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Prizes and Awards for Graduate Students

Philosophy library

Peter Hare often consulted with students in the Philosophy Department.

About our benefactors

The Philosophy Department has several prizes that are awarded annually to our graduate students. The awards, made possible by the generous support of benefactors, include:

  • The Hare Prize for Best Paper: Awarded for the best graduate student work in any area of philosophy in the previous academic year.
  • The Hare Citizenship Prize: Awarded in recognition of a graduate student for leadership and participation in Departmental activities.
  • The Hourani Ethics Prize: Awarded for the best graduate student paper in ethics in the previous academic year.
  • The Thomas Perry Dissertation Prize: Awarded for the best dissertation completed in the previous academic year.
  • The Romanell Award: Awarded for the best graduate student work in the tradition of naturalism.

George F. Hourani

The UB Philosophy Department is indebted George F. Hourani, who not only provided the funds for the Hourani Ethics Prize, but also established a generous endowment that allows us to bring to our campus many talented philosophers. The Hourani lecturers include—David Velleman, Philip Pettit, John Martin Fischer, Jeff McMahan, Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Onora O’Neil, Shelly Kagan, Michael A. Smith, and David S. Oderberg—virtually a Who’s Who in moral philosophy today. Read more about Dr. Hourani, and the Lecture Series he endowed.

Patrick and Edna Romanell

Edna Romanell made two testamentary gifts with a combined value of nearly $1.5 million to the University at Buffalo, with which she continued the legacy begun by her late husband, Patrick Romanell, a philosopher and author of several books on critical naturalism.

The first bequest of $600,000 provides for continuing support of the Romanell Lecture on Medical Ethics and Philosophy, a series she and her husband established in 1997 with $50,000 in gifts. The purpose of this bequest is to endow the Patrick and Edna Romanell Annual Lecture on Philosophical Issues in Medicine and Health Care.

Her second bequest of nearly $900,000 established the Edna and Patrick Romanell Professorship in the Department of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences. The endowment fund will also receive future royalties from various publishers from the sale of Patrick Romanell's books.

A former medical social worker, Mrs. Romanell says that she and her husband shared the same thoughts on giving. “If we can afford it, let someone else benefit, too,” she says. “You only live so long, and our philosophy was always to let somebody else profit, as well.”

Peter Hare, former chairman of the philosophy de- partment, and Tim Madigan, Ph.D. 1999 and M.A. 1998, then a philosophy graduate student, were friends of Romanell, whom Madigan calls “one of the first philosophers to work in medical ethics.” In 1997, Hare invited Romanell to UB to give a lecture on medical ethics. Madigan, now editorial director at the University of Rochester Press, says Romanell later established a lecture series at UB because “he preferred lectureships as a way to get fresh, original ideas across.”

Patrick Romanell died in February 2002, but his generosity continues to benefit the university.

Thomas D. Perry

Thomas D. Perry was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1924. A graduate of the University at Buffalo's Law School, Dr. Perry served as a legal counselor to Congress and later, Bell Aerospace Corporation. He attended Columbia University, earning a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1966. Thereafter he taught Philosophy at the University at Buffalo, where he was active in Department activities, including assisting in the development of the University's Philosophy and Law joint degree program.

Dr. Perry was particularly interested in moral reasoning and legal philosophy. He published many works in such distinguished journals as Ethics, The Journal of Philosophy, and Analysis, as well as a book on philosophy, Moral Autonomy and Reasonableness. In 1981, he was honored by the Aristotelian Society in Britain, (counterpart to the American Philosophical Association).

In his eulogy of Dr. Perry, friend and colleague Dr. Jorge Gracia referred to this as "...an honor that is only rarely accorded a living philosopher." Dr. Perry had two works published posthumously in 1985, Professional Philosophy: What It Is and Why It Matters, and the article, "Two Domains of Rights." He died in 1982, at the young age of 58.

Peter H. Hare

Peter H. Hare, Ph.D., was a Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus. One could say he is still serving the department posthumously through his generosity towards the department. In 1999, Hare gave two gifts totaling $1 million to support activities of the department, including a cash gift of $500,000 to establish the Charles S. Peirce endowed professorship, and a $500,000 bequest to support the Peter and Daphne Hare Fund to help the department meet its ongoing needs.

Through his writings and teachings, Hare left an indelible impact upon the history of American philosophy, having helped to draw the works of Charles Peirce, George H. Mead, William James, Alfred North Whitehead and John Dewey into central positions in international philosophy.

Hare was the former president of several professional associations, including the New York State Chapter of the American Philosophical Association (1975-77), the Charles Sanders Peirce Society (1976), the William James Society (2006) and, from 1988-90, the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy). He had served as the editor of the journal of the Charles Sanders Peirce Society since 1974.

He was very active in the American Philosophical Association where he held several positions, including member of the Board of Officers (1996-99) and ombudsman (1996-99).

Colleagues call him "a man of inextinguishable pragmatism, optimism, kindness, enthusiasm, generosity and energy" and say that he will be remembered "with great affection and respect by students, fellow philosophers and people of every walk of life, from Poland and Russia, to South America to Buffalo."

Hare was born in 1935 in New York City, the son of the late Jane Perry and Michael Meredith Hare and began his life-long relationship with philosophy while an undergraduate at Yale University. His master's degree thesis on Whitehead remains an exemplar of multi-disciplinary integration. He earned a doctorate in philosophy at Columbia University where he specialized in Mead's metaphysics.

He joined the UB philosophy department in 1965, was appointed full professor in 1971 and served as chair from 1971-75 and from 1985-94. He worked at UB with a heterogeneous group of Marxists, logicians, linguists and Americanists, which inspired him to bring together disparate strands of 20th-century thought into a unified vision of a modern philosophy department.

He was a member of the editorial board of the American Philosophical Quarterly (1978-87), the Journal of Speculative Philosophy (1985-2008), and from 1986 to 2008 was editor of the Frontiers of Philosophy Series (Prometheus Books).

Hare traveled widely in service to his field and received many awards and honors for his distinguished contributions to the understanding and development of the rich diversity of the American philosophical tradition, including the Herbert W. Schneider Award from the SAAP, its most distinguished honor. He died suddenly Jan. 3, 2008, at his home in Guilford, Conn. He was 72.

Former colleague and fellow philosopher Carolyn Korsmeyer noted his dedication to photography. "Many of his works are on permanent exhibition in UB philosophy department," she said, "and at the time of his death he was photographing the Central Park neighborhood of Buffalo for a publication about the architecture of that area."