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The Nachbahr Award

This annual award recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship or creative work by a faculty member in the humanities. It is named in honor of Bernard Nachbahr, a long-time and much-beloved philosophy professor at Loyola and the first director of the Center. His career exemplified a deep commitment to the civilizing power of the humanities.

The awardee delivers a public lecture during the Celebrate the Humanities! event in early Fall. The lecture will address the general theme of "The Life of the Mind." The awardee further receives an honorarium of $2,000. A reception after the lecture and a dinner also honors the recipient.

man and woman in front of screen holding a plaque
Dr. Martha Taylor receiving the 2022 Nachbahr plaque from Dr. Martin Camper, Director of the CFH


Nominees must be tenured Loyola faculty members in the humanities who have not previously received the award.

Standards for Nominations

As the title of the award suggests, it is made in recognition of the recipient's scholarly publications or creative productions; in addition, consideration may be given to other contributions to the humanities such as editing journals, mentoring colleagues, etc. The award is intended to recognize significant achievement over a period of several years at Loyola.


A faculty member may be nominated by a colleague or may nominate himself or herself. The nominator should submit a letter of 1,500 words or fewer describing the nominee's accomplishments, and may attach a curriculum vitae and other supporting materials. If a nominee was not selected in one year and would like to be considered again, he or she must submit another letter before the next deadline. The selection committee (see below) may ask for samples of the nominee's work, evaluations of it, or any other supporting materials it thinks appropriate.

Nominations will be judged by a selection committee composed of the three most recent recipients of the award and chaired by the director of the Center. If a previous awardee is unavailable, the director will appoint a member of the steering committee as a replacement, in consultation with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Nominations must be submitted to the programs director of the Center by the last (working) day of October. 

Previous Winners

2022 - Dr. Martha Taylor, Classics
"What makes an Aristogeiton?"

2021 - None

2020 - Dr. Kathleen Forni, English
"The Learning Paradox: Why Knowing How Much You Know Matters."

2019- Dr. Diane Chaffee-Sorace, Modern Languages and Literatures.
"Poetic Puzzles to Challenge the Mind."

2018- Dr. Thomas Ward, Modern Languages and Literatures   View a video of Dr. Ward's talk.
“The Life of the Mind: When Class Overwhelms Race and Gender”

2017 - Dr. Jean Lee Cole, English
"Diving into the Wreck" View a video of Dr. Cole's talk.

2016-Dr. Matthew Mulcahy, History
"The Forest and the Trees: Perspectives on the Past (and the Life of the Mind)"

2015 - Dr. Bret Davis, Philosophy
“The Life of the Body-Heart-Mind-Spirit: Cross-Cultural Reflections on Cura Personalis” 

2014 - Dr. Ron Tanner, Writing
“Cleaning Out My Garage”

2013 - Dr. Leslie Zarker Morgan, Modern Languages and Literatures
“The Life of the Mind at Today’s University: What Would Dante Say?”

2012 - Dr. Paul Richard Blum, Philosophy
"The Life of the Mind: Steal with Your Eyes!"

2011 - Rev. John Conley, S.J., Theology
"The Mind and Its Debts"

2010 - Dr. Steven C. Hughes, History
"The WOW Factor: Confessions of an Archive Rat"

2009 - Dr. Frederick Bauerschmidt, Theology
"The Life of the Mind at a Catholic University"

2008 - Dr. Kelly DeVries, History
"Be the Cream!' Achieving the Life of the Mind"

2007 - Dr. Elizabeth Schmidt, History
"Theory and Praxis:  Education for Action in a Diverse and Changing World"

2006 - Dr. Drew Leder, Philosophy
"The Life of the Mind in the Year of the City"

2005 - Dr. Thomas R. Pegram, History
"The Practical Life of the Mind: Scholarship and the Small College"

2004 - None

2003 - Dr. Keith Schoppa, History
"Culture-Bound: How We Understand the Past"

2002 - Dr. Richard Boothby, Philosophy
"The Life of the Mind: Why Read Freud?"

2001 - Dr. Stephen Fowl, Theology
"Generosity and Wisdom: Jesuit Higher Education and the Life of the Mind"

2000 - Dr. Mark Osteen, English
"Accepting the Gift: The Life of the Mind or Minding the Life?"

1999 - Dr. Charles Marsh, Theology
"The Civil Rights Movement as Theological Drama: The Christian Mind in Conflict with Itself"

1998 - Dr. Matthew Gallman, History
"But This is Not Where You Belong: Musings on People, Places and History"

1997 - None

1996 - None

1995 - Dr. Robert Miola, English and Classics
"Shakespeare and the Play of Paradox: Romeo and Juliet"