The Martin Chair


History of the Martin Chair

In 1981, Edward A Martin (C'33, L'36) bequeathed funds to Georgetown University for the establishment of the Isabella A. and Henry D. Martin Chair in Scholastic Philosophy and Politics. Edward A. Martin wanted the permanence of a chair but also stipulated that it was to be filled by a member of the Society of Jesus. Over the years, the Martin Chair has played a crucial role in the continued teaching and research of scholastic philosophy as well as conveyance of the values of St. Thomas Aquinas that were important to Edward Martin.

Edward A. Martin was born in 1911 in Princeton, New Jersey and graduated from Georgetown College in 1933 and Law school in 1936. (Please see the picture below.) He was a lawyer in practice for more than 40 years in Washington D.C. and was involved in drafting legislation to aid colleges and medical schools. Additionally, he was a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II and served on the attack transport Fond Du Lac in the Pacific.

Edward A. Martin, 1933

Georgetown Law, 1936

Over the past twenty-nine years, there have been two occupants of the chair. The inaugural occupant of the chair was Rev. E. Colin Campbell, S.J. (1983) and the second occupant of the chair is Rev. Mark Henninger, S.J., 2005 to the present. Professor Henninger directs the activities of the Center for Medieval Philosophy which actively supports one of the Chair's main missions of promoting the teaching and research of scholastic philosophy.Professor Henninger is the author of Relations, Medieval Theories 1250 - 1325, Clarenden Press, Oxford University Press, 1989; Henry of Harclay, Ordinary Questions, vol. 1, I - XIV, vol. 2, XV - XXIX, published for The British Academy by Oxford University Press, 2008 and the translation from Italian into English of Aquinas on the Beginning and End of Human Life (Harvard University Press, 2013).

In April, 2010 Professor Henninger's above mentioned work on Henry of Harclay was review by Prof. Jeremy Catto, Oriel College, Oxford. His book review was published in the English Historical Review, cxxv. 513, p. 399 - 401 (Apr. 2010). Professor Catto states, "His Quaestiones, impeccably edited by Mark Henninger and elegantly translated by Raymond Edwards and the editor, reveal for the first time to a wide readership the preoccupations of a brilliant group of thinkers" (p. 400 - 1).