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Claire Katz: Setting the bar for the future of philosophy

An Aggie's legacy gift is empowering the future of philosophy to be determined right here at Texas A&M University by supporting Claire Katz' research.

Editor’s Note: The Empowering Excellence series features recipients of generous donors’ support who’ve been empowered to achieve excellence in their studies, research, and academic programs.

The students and faculty members featured in the Empowering Excellence series serve as a reminder that by working together the Aggie family makes a major difference. We hope you find inspiration in what you are about to read, because you continue to inspire us. Thank you for all that you do.

Photo of Dr. Katz.

The Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching in Liberal Arts empowers Dr. Claire Katz to set the bar for the future of philosophy.

When Aggies think of philosophers, the usual suspects come to mind – Aristotle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Immanuel Kant – and philosophy professors like Claire Katz. When Aggies think of other Aggies, they philosophize a legacy that supports all future generations of Aggies.

A. “Murray” Fasken ‘38, who was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni in 1981, did just that. This economics major’s efforts to support Texas A&M University took many different forms throughout his lifetime. Today, the impact of his support lives on as his legacy.

One piece of Murray’s legacy, the Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching in Liberal Arts, is setting the bar for the future of philosophy. Katz is blazing new trails in her field thanks to funding she receives as the Fasken chair holder. 

“The only way the field of philosophy will change with regard to its demographics and the public perception of it is if we do more outreach and introduce young people to philosophy,” Katz explains. “Thanks to the funding Murray’s generosity provides, I have had the means to study and publish three first-of-their-kind works that usher in a new era in my field.”

Dr. Katz’s work is taking both philosophy and Murray’s philanthropy beyond the halls of Texas A&M University. As she organizes and runs several workshops for faculty, graduate students, and kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, Murray’s philanthropy touches countless people of all ages and enhances the way we think in our daily lives.

What will your legacy be? Will your passion continue to thrive long after your lifetime? How will you impact society? You may be the only one who can fully answer these questions, but the College of Liberal Arts is here to help. 

One of Murray’s classmates, Joe Hiram Moore ‘38, summarized his philanthropy best. “Murray Fasken has quietly done everything possible for Texas A&M. He does it so quietly that most of us don’t even know to say thank you.”