C of I welcomes renowned philosopher for lecture

The College of Idaho will launch its Carter-Chalker Lectureship on Faith and Contemporary Issues this fall, hosting renowned philosopher Holmes Rolston III on Nov. 6 and 7. Rolston’s visit will include class visits, a Q & A and the free public lecture “Three Big Bangs: Matter-Energy, Life, Mind,”  set for 7 p.m. Nov. 7 inside the Langroise Center for the Visual and Performing Arts on the C of I campus in Caldwell.

Rolston is a University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University. He is best known for his contributions to environmental ethics and the relationship between science and religion. Among various career honors, Rolston won the 2003 Templeton Prize, an international award with a $1.5 million stipend given to the person in any given year deemed to have done most to affirm life’s spiritual dimension. He also has written seven books, acclaimed in critical notice by both professional journals and the national press. His most recent works include A New Environmental Ethics: The Next Millennium for Life on Earth (2012) and Three Big Bangs (2011).  

“Dr. Rolston is one of the world’s foremost authorities on environmental ethics, philosophy and the dialogue between science and religion,” C of I President Marv Henberg said. “I can think of no better person than he to introduce this College’s great new lectureship on faith and religion in today’s world.”

The Carter-Chalker Lectureship on Faith and Contemporary Issues was established in 2011 thanks to a $150,000 gift from the estate of the late William Carter. The series, named for Carter and retired C of I professor Dr. William Chalker, will bring at least one lecturer to campus each year for a public talk.

William Carter, who passed away in 2011, was a professional photographer in New York City. He did not attend C of I, but he maintained a positive relationship with the school his grandfather, Dr. William Judson Boone, founded in 1891. Carter believed religion had an important role in society, and he appreciated the forums on important issues the C of I provided for its students and the community.

Dr. William Chalker, who lives in California, taught philosophy and religion at C of I from 1960 to 1987 and also served as dean of the College. He authored the book Science and Faith: Understanding Meaning, Method and Truth and in 2007 received The College of Idaho President’s Medallion.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit