VU alumni honor John Lachs for educational contributions

L-r: Robert Talisse, professor of philosophy and political science and chair of the philosophy department, John Lachs and Thomas Conner, BA’88. (Vanderbilt University)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – John Lachs, the Centennial Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, has received the 2013 Vanderbilt Alumni Education Award.

The Vanderbilt University Alumni Association selected Lachs for his significant contributions to educational programming as a speaker for Vanderbilt Reunion and other alumni events.

Carolyn Dever, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and Vanderbilt alumnus Thomas Conner surprised Lachs with the award during his “Introduction to Ethics” class April 3.

“So many alumni fondly remember Professor Lachs, and his alumni educational programs are always popular draws,” said Conner, of Nashville, Tenn., who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1988. “Vanderbilt alumni value lifelong learning and love reliving their classroom experience through these events. Professor Lachs’ contributions were outstanding. He even spoke to two alumni chapters in the same day.”

Lachs presented his lecture “What if this is as good as it gets?” to alumni chapters in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif. He also spoke at Vanderbilt Reunion, where he has become a favorite speaker.

Lachs has taught philosophy at Vanderbilt since 1967. His philosophical interests center on human nature, which takes his research into metaphysics, philosophy of mind, political philosophy and ethics. He received his doctorate from Yale University in 1961.

The Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board of Directors has chosen a faculty member for this honor each year since 1982. Lachs, who received the same honor in 1991, was given a cash prize of $2,500 and an engraved bowl.

by Matt Anderson