Philosophy alumni present

Posted on March 19th, 2009 by

The philosophy department welcomed back three wonderful alumni–Tad Marinac, Shel Silvernail and Paul Tidemann–on Wednesday, March 18, for the semi-annual dinners-and-discussions that we call “Mom, Dad…I’m a Philosophy Major.”

The Rev. Paul Tidemann (’60) provided us with a written copy of his remarks.

Shel Silvernal (’90) discussed the ways in which her life as a philosophy major are deeply connect to her present life as a labor and delivery nurse at Hennepin County Medical Center, a setting in which she has the opportunity to give women “the best care she is capable of giving them.”

Tad Marinac (’87) described the ethical challenges he faces as an appraiser–one of fifty in the state of Minnesota who holds the title of MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute). In these troubled and troubling financial times, Tad may find himself the one who must “walk into an institution and say ‘it’s time to turn off the lights and lock the door.'”

In the discussion following their talks, each speaker talked briefly about a current issue that is occupying their thoughts, and about which they are trying to make sense. Tad noted that current financial circumstances are, at present his entire focus. Shel described her efforts to think clearly about “what gets defined as the abortion debate, which often pits fetal rights against maternal rights.” She observed that she sees the issue as much more multifaceted and complex, as she works each day with mothers and infants, including many preterm and previable births. Paul spoke about the return of Sarah Jane Olson, and his hope that this longtime member of the St. Paul community would be welcomed back to that city.

If you’re a philosophy alumna or alumnus reading this post, wouldn’t you like to come back to talk with our students and faculty? We’d love to hear your story.


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