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Posted on Jun 10, 2016 |

Former TMC Dean Named Head of Religious Liberty Institute

Former TMC Dean Named Head of Religious Liberty Institute

Dr. Ray Hebert, first Director of the Thomas More Institute for Religious Freedom. Photo courtesy Thomas More College.

Dr. Ray Hebert, first Director of the Thomas More Institute for Religious Liberty. Photo courtesy Thomas More College.

Dr. Raymond G. Hebert, Dean Emeritus of Thomas More College, has been named the first Executive Director of the Thomas More College Institute for Religious Liberty.

 

Created last year to protect and advance the American concept of religious freedom as an inalienable right and to protect this right for all people, the Institute held its first event in February. It will carry out its mission by holding academic symposiums and lectures featuring internationally renowned speakers.

 

A  fixture at the Crestview Hills liberal arts college for more than 40 years, Dr. Hebert has degrees from St. Anselm College (New Hampshire), Duquesne University (Pittsburgh), and the University of Maryland, College Park. He was Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at TMC for 14 years before returning to the classroom in 2001, and served as Chair of the History, International Studies and Political Science Department from 2001-2008. He directed the James Graham Brown Honors Program from 2001-2011, and then directed the College’s Gemini (Dual Credit) and Faculty Development Programs from 2011-2012. His teaching specialty is in Modern European History and his expertise is primarily in the British Isles,. In addition to teaching at TMC he has been a director or faculty member for many programs in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia. He is TMC’s Board Representative for the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA).

 

Dr. Hebert has  published many articles and is the author of Florence Nightingale: Saint, Reformer, or Rebel? An ongoing special project is a team-taught course on History and Literature of Irish Nationalism, 1798-1926 that has been offered in Ireland since 1991. He and his wife Maureen have two children and five grandchildren.

 

“Professor Hebert has the needed combination of professorial experience, community service and a historian’s appreciation and respect for constitutionally protected religious liberty in these United States,” said Executive Committee member William T. Robinson III, an attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC. President of the American Bar Association from 2011-2012, Chairman of the National Judicial College Board of Trustees, and an alumnus of TMC, Robinson called Dr. Hebert “the ideal choice to lead the Institute.”

 

“Becoming the first Executive Director of the Institute for Religious Liberty just feels right as the culmination of my career at Thomas More College,” Dr. Hebert said. “I have always valued our liberal arts mission within a context of ethical concern and social responsibility, and as a college community it has been crucial, as shared in our Vision Statement, ‘to provide an atmosphere of openness, honesty, trust and respect that is ever apparent to ourselves and to visitors alike.’”

 

The Institute for Religious Liberty was established by TMC President David A. Armstrong, JD, in 2015, after local business and educational leaders, including representatives from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC), met to discuss the need to celebrate and teach the First Amendment right to practice religion.

 

“Following a successful inaugural year, we are ready to raise the profile of the Institute for Religious Liberty using Dr. Hebert’s experience as a historian to catapult discussion about the meaning of religious liberty,” Armstrong said.

 

The Institute held its inaugural event in February, partnering with HUC to host a joint lecture by  the President of the United States Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, and the U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Rabbi David Saperstein. (See our story here.)

 

Plans are currently underway for the Institute’s next event, an academic symposium in February 2017, that will coincide with the College’s yearly birthday celebration for Saint Thomas More. For information about how to become involved, click here.

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