Dr. John M. Connolly is Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
HAYDENVILLE, MA, July 29, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present John Matthew Connolly with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Connolly celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Dr. Connolly is Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Retiring from his position in 2014 after more than four decades on campus, he also contributed for 10 years in the college administration from 1992 until 2002. He found success as dean of faculty and the college's first provost between 1994 and 2001, and had the honor of serving as acting president from 2001 to 2002. Additionally, Dr. Connolly chaired the philosophy department on two occasions. Prior to being appointed at Smith College in 1973, he earned distinction for two years as a philosophy instructor at Elms College in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
In a long tenure full of accomplishments, Dr. Connolly is most proud to have served Smith College as its acting president during the events on and following September 11th, 2001, during which he was able to help Smith stay the course in a very uncertain time. The Board of Trustees gave him the John M. Greene Award in 2002, the college's highest distinction, presented to those who have gone beyond the call of duty. Dr. Connolly also had the opportunity to serve as a fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg, University of Erfurt in Germany, in 2015 and 2018. As a member of the German Meister-Eckhart-Gesellschaft he greatly profited from the extraordinary collegiality of that group, as he had earlier from the circle of scholars and students led by Professor Ernst Konrad Specht, his host professor during his Humboldt Fellowship in Bonn. One result of these latter collaborations was his work as a consultant at the University of Hagen in Germany between 1981 and 1982, and again in 1988.
As a scholar, some of Dr. Connolly's recent research has included medieval philosophy, philosophy of mind, the tradition of moral philosophy, and issues of academic freedom and tolerance. He has taught courses and has written extensively in these areas. In addition to contributing numerous articles in both English and German, Dr. Connolly has also published several books, including "Living Without Why: Meister Eckhart's Critique of the Medieval Concept of Will" through Oxford University Press in 2014, which expounded on the titular philosopher's controversial theories.
During the course of Dr. Connolly's professional journey, he benefited greatly from the tutelage of several wonderful mentors. He is especially grateful for the guidance of his Humboldt fellowship host, the late Professor Specht, and of Dr. Mary Maples Dunn, the late president of Smith College. He also credits Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, formerly president of Smith College as the most astute and successful academic leader he has known. Above all, Dr. Connolly is indebted to his German-born wife, the Rev. Marianna Kaul Connolly, for her constant encouragement and for introducing him to his first book of Meister Eckhart's writings, which was later to become the central focus of the second half of his career. He and his wife are proud of their two daughters, Fiona and Sabine, who are professionals in the field of health care, and their three grandchildren.
Born in The Bronx, New York, in 1943 as the third child of Alice (Joiner) and Clement Connolly, Dr. Connolly received a Bachelor of Arts in English, summa cum laude, at Fordham University in 1965. He greatly benefitted from the classical education provided by the Jesuits. As the recipient of an Open Exhibition Award from Brasenose College at Oxford University, he completed with first-class honours a Bachelor of Arts (later M.A.) degree in philosophy, politics, and economics in 1967. Supported by a Danforth Fellowship, Dr. Connolly subsequently studied philosophy at Princeton University between 1967 and 1968 before acquiring a Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy at Harvard University in 1971.
Dr. Connolly has been a member of the American Philosophical Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP. As a leading authority in his field, he has been recognized for his contributions with a Democracy in Higher Education Award from the National Education Association in 2000. He was later recognized with the Five College 40th Anniversary Professorship (2007) and the Sophia Smith Professorship (2011). He was honored to present the Five College Jackie Pritzen Lecture in 2011. A celebrated Marquis listee, Dr. Connolly has been showcased in approximately a dozen editions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America.
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