A consequential scholar at Hobart and William Smith for nearly 50 years, Professor of Philosophy Eugen Baer P’95, P’97 will receive the Hobart Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Hobart Medal of Excellence, during this year’s Charter Day celebration. Baer, who has served as Dean of Hobart College since 2006 and will retire at the conclusion of the academic year, will be honored on the 196th anniversary of Hobart’s founding on Friday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel.
Baer will address the community in his keynote speech titled “Coming into Being Together,” one of the last speeches in a legacy defined by thought-provoking discourse at the helm of Hobart. Charter Day will also include remarks from Tyler Fuller ’18, who will deliver the traditional student address.
Held each spring, Charter Day commemorates the granting of Hobart’s charter by the State of New York on April 10, 1822. During the ceremony, Hobart College deans and Alumni Council members honor student scholarship and welcome new members of the Orange Key, Chimera and Druid honor societies.
The Alumni Association awards the Medal of Excellence to an individual who has brought honor and distinction to Hobart College through outstanding accomplishments in his particular business, profession or community service. Baer is the first Medal of Excellence recipient not to attend Hobart College as undergraduate; he will receive the award based on his honorary membership to the Hobart class of 2007.
Since 1971, Baer has taught courses in semiotics, philosophy of language and European studies, while authoring a substantial interdisciplinary body of scholarship. He has served as chair of the HWS Department of Philosophy; as advisor to Hobart sophomores, Hobart Student Government and Orange Key Society; and on numerous critical committees related to academic affairs, alums, appointments, curriculum and tenure at the Colleges.
With more than 100 bylines in publications throughout the world, Baer has published 10 books, most recently Eternal Life in the Word: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Friedrich Weinreb. Baer is the author of scores of articles and book chapters exploring philosophy, religion and culture, with specific interest in semiotics. Throughout his career, Baer has served his colleagues and professional community in numerous leadership roles, holding titles with the Semiotic Society of America, including two terms as president and 10 years as an editorial board member.
Baer earned his licentiate degree in theology from the University of Freiburg, a biblical baccalaureate degree from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and his doctorate in philosophy from Yale University. More information on Baer’s career can be found here.
Baer takes the stage with Fuller, a Student Trustee and member of the Druid Society. On campus, Fuller is also vice president of Sigma Chi fraternity, a technician for HWS Emergency Medical Services, and co-host of “What are the Odds?” on WHWS-FM. A double major in biochemistry and Spanish and Hispanic studies, Fuller studied abroad at the University of Seville in Spain and completed research at the University of Puerto Rico during a fellowship funded by the National Science Foundation last summer. He previously served as the Orientation Leader for the Classes of 2020, president of HWS Republicans, and was a member of the Chimera Society.