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Philosophy


The primary mission of the Department of Philosophy is to prepare our students to be curious and critical life-long learners. We strive to provide a high quality undergraduate Philosophy program delivered by faculty who are both active scholars and enthusiastically dedicated to teaching philosophy to undergraduates. Our faculty teach and write about a wide range of important and exciting philosophical topics from Medieval Arabic Logics to Buddhist Philosophy to Epistemology and Environmental Ethics. The Department of Philosophy offers both a Major and a Minor in Philosophy as well as minors in Religious Studies and in Cognitive Science.  Philosophy faculty also play key roles in the Environmental Studies Program and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

The Department of Philosophy Excellence Fund is used to help support the intellectual development of both students and faculty. Among its purposes is to fund scholarships for our majors, including our Outstanding Philosophy Student Awards, and to maintain a small fund used to assist students who cannot afford to purchase the books required for their Philosophy courses in a given semester. We also rely on the Excellence Fund to help bring special speakers to campus, underwrite the participation of both students at undergraduate philosophy conferences, and produce public events that contribute to the intellectual life of the community. Events sponsored by our Excellence Fund are open to students, alumni, faculty/staff, and the general public.

The first chairperson of the Department, Dr. Kenneth Kennard, and his wife, Marilyn, established the Kenneth and Marilyn Kennard Philosophy Fund in 1998. This fund supports a small scholarship awarded every year to the Outstanding Senior Philosophy Student. Donations to this fund would allow the department to increase the amount of this important scholarship. An increase in this fund would also allow us to offer additional scholarships and awards to recognize the outstanding achievements of our students. 

$250,000
Record-Breaker Challenge
This just in, Craig Reeser '75 wants to issue one final challenge. We will unlock a $250,000 planned commitment when we surpass 2,500 gifts before midnight tonight! Let’s do this 'Birds!
479 / 479 Gifts
Completed
$25,000
Launch Challenge
Thank you to the first 500 donors who unlocked $25,000 to kick off Birds Give Back! Don’t forget to check with your employer to see if they match your gift!
500 / 500 Gifts
Completed
$25,000
Momentum Challenge
Thank you to the 1000 donors who unlocked $25,000 to keep momentum strong during Birds Give Back!
1,000 / 1,000 Gifts
Completed
$25,000
College of Arts and Sciences Challenge
An anonymous alumna wants us to show our support for the College of Arts and Sciences. She will unlock $25,000 for student scholarships when we receive 150 gifts to the College or its departments today during Birds Give Back.
150 / 150 Gifts
Completed
Leaderboard
Participation by area
Which participating group will receive the most gifts during Birds Give Back? Support your passion and help your area climb the leaderboard!
Rank Area of Support Gifts
1 Multicultural Center 390
2 Athletics 355
3 LGBTQ+ Student Support 284
4 Communication 215
5 Redbird Esports 117
6 Accounting 79
7 Student Engagement 77
8 WGLT 73
9 Student Affairs Scholarships 72
10 Center for Civic Engagement 66
11 Support MCN priorities 60
12 Family and Consumer Sciences 59
13 Illinois Shakespeare Festival 59
14 School of Teaching and Learning 59
15 U-High 52
16 Student Scholarships 51
17 Alumni Association Scholarship 50
18 ISUPD Community Engagement Unit 50
19 College of Business Excellence Fund 47
20 Special Education 47
21 Ewing Cultural Center 44
22 School of Music 42
23 Black Colleagues Association Scholarship 39
24 Gamma Phi Circus 38
25 School of Theatre and Dance 38
26 Kinesiology and Recreation 35
27 CAST Student Persistence Fund 34
28 Vidette Digitization Project 34
29 Chemistry 32
30 Criminal Justice Sciences 30
31 Politics and Government 28
32 Finance, Insurance, and Law 28
33 Horticulture Center 27
34 Agriculture 25
35 Wonsook Kim CFA General Fund 25
36 Metcalf 24
37 Friends of the Arts 24
38 Educational Administration & Foundations 23
39 Technology 22
40 Information Technology 22
41 Marketing 21
42 Health Sciences 21
43 College of Arts and Sciences Funds 20
44 Biological Sciences 19
45 Wonsook Kim School of Art 18
46 Military Science - ROTC 18
47 International House 18
48 Pay it Forward Business Scholarship 17
49 History 17
50 More ways to support Milner Library 17
51 College of Education Persistence Awards 16
52 Creative Technologies Program 16
53 Mathematics 14
54 Sociology and Anthropology 13
55 CAST additional priorities 12
56 Communication Sciences and Disorders 12
57 Geography, Geology and the Environment 11
58 Latinx Alumni Network Scholarship 11
59 Physics 9
60 Social Work 9
61 Psychology 9
62 Management and Quantitative Methods 9
63 Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 8
64 English 8
65 The Graduate School 8
66 University Galleries 6
67 Economics 4
68 International Business 3
69 Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2
70 Latin American and Latino/a Studies 1
71 Marian H. Dean Legacy Scholarship 0
72 Philosophy 0
Ended
$10,000
Campus Community Challenge
Thanks to 250 faculty, staff, retiree donors for unlocking $10,000 during Birds Give Back!
250 / 250 Donors
Completed
$25,000
Redbird Romance Challenge
Rod Sargeant '65, '67 wants to celebrate his Redbird romance and challenge us to reach our goal of 2,021 gifts to show Redbirds we’ve got their backs in 2021. He will unlock $25,000 to establish a scholarship in memory of his wife, Darlene Ann Sargeant '66 when we reach our goal today. Rod encourages you to make your gift in honor of, or in memory of, a Redbird you love.
521 / 521 Gifts
Completed
Success!
Football Alumni Challenge
Redbird football alumni Hank (’70, ’71) and Joan Guenther '69 will add $5,000 to support our strength and conditioning project when 5 other football alumni give $1,000 each to the effort today during Birds Give Back.
Completed
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