said Price. “For those students who are excited by ideas and passionate about moral discourse, these will be experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives. We also have many alumni whose collegiate experience prepared them for lifelong learning. They remain eager to engage with scholars and ideas, and I want to ensure that the Schiffman Lecture Series also continues to benefit their lives.”

Price will host the first Schiffman Lecture as endowed chair on October 14, 2022, in Launer Auditorium at 3:30 p.m. Eleonore Stump, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University, will present a lecture in religious studies titled “Suffering and Flourishing.”

Stump is regarded as a leading scholar in theodicy, which is a branch of scholarship that seeks to understand how to make sense of the co-existence of a supremely wise and good God and human suffering. Price is eager for the CC community to hear her expertise on the subject matter and offered a brief glimpse at her lecture.

“In Stump’s presentation, she will look specifically at the notion that even though we should mourn with those afflicted by tragic suffering and alleviate that suffering where we can, someone who is forced to endure suffering may still be able to be a flourishing human being,” said Price. “Further, she will explore the Christian tradition that has considered some of these individuals to be especially loved by God. She will attempt to make sense of this tradition by specifically focusing on the amazing and inspiring example of Harriet Tubman.”