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Vanderbilt News

VU alumni honor John Lachs for educational contributions

by | Apr. 29, 2013, 9:28 AM

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

Media Inquiries:
Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS

  • Dr. Lachs was my philosophy professor and I have fond memories of his “Introduction to Ethics” class. Outstanding and dedicated teacher and beloved by his students, Congratulations, Dr. Lachs.

  • disqus_dp498s73Sh

    My philosophy degree came from the Francisans at Quincey University. But John Lachs is my favorite lecturer at the Vanderbilt Osher life Long Learning series for many years now. He’s always refreshing and can talk on any topic he chooses and I’ll be there. He’s always a delight and a very wise man. I love his sense of humor and being a man among men (i.e., a human among humans). The best. ~Gael Stahl

  • Professor Lachs was one of the best faculty speakers to entertain our Miami Vanderbilt Alumni Community. This award is well-deserved.

  • Jim Voorhies

    The advantages to shaving your head are that you still look the same after decades have passed. I don’t think John Lachs looks any older than he did back in the 60s when he probably wasn’t all that much older than we were.

    Of course, he feels it. :) We all do now.

  • Judy Thompson

    John, congratulations, I just saw that you were awarded this huge honor and like Jim Voorhies, you are always the epitome of Youth! Your students never forget their wonderful learning experiences with you!

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