Center for Catholic Education Says Goodbye to Fellow Dr. Thomas Hunt

Image of Dr. HuntIt is with great sadness among the Center for Catholic Education team that we share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Thomas C. Hunt. Truly, he was among the most endearing, brilliant men most of us have ever met. Traveling to Pittsburgh for the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Convention shortly after his death, our Director, Susan Ferguson, was overwhelmed by expressions of sympathy in the loss of our beloved Tom. She came to realize that he was honored by so many others across the country.  

Dr. Karen Ristau, former President of the NCEA, noted that Tom encouraged her to co-author a chapter in one of his many books. Karen said that Tom called her on the phone, and asked her to collaborate as he was aware of and a supporter of what Karen was accomplishing at University of St. Thomas. Karen noted that if not for Tom, her writing career might have begun at a later time.  

Gentle was his way with each person that he met. Dr. Hunt was keenly aware of the gifts each person brought to the community. He was also fierce and passionate for research and scholarship regarding Catholic education, and always willing to share his plans for the next book or books he would author. We will miss his kindness, and pledge to carry on his fervor for growing Catholic education, honoring the past and building the future.

Please read the story below written by the University of Dayton's Cameron Fullam, who shared that, upon his arrival on the UD campus, Tom was among the first to welcome him. 

In Memoriam


DAYTON, Ohio — University of Dayton professor Thomas Hunt, who was a lifelong advocate of Catholic education, died Thursday, April 17. He was 83.

His enduring legacy can be found in his significant contribution to Catholic education history and research as the author and editor of 27 books, including The Praeger Handbook of Faith-Based Schools in the United States, K-12At the Heart of the Church: Selected Documents of Catholic EducationUrban Catholic Education: Tales of Twelve Cities; and Urban Catholic Education: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times.

"He was a tempest, a driven soul passionate about history and Catholic education," said the Rev. Ron Nuzzi, a senior director at the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education and a co-author with Hunt on more than a dozen books.

"He contributed perhaps more than anyone else in his generation to the body of knowledge about the history of Catholic education," Nuzzi said. "He has preserved the knowledge and experiences of a time when Catholic schools and churches were filled with priests and nuns, something most students and educators have no memory of today."

Hunt found something very American and very spiritual about those early Catholic educators, who founded schools in neighborhoods to preserve the faith as their children furthered their education.

He liked to call them "front porch parishioners," echoing the University of Dayton's strongly held commitment to community.

Books Written and Edited by Dr. Hunt

These are just some of the publications to which Dr. Hunt devoted his knowledge, his wisdom, his faith, and his skill.

Urban Catholic Education: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times (2013)
The Praeger Handbook of Faith-Based Schools in the United States, K-12 (2012)
At the Heart of the Church: Selected Documents of Catholic Education (2012)
Urban Catholic Education: Tales of Twelve American Cities (2010)
Encyclopedia of Educational Reform and Dissent (2010)
The Praeger Handbook of Religion and Education in the United States (2009)
The Dissenting Tradition in American Education (2007)
Moral Education [2 volumes]: A Handbook (2007)
Catholic School Leadership: An Invitation to Lead (2005)
Moral Education In America's Schools: The Continuing Challenge (2005)
Invitation to Philosophy: Issues and Options (2005)
Catholic Schools in the United States [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia (2004)
Catholic Schools Still Make a Difference, 2nd Edition: Ten Years of Research, 1991-2000 (2004)
Handbook of Research on Catholic Higher Education (PB) (2003)
Handbook of Research on Catholic Education (The Greenwood Educators' Reference Collection) (2001)
Invitation to Philosophy: Issues and Options (2001)
Doctoral Dissertations on Catholic Schools, 1988-1997 (1998)