The Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Chair and Director of Honors Program

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith, PhD

Thomas W. Smith, PhD is the first recipient of the Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Chair. He is Director of the Honors Program at Villanova University and was the founding chair of the University’s Department of Humanities. He also served as an Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for eight years. He received his undergraduate degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and his PhD from the University of Notre Dame. 

A three-time recipient of the Martin Manley Distinguished Teaching Award in Villanova’s Political Science Department, Dr. Smith was also awarded the University’s Lindback Award for Teaching Excellence in 2001.

Dr. Smith’s research focuses both on the history of political thought as well as religion and politics, especially Catholic social and political thought. His work in the ancient world aims to recover the intimate connection between interpersonal virtues, such as justice, and the intrapersonal virtues, such as moderation and self-love. He argues that there is a reciprocal relationship between a flourishing community that respects the good of each member on the one hand and the personal virtues that help create and sustain such a community on the other. He is currently writing a book on higher education. 

Dr. Smith is the author of Revaluing Ethics: Aristotle’s Dialectical Pedagogy (SUNY Press 2001). His work has appeared in such prestigious journals as The American Political Science Review, The Review of Politics, Communio, Logos, The Review of Metaphysics, Religion and Literature, The Journal of Politics and Polity.

About the Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Chair and Director of the Honors Program

The establishment of the Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Chair and Director of the Honors Program celebrates the life and legacy of Anne Quinn Welsh by supporting the career of a talented arts and sciences professor, advancing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and enhancing the education of Villanova students. The Endowed Chair will help Villanova achieve its strategic goals and foster the kind of unique education and research that will reinforce the University as a leading institution of higher education.

One of the most distinctive and distinguished initiatives at the University is the Honors Program. Based in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Honors Program is designed to provide exceptional students with opportunities for critical and independent thinking, the creative exchange of ideas and the synthesis of intellectual insights into lived experience.

The Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Chair and Director of the Honors Program will enhance the academic life central to a Villanova education by bringing together talented students and faculty in challenging seminars, individual research projects and co-curricular activities.

By providing the resources to attract and retain top-notch faculty and students, the Anne Quinn Welsh Endowed Chair and Director of the Honors Program will expand upon the University’s tradition of excellence in arts and sciences education by enriching the intellectual life of the University, adding distinction to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and enabling Villanova to further develop capable, professionally oriented, ethically conscious and socially aware young leaders.