RIT professor emeritus to donate $300,000 to College of Liberal Arts

Dane and Judith Gordon’s gift will expand educational opportunities for philosophy students

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Dane Gordon, professor emeritus in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts, seen here speaking with a group of youngsters in 1977, has designated a gift in the amount of $300,000 to the philosophy department for the creation of the Dane R. Gordon Endowed Fund for Philosophy Student Success.

Dane Gordon began his career in Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Liberal Arts in 1962, and in the 38 years that he spent in the classroom, he was an anchor for the philosophy department, according to faculty and students who know him best.

In an effort to build upon the already strong foundation of the philosophy department, Gordon and his wife, Judith, have committed $300,000 in their estate plans to create The Dane R. Gordon Endowed Fund for Philosophy Student Success. The fund will provide support in three areas: aiding students conducting research and scholarship leading to completion of their philosophy degree; supporting philosophy students pursuing academic internships that further their professional and career goals; and initiating the Dane R. Gordon Lecture Series in the Department of Philosophy to host distinguished philosophy scholars who will address the RIT and Rochester communities. RIT also plans to dedicate the Dane R. Gordon Seminar Room located in Liberal Arts Hall in recognition of his gift.

“The Department of Philosophy plays a vital intellectual role at RIT,” said John Capps, chairperson of RIT’s philosophy department. “Dane’s gift ensures that our majors will have some amazing opportunities to enhance their philosophy degree. Dane and Judith have always believed in the power of charitable giving, and their commitment to RIT’s philosophy department and the College of Liberal Arts is simply breathtaking.”

Born in England, Gordon served in the Royal Navy during World War II. After the war, he studied at the University of Cambridge, the University of London and the University of Rochester, receiving degrees in history, divinity and philosophy. He has coordinated international conferences on philosophy, has traveled to more than 40 countries and has written and edited books on philosophy, the philosophy of religion, political thought and Old Testament studies, in addition to two editions of the history of RIT. In 1997, he earned RIT’s Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is a Presbyterian minister and has been active in the Genesee Valley Presbytery for more than 50 years. This year, he will publish his third book of poetry, dealing largely with the interaction of philosophical thinking and religious thought.

“The college is extremely grateful for all that Dane and Judith Gordon have done and continue to do to support the success of our students,” said James Winebrake, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “As a faculty member, Professor Gordon put his heart and soul into student success. I often meet alumni who recall with genuine pleasure their experiences in Professor Gordon’s classes. This gift ensures that the Gordons will continue to support our philosophy students in perpetuity.”