Posted Online: April 16, 2013, 10:24 am
Dr. Dan Lee named Augustana's first Cannon Professor of the Humanities
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Press release submitted by Augustana College
Dr. Dan Lee
Rock Island, Ill. – Augustana College announced Dr. Dan Lee, professor of ethics and director of the Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics, is the inaugural holder of the Marian Taft Cannon Endowed Chair in the Humanities. As the college's first Cannon Professor of the Humanities, Dr. Lee has the unique opportunity to shape the way this endowment will impact Augustana College faculty, and influence the transformative educational experience they provide students.
Established by the estate of Wilbur and Marian Taft Cannon, the endowment was envisioned by Wilbur Taft as a means of honoring his wife and the passion she had for teaching.
Marian Taft was born in China and later settled in the Quad Cities. She taught French at Augustana from 1962 to 1976. The couple retired in Florida. Wilbur Cannon died in 2000, and Marian Cannon passed away in 2006.
In 1978, when asked about the endowment he was helping to establish, Mr. Cannon was clear on several points. He wanted it named for his wife, and wrote that she so enjoyed teaching at Augustana, "she would have taught for zero compensation." In fact, he once observed that he saw their gift as "in some measure a return for the salary she received from Augustana."
John H. Erickson '69, a former student of Marian Cannon's, said recently, "I remember Madame Cannon most vividly. She was always exuberant, joyful and energetic. Although I'm certain she did stand still from time to time, I certainly don't have that image in my memory."
Erickson added, "Her love and enthusiasm for all things French must have made a lasting impression on me. I am currently enrolled in an intermediate French course at the Philadelphia Alliance Française—and have been pleasantly surprised to discover how much of what I learned from Madame Cannon is still with me."
Dr. Lee has been a member of the Augustana faculty since 1974. His teaching responsibilities include courses in business ethics and medical ethics. On a two-year cycle, he teaches the course "Faiths in Dialogue," following which he and his students spend 12 days in Rome visiting various sites of significance, attending an audience with the pope, and meeting with church officials and other individuals to engage in dialogue about issues discussed in the course. Appointed chair of the Department of Religion in 2008, he will continue serving in that capacity through the 2013-14 academic year.
He is a Navy veteran, and the author of numerous articles and books. Dr. Lee holds degrees from Concordia College in Moorehead, Minn., and Yale University.
Daniel E. Lee
A member of the Augustana faculty since 1974, Dan Lee is the Marian Taft Cannon Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics. His teaching responsibilities include courses in business ethics and medical ethics. On a two-year cycle, he teaches a course entitled "Faiths in Dialogue," following which he and the students enrolled in the course spend twelve days in Rome visiting various sites of significance, attending an audience with the pope, and meeting with church officials and other individuals to engage in dialogue about issues discussed in the course. Appointed chair of the Department of Religion in 2008, he will continue serving in that capacity through the 2013-2014 academic year.
Born in the mountains of Montana as World War II was nearing its conclusion, he began his formal education in a two-room country school, where the teacher allowed students to run outside to look at airplanes when one flew over. A summa cum laude graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, he received the M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University, where they don't run outside to look at airplanes.
He is a Navy veteran, having served as a commissioned officer assigned to naval intelligence. While in the Navy, he studied Russian, which proved useful to the Augustana Choir when they needed a translator to provide a literal translation of a Russian choral arrangement. He is no longer involved in espionage—in fact, he hasn't been involved in that particular line of work for more than forty years.
Dr. Lee is the author of numerous articles and books. Published by Cambridge University Press in 2010, Human Rights and the Ethics of Globalization, which he co-authored with his daughter, Elizabeth J. Lee, was a Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2011 winner. Other books include Letters from a Sailor: America at War 1917-1918 (2011) Freedom vs. Intervention: Six Tough Cases (2005), Navigating Right and Wrong: Ethical Decision Making in a Pluralistic Age (2002), Generations and the Challenge of Justice (1996), Hope Is Where We Least Expect to Find It (1993), and Death and Dying: Ethical Choices in a Caring Community (1983). A published poet and writer of fiction, his first work of fiction, entitled Of Clay Made, was released in 2007. He writes a weekly column that appears in the op-ed sections of the Rock Island Argus and the Dispatch (published in Moline, Illinois), as well as occasional pieces for other papers. Op-ed pieces he has written have appeared in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Journal of Commerce, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Peoria Journal-Star, and several other newspapers.
He is currently working on a book on individual rights and the common good. He is also writing a historical novel entitled When Jeannette Met Jeannette, though that manuscript is on the back burner while he is working on other projects.
In June of 2007, he was a member of the People to People Ambassador Program Philosophy Delegation to China, which led to an invitation to be a guest professor in the College of Philosophy at Shanghai Normal University in 2010 and 2011.
Also in 2007, he was invited to present a paper entitled "The Erosion of Ethical Standards in Government: Is What It Takes To Get Elected the Root of the Problem?" at a symposium at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, a paper that was subsequently published in Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table. The previous year he presented a paper entitled "Ensuring Academic Freedom for Students in the Classroom" at a symposium at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, a paper that was subsequently published in the International Journal of Humanities.
Awards he has received include being named Professor of the Month in February of 2007 by the Augustana Chapter of Mortar Board and being selected in 2011 for a Harold T. and Violeg M. Jaeke Award for Outstanding Service to the College. He is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), an honorary organization that recognizes outstanding students and faculty, and Order of Omega, an honorary organization that recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to Greek life.
Dr. Lee serves as the faculty advisor for three groups on campus: Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the Augustana Veterans Support Group, and the Phi Rho sorority. Other activities include helping prep Miss Iowa for the Miss America contest, though he notes that he must not be doing a very good job since no Miss Iowa he has helped prep has ever been named Miss America.
He is a member of the Handel Oratorio Society and has sung with Opera Quad Cities in Puccini's La Bohème, Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutti," Bizet's Carmen, and Verdi's Rigoletto. In May of this year, he will be singing with Opera@Augustana in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, where he will play the role of a cowardly police officer.
Along with singing, his hobbies include photography, sailing, gourmet cooking, trap and skeet shooting, oil painting, playing guitar, and working on the log cabin he and his wife are building in mountains of Montana on part of the family farm that he inherited.
He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA), Moline, Illinois. He and his wife, Ruth Jean (Danielson) Lee, have one daughter, Elizabeth J. Lee, born February 23, 1982.