Marshall T. Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy is
named for Dr. Marshall T. Steel, distinguished alumnus and President of
the College from 1958 to 1969. The Steel Center was made possible by a
bequest from Mrs. Ruth Veasey of Dermott, Arkansas. The purpose of the
Steel Center is the enhancement of the College’s academic study of the fields of religion and philosophy. Among its functions, the Steel Center sponsors conferences which include students, faculty, and off-campus visitors. Dr. James Dow, Associate Professor of Philosophy, serves as Director. The Steel Center aims to identify, clarify, and contribute to the emerging religious and philosophical issues of our time. Areas of emphasis include (1) deep questions and perennial conversations in the liberal arts; (2) the academic study of religion and philosophy; and (3) interdisciplinary thinking about the big questions across disciplines. The Steel Center Lectures provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and other interested person in the region to hear a scholar of religious studies or philosophy address questions, debates, conversation, or discussions about contemporary theological and philosophical issues of our time. Conferences, workshops, and book groups provide an occasion for small groups to work intensely on specific questions or problems of interest. Such occasions offer faculty, students and the public to engage in the academic study of religion and philosophy. The Steel Center sponsors academic conferences, interdisciplinary workshops, and book groups on religion and philosophy. Wednesday Afternoon Discussions provide an opportunity for people to come together and talk about deep questions, important conversations, difficult debates, and inspiring world views. Discussions are not limited to religion and philosophy. A wide variety of topics are discussed, including politics, art, social issues, and scientific questions. The discussions are held each Wednesday in Ellis Hall from 4 pm to 5 pm and are open to the public.