Fontbonne University has named Dr. Jill Raitt as the next holder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Endowed Chair in Catholic Thought. She will begin serving in that role in August.
Raitt, professor emerita of religious studies at the University of Missouri, has more than 40 years' experience teaching religion and theology at the university level. As the endowed chair, she will have an interdisciplinary role in enriching the intellectual climate of the university as well as strengthening its Catholic identity.
"I am delighted to join the faculty of Fontbonne University," Raitt said. "I appreciate the collegiality of the staff and faculty and their dedication to a mission of providing a solid education rooted in the Catholic tradition. I look forward to working with them and with the students to enhance that mission."
Raitt becomes the second professor to hold the endowed chair title at the university. The position is currently held by Dr. Donald Burgo, who has been a professor of religion and philosophy at Fontbonne for 36 years. He is retiring in May.
"Dr. Burgo has served admirably as the inaugural holder of the endowed chair, and we thank him for establishing an excellent foundation for the position," said Dr. Nancy Blattner, Fontbonne vice president and dean of academic affairs. "I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Raitt into this esteemed position. Her experience and academic record are a perfect fit for furthering the exploration of Catholic thought at Fontbonne."
Raitt earned her bachelor's degree in philosophy from the San Francisco College for Women. She has attended the Institutum Historicum in Rome, and she earned a master's degree in English from the San Francisco College for Women and a master's in Theology from Marquette University. She also earned a master's and doctorate in Historical Theology from the University of Chicago.
The endowed chair, the first in the school's history, was established in 2005, after the university received a $1 million matching gift from its sponsors, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province.