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Zieglers Endow Philosophy Chair Position at Thomas More University

Thomas More University announced its first endowed chair, the Wilbert L. and Ellen Hackman Ziegler Chair of the Philosophy Department.

The Zieglers contribution to the university is in appreciation for their own education at the institution, then based in Covington and known as Villa Madonna College.

Ellen Ziegler (class of 1970) was an English major and later worked as a clinical psychologist. Wilbert Ziegler (class of 1953) started at Villa Madonna College at age 15, majoring in philosophy and history/political science. He became a prominent attorney in the region.

Philosophy professors, “prepared me well for law school,” Ziegler said. “Sister Mary Camilla was my philosophy teacher. And I recall Sister Mary Rosina.”

Ziegler fondly recalled these relationships when reconnecting with the University in 2015 as a member of the board of trustees. He also now serves as Honorary Chair of the Thomas More Second Century Campaign.

While Ziegler said that “there are many challenges for Catholic education,” and he praised the university for how it “has maintained its mission as it has grown and matured.”

The Wilbert L. and Ellen Hackman Ziegler Chair position is currently held by Reverend Monsignor Gerald E. Twaddell, D.Phil.

“The Wilbert L. and Ellen Hackman Ziegler Chair helps us to realize our strategic plan by ensuring that our students continue to engage philosophy as a foundation to their liberal arts education and that every student has the opportunity to explore the ultimate meaning of life and their responsibility toward others,” said Thomas More University President Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D. “This is just one example of how contributions to the Second Century Campaign are already making a major impact for our students. It is incredible to see our community coming together to recognize Thomas More as the region’s premier Catholic University.” 

The endowed chair was made possible through a leadership contribution by the Ziegler’s during the silent phase of Thomas More University’s Second Century capital campaign, prior to its public launch in fall of 2021. Through previous endowments, Ziegler has created three scholarship funds to support Thomas More students: the Wilbert L. and Ellen Hackman Ziegler Scholarship Fund is a newly created opportunity for pre-law students, the Wilbert L. and Anna M. Ziegler Scholarship Fund, in memory of his parents, has helped over 100 students in the decades since its creation, and the Wilbert & Helen Ziegler Scholarship Fund, created with Ziegler’s late wife, is a partnership with the College of Law at the University of Cincinnati intended to encourage Thomas More graduates to attend the College of Law.

-Staff report