November 16-17, 2000
ITEM 109-2001-R1100 Authorization to Confer the Title of Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy upon Marvin C. Shaw; Montana State University-Bozeman
THAT: Upon the occasion of the retirement of Marvin C. Shaw from the faculty of Montana State University, the Board of Regents wishes to express its appreciation for his service to the University, the Montana University System, and the people of the State of Montana.
EXPLANATION: Throughout his 31 years of teaching at MSU, Professor Marvin Shaw embodied the life of the public intellectual. An expert in religious studies, Professor Shaw was one of this university’s most beloved and esteemed teachers. Through his classes, publications, and public outreach, Professor Shaw touched the lives of thousands of Montanans who were empowered to think more deeply about fundamental questions about life’s many uncertainties.
Marvin came to MSU in 1968, after earning degrees from Occidental College, Union Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He quickly established a reputation for excellent teaching. By 1978, when he was awarded the rank of full professor, Professor Shaw was widely considered to be the single best teacher on this campus. He showed unfailing respect for students and managed to combine his own deep learning with unmatched wit. His annual evaluations are full of superlatives.
Professor Shaw’s research record is equally distinguished. He published numerous articles in the best professional journals in philosophy and religion and produced two major books: The Paradox of Intention (1989); Nature’s Grace: Essays on the H. N. Wieman’s Finite Theism (1995). His scholarship earned high praise from his professional peers, all of whom marveled at his productivity and eloquence. His name is synonymous with the humanities’ tradition on this campus.
Professor Shaw’s reputation was not limited to the MSU campus or to professional circles. He gave dozens of off-campus lectures each year. He served on numerous committees, including the Montana Committee for the Humanities. The Board of Regents also asked Marvin to serve on the search committee for the Commissioner of Higher Education. Professor Shaw was a distinguished citizen in the state’s academic community.
For these and other contributions, the Board of Regents of Higher Education is pleased to confer upon Marvin C. Shaw the rank of Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy at Montana State University and wishes him well for many pleasant years in the future.