Robin Rienhart, Justin Hines, Julie Smith and Joseph Shieber smile in a photo collage.

Named chairs and professorships are the highest honors bestowed upon faculty members, acknowledging their contributions to teaching and research. Lafayette College is fortunate to have more than 40 endowed chairs, professorships, and positions filled by faculty and coaches. Seventeen of those positions were established in the last capital campaign.

Recently, the College reappointed two faculty members who previously held endowed positions. Lauren Anderson, William Jeffers Director of the Engineering Division and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was reappointed as the James T. Marcus ’50 Scholar of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Monika Rice, Russian and east European studies program, was reappointed as the Robert Weiner and Ilan Peleg Scholar in Jewish Studies.

In addition, five faculty members were newly named to endowed positions including Justin Hines, David M. ’70 and Linda Roth Professor of Chemistry; Robin Rinehart, Richard H. Jr. ’60 and Joan K. Sell Chair in the Humanities; Megan Rothenberger, Peter C.S. d’Aubermont, M.D. Scholar of Health and Life Sciences; Joseph Shieber, James Renwick Hogg Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy; and Julie Smith, Frank Lee and Edna M. Smith Professor of Economics.

“It is a tremendous honor to be awarded a named professorship. It is recognition of an exceptional record of teaching, scholarship, and service, as well as a signal that we see a clear trajectory toward wonderful contributions in the future,” shared Provost John Meier. “In addition to the recognition, I also think there is the history and human connections that come with an endowed position. There is the person or persons who were generous enough to endow the position in the first place, there are those who held the position previously, and those who will follow. It’s charming, heartwarming, and a bit daunting, too!”

Below, several professors share what this honor means to them, as well as to their teaching and research.

Did You Know?

  • The practice of endowing faculty actually began at Lafayette 150 years ago. In 1873, George B. Markle Sr. (father of John Markle 1880, creator of Markle Hall) contributed $30,000 to establish the first endowed position at the College, the Markle Professorship of Mining Engineering. John Markle later added to the fund his father created. Over the years, the Markle Professorship has been held by nine faculty members, evolving with the times. When mining engineering was no longer a focus in the 1950s, the professorship was changed to appropriate areas of study. Since that time, Markle Professorships have been held in geology, chemical engineering, and engineering science. The position is currently held by Kira Lawrence in geology and environmental geosciences.
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