MACON – Mercer University Professor of Philosophy Dr. Charlotte Thomas was recently named executive director of the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC), an international membership-driven professional organization dedicated to the improvement of liberal education through the use of core texts in commonly-taken undergraduate liberal arts courses.
ACTC is one of a small handful of academic associations in the world working to temper the ever-increasing specialization of colleges and universities.
Dr. Thomas, who has been a board member of ACTC since 2016 and involved with the organization since its founding 25 years ago, serves as director of Mercer’s Great Books Program.
The Great Books Program, one of two general education tracks in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, traces the classic literature of the Western tradition in order to provide a foundation for students to grasp other cultural traditions and to critically appropriate contemporary culture and its formative texts.
Dr. Thomas is a 1989 graduate of Mercer, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and participated in the Great Books Program. She went on to obtain her master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Emory University and join Mercer’s faculty in 1994.
“Dr. Thomas’s experience with Mercer’s Great Books Program – as a student, a professor and now as director – make her the perfect choice to lead ACTC,” said Dr. Anita Olson Gustafson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Her selection as executive director will strengthen the important relationship between Mercer and the ACTC.”
Dr. Thomas also serves as co-director of Mercer’s Thomas C. and Ramona E. McDonald Center for America’s Founding Principles and director of the Philosophy and Art study abroad program. She previously served as chair of the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as director of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics concentration, First-Year Seminar Program, Experiential First-Year Seminar and Freshman Seminar Program. Additionally, she was an American Academy of Liberal Education accreditation evaluator.
Dr. Thomas is the author of The Female Drama: The Philosophical Feminine in the Soul of Plato’s Republic, published by Mercer University Press, in addition to dozens of journal articles, book chapters, essay collections and presentations. She has served as a board and committee member, reviewer and volunteer for numerous scholarly and community organizations and is a member of Macon-based Americana band blueskyblue.
“I want to express the heartfelt gratitude of ACTC to Mercer University for its freeing up Dr. Thomas to give more of her time to ACTC, and to Dr. Thomas for her courage in stepping forward to lead ACTC through these turbulent times. We are thrilled to have her as our champion,” said Dr. Joshua Parens, president of ACTC and professor of philosophy and politics at the University of Dallas.
Mercer is an institutional member of ACTC and has served as sponsor or co-sponsor of three of the organization’s annual conferences.
After initial support from Temple University for its first conference in 1995, ACTC’s institutional contributors have risen from 12 in its second year of operation to 65 institutions currently.
About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialog and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit liberalarts.mercer.edu.