Denison University Emeritus Professor of Philosophy Tony J. Lisska died on Sept. 18, 2022. He was 82.
Lisska joined the Denison faculty in 1969, launching an extraordinary 52-year career on The Hill. Among his many accomplishments on campus, he served as dean of the college for five years, chaired the philosophy department three times, and founded and chaired the Honors Program for 15 years. He retired from Denison in 2021.
Denison President Adam Weinberg said of Lisska, “Tony left an indelible mark on Denison and the Granville community — to say he will be missed is an understatement. Denison is defined by relationships. Tony’s relationships shaped the lives of generations of students, colleagues, and others who had the pleasure and honor of knowing him.”
In acknowledgement of Lisska’s enduring and exemplary service and dedication to Denison, in 2016 the Gilpatrick Center was rededicated as the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement (now the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement). The Lisska Center’s mission is to promote intellectual dialogue and scholarly excellence on campus by supporting students, faculty, and alums.
In the field of philosophy, Lisska was a highly regarded expert on St. Thomas Aquinas and published extensively on Aquinas’ texts and analytic philosophy. Lisska also was known for his passion for regional history. He served on the Board of the Granville Historical Society for 15 years and co-founded The Historical Times, which won a state historical award. He also authored An Illustrated History of the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club and published more than 40 articles on local history.
Lisska earned a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College, a master’s from Saint Stephen’s College, a doctorate from the Ohio State University, and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.
The Denison flag will fly at half-staff for three days to celebrate his life and contributions. A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at The Church of St Edward the Confessor (785 Newark-Granville Road, Granville). The family will receive friends Friday, Sept. 23, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at St. Edward’s. A vigil service also will be held there at 2 p.m.