Philo. professor leaves Univ. after 36 years

Katie Diperna

Dr. Jack Caputo, longtime Philosophy Professor and friend of the University, announced his retirement from Villanova after 36 years.

His decision allows him to accept the position of “Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities” at Syracuse University. According to Caputo, he will remain onboard at Villanova this coming fall semester to teach his graduate courses in the Philosophy department and will continue working with the doctorate students who are writing their dissertations under him.

According to colleagues, Caputo’s announcement was unexpected.

“It came as a great surprise,” said Dr. Helen Lang, Director of the Philosophy Department. “Everyone retires at some point I realize, but it came as such a shock.”

Caputo received a special appointment at Syracuse University. Here at Villanova, he teaches in the philosophy department, focusing on religion and post-modernism.

In his new position, his home base will be religious studies. While mostly working here in Philadelphia and traveling to Syracuse just a few days each week, Caputo will have the opportunity to teach courses at the graduate and doctoral level.

He said that his new position allows him more freedom to conduct research as well as spend time with his family and grandchildren, who all live in the area.

“Villanova will always be my home. I see it as a second career after my main career. I am retiring and then seeking an opportunity to do something different for a few years with the last phase of my career,” said Caputo.

Throughout his 36 years at Villanova, Caputo has been instrumental in building the philosophy department to what it is today, according to colleagues.

Two of his most notable achievements include the founding of the doctorate program for philosophy as well as his role in four separate Religious and Postmodernism Conferences. These conferences were held at Villanova over different years, the most recent being this September. The speakers’ explorations and the questions raised about modern religion and interpretation gained nation-wide attention.

“The Religion and Postmodernism Conferences would not have taken place if it weren’t for his [Caputo’s] energy, his contacts and his organizational skill. He has been a powerhouse for the department and for the University,” Lang said. “We must wish him well.”

Later this spring, the Philosophy Department will host an event to honor Caputo and his work at Villanova.