La Salle University recently presented two faculty members with annual awards: Frederick Van Fleteren, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, received the Faculty Distinguished Scholarship Award, and Lynne A. Texter, Ph.D., Chair of the Communication Department, received the Faculty Distinguished Service Award.
In presenting the honor to Texter, University Provost Joseph Marbach, Ph.D., said, “Her service is grounded in an intertwined commitment to faculty development and to student advancement, including developing the Communication Department’s adjunct-training program and piloting a program where she meets each summer with faculty to assist them in developing and achieving their professional goals.”
“She is a scholar for whom study finds its fulfillment in service. Such integration of theory and practice is central to La Salle’s educational mission. Advancement of this mission through service that binds community and fosters hope has been Lynne’s lifework,” Marbach added.
Texter, who started at La Salle in 1989, said, “I constantly seek professional development for myself, my colleagues and my students, in the classroom and beyond. Teaching and service provide many avenues for that development. I really enjoy being part of a team working toward a challenging goal, especially one that seems beyond our reach and that will make us stretch.”
She added, “When I learned of this honor, I was asked to talk about the meaning of service. To paraphrase, it takes a village to raise a Lasallian. I cherish being in a community in which people share the work together, sometimes play together; we push each other, support each other, and have each other’s backs. It does take a village to raise a Lasallian, and I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by so many wonderful role models.”
Texter, who in 1996 received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, said, “I knew I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself,” she said about why she chose to come to La Salle. “I wanted to be part of a community. I wanted to be at a place where I could learn about myself, the students, and other people and things. And I found that here.”
In presenting the scholarship award to Van Fleteren, Marbach said, “His scholarly work across his 26 years at La Salle has been outstanding in its steadily productive pace, in its high quality, and in the recognition it has received from an august body of peers on both sides of the Atlantic.”
A noted scholar on the life and writings of St. Augustine, Van Fleteren has spent 20 years translating a work about the saint published more than 300 years ago.
Marbach said, “Professor Van Fleteren’s recent, three-volume translation with commentary of Louis Sébastian’s 17th-century French biography has been described as ‘much more than a mere translation,’ and that Fred’s commentaries are ‘an indispensable reading aid’ to Sébastian’s important work, opening up ‘a new approach for English-language research to the modern view of Augustine.’”
On receiving the award, Van Fleteren said, “It’s a great honor, and I accept it with great humility and good deal of pride.”
St. Augustine, said Van Fleteren, “is the most prolific and valuable author from the late antique world. He wrote almost six million words which are extant. New letters and sermons are continually being discovered.”
“I think he is the most important figure in western thought,” Van Fleteren added. “Most people think that figure is Plato, but I disagree. Augustine had the advantage of the Judeo-Christian revelation, which was lacking to Plato. He had the best of Hebrew thought and the best of Greek thought available to him.”
While working on the Tillemont translation, Van Fleteren has also translated and edited several other books and written several articles and book reviews on St. Augustine. He is a co-editor of the critically acclaimed Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia, published in 1999. He said the final volume of the Tillemont will be published in September. But that will not be his final word on the subject.
“After my work on this final volume ends, I have six articles that are already begun in my computer,” he said. “And that will certainly lead to more.”
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.