Dr. David Jeffrey Awarded Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year

April 23, 2015
David Lyle Jeffrey

David Lyle Jeffrey holding his award. Photo courtesy of Baylor Photography.

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WACO, Texas (April 23, 2015) – David Lyle Jeffrey, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities in Baylor’s Honors College, has been honored as the 12th Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year.
“I have the good fortune to work alongside David and to see the way in which he sets an example for us all across a range of activities: his productivity as a scholar, his challenging and inspiring teaching, his mentoring of junior faculty and his administrative work,” said Thomas Hibbs, Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s Honors College. “He is certainly deserving of this prestigious award.”
Since 2000, Jeffrey has been a Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor. His teachings concentrate on medieval literature, the Bible as literature, medieval exegesis, biblical hermeneutics and literary theory, biblical tradition in the arts, art and biblical theology, literature and philosophy and aesthetics.
Prior to his time at Baylor University, Jeffrey acted as Guest Professor at Peking University (Beijing) and Honorary Professor at the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing). He has been honored as the 1995 Professor of the Year in Arts and Humanities at the University of Ottawa, elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1996, chosen for the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2003 Conference on Christianity and Literature and invited to present the 2004 Andrew Laing Lecture at St Andrews University in Scotland.
“I could honestly go on at great length (about Dr. Jeffrey); in fact, I have a confession to make: in order to learn how I could most informatively describe his work, I was recently re-reading the various letters that had been written in support of this professor — by current students, by former students now in faculty positions elsewhere, and by faculty colleagues — and there were so many letters and so many specific and vivid observations that I actually breathed an audible sigh of relief when I got to the end of them,” said Jim Bennighof, Ph.D., vice provost for academic affairs and policy, in his introduction speech at the Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award ceremony.
The Cornelia Marschall Smith Award is given to faculty nominated on the basis of being “a superlative contributor to the learning environment at Baylor, including teaching which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness, research which is recognized as outstanding by the national and/or international as well as local community of scholars and service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor.”
Each year, the winner receives a commemorative plaque and a cash award of $20,000. Jeffrey has donated his cash reward to the Susan Burrow Colon Scholarship Fund in the Honors College.
by Sarah Czerwinski, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.