When Saint Xavier University (SXU) Trustee, Carol Keene ’61, Ph.D., walked up the steps of “Xavs” in 1957, she was ready to be a research chemist. Armed with the support of her parents, a Mayor Daley Scholarship and a love of science, Dr. Keene did not expect to be transformed by her education. Yet a required course in Philosophy with Sister Dominica “captivated” Dr. Keene and her career trajectory was never the same.
Dr. Keene went on to receive a M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University and a Ph.D. from St. Louis University. She joined the Department of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1968. In addition to her teaching, she served across the years as Department Chair and Dean of Humanities. An accomplished author noted for her multi-volume editions of the papers and letters of the British philosopher F. H. Bradley, Dr. Keene credits SXU for providing her with an “absolute fabulous education.”
“My favorite memory of Xavs is how truly intellectually exciting it was…when interviewed for a position in 1962 at a Catholic college in St. Louis, their high regard for Saint Xavier trumped their hesitancy about my youth and I was hired.”
In addition to donating her time to SXU as a Trustee, Dr. Keene is a generous philanthropist to the University, having established three endowed scholarships, two of which honor her parents. She also assisted her 1961 classmates in raising funds to create the “Who Shall Find a Valiant Woman?” art piece in SXU’s library; and, she has placed the University in her estate plans.
When asked why she donates to Saint Xavier, Dr. Keene stated, “You don’t go through this world without someone entering your life and making a positive difference…even a stranger. I received a scholarship to attend Xavs. When you receive a gift, you have a responsibility to do likewise for others. We each need to give back. I want the next generation of Saint Xavier student to have as worthwhile an education as I did. If anyone wants to step up to the plate and make a difference [in the lives of students], now is the time. Higher education needs you!”
Thank you, Dr. Keene, for leaving such a wonderful legacy to the University!