Tise Professorship

SALEM, VA - Roanoke College President Sabine U. O'Hara is pleased to announce the appointment of two professors to new positions. Rev. Dr. Paul Hinlicky has been named the inaugural holder of a new endowed professorship - The Reverend J. Marshall Tise Professor in Lutheran Studies. The Tise Professorship is named in honor of Rev. J. Marshall Tise, a Lutheran pastor and mayor of Floyd in the early 20th century. Dr. Ned Wisnefske has been named the new Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion, assuming the professorship previously held by Hinlicky.

"The creation of a new endowed professorship is a wonderful gift to a college," O'Hara said. "It celebrates the very core of what we are about as an institution of higher learning - the work of our faculty as teachers, scholars and mentors. The new Tise Professorship also celebrates our tradition as a college founded by Lutheran pastors so it is gift that connects our past and our future, which makes it especially meaningful."

The Tise Professorship was established by Jessie Tise Heafner '37 of Floyd. She attended Marion College and Roanoke College along with her two sisters, Virginia Tise Kirkwood '31 and Marguerite Irene Tise '33. The three sisters all went on to careers in teaching and service. Several years ago, the sisters decided to fund a $1 million endowed professorship in honor of their father. Before the professorship was fully funded, Kirkwood and Tise passed away. Heafner says she is pleased to fulfill her sisters' dreams. "This is a gift from the three of us," Heafner says. "My sisters, Marguerite especially, did so much to make this happen."

Rev. Tise taught his daughters the importance of balancing civic service with their faith. Kirkwood served as president of the Virginia Education Association and as a Royal Mission Interpreter for the Lutheran Church. Marguerite Tise served with the U.S. Foreign Service under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. Heafner was a teacher in Roanoke and Floyd. She is active in Zion Lutheran Church.

"The gifts establishing the Tise Professorship are most welcome, and we appreciate them immensely," Dr. John Day, Vice President and Dean of the College, said. "The Tise Professorship will help us to further strengthen our already strong Religion and Philosophy department, to recognize two very talented faculty members, and to assure that Lutheran Studies will have a continuing place in our curriculum."

As the Tise Professor, Hinlicky will devote much of his time to developing and teaching courses in Lutheran studies and teaching additional courses in the Religion and Philosophy Department. Hinlicky is an ordained Lutheran pastor and most recently held the college's Jordan-Trexler Professorship in Religion. Hinlicky previously taught at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. Hinlicky holds the B.A. from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, IN; the M.Div. from Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, MO; the Ph.D. (1983) from Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY.

Hinlicky served on the editorial council of dialog and Lutheran Quarterly and as associate editor of Pro Ecclesia. He has published over 50 academic articles and book reviews and chapter length contributions to books, as well as many popular and occasional pieces. He served as editor of Lutheran Forum, 1988-1993. In 1991, Theophilus Press published his Mission to the Catskills: A History of Immanuel Lutheran Church of Delhi, New York.

Wisnefske replaces Hinlicky as the Jordan Trexler Professor of Religion. Wisnefske has been a member of the Roanoke College faculty since 1985. He is the author of two books, Our Natural Knowledge of God and Preparing to Hear the Gospel. He earned his bachelors degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He went on to Yale University Divinity School for his master's degree and earned the Ph.D. in Christian Theology from University of Chicago Divinity School.

Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Its 1,850 students represent Virginia and 41 states across the U.S., along with 25 foreign countries. The college offers 33 majors, including professional preparation in business and education and pre-professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, engineering and ministry. The College is listed in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Guide as a national liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. Roanoke is featured in Colleges of Distinction, a new college guide profiling some of America's best bets in higher education.

For additional information, contact the Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.