Braniff Graduate School Awards 200th Doctorate to Elizabeth Reyes

200th PhDThis winter, after successfully defending her dissertation "Ishmael's Cetological Quest: A Progression of Imagination in Melville's 'Moby-Dick'," Elizabeth Reyes became the 200th student to earn a doctoral degree from the Braniff Graduate School's Institute of Philosophic Studies (IPS). Reyes, whose doctorate is in literature, now teaches at Thomas Aquinas College.

"Studying in the IPS program was a galvanizing experience. As I worked with a committed faculty and students to learn from the greatest writers in the world, I found myself involved in a quickening conversation that spanned centuries," she said. "The joyful opportunity that I had to be part of UD's unique doctoral program has transformed my life, leading me to my calling as a teacher while impressing upon me the responsibility and grace that comes with such an honor."

The doctoral program was started at UD in 1967 under the direction of Louise Cowan, university professor and former Braniff dean, and Wilmoore Kendall, who served as a professor of politics until his death in 1968. The first doctorate was awarded to Raleigh Webster Smith in 1971.

The Institute of Philosophic Studies, which grants doctorates in philosophy, politics and literature, is recognized for being the only doctoral program in the country with an interdisciplinary Core curriculum focusing on the greatest texts of the Western and Christian liberal arts tradition.

"Our graduates have had very good success in securing tenure-track positions," said David Sweet, Braniff dean and associate professor of classics. "Braniff Ph.D.s have taught, or are teaching, at Fordham University, Hillsdale College, St. John's College, UT Austin and the Catholic University of America, among other places."

PHOTO: Elizabeth Reyes (center) with Bainard Cowan, Louise Cowan Chair of Literature, and Louise Cowan, University Professor of English.

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