Ferrari, Leo C.

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Ferrari, Leo C.

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St. Thomas University philosophy professor Leo Charles Ferrari, son of Leo Francis and Millicent Josephine (Muller) Ferrari, was born in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia, on 8 December 1927. He received his early education at St. Patrick's College (Christian Brothers' Colleges), Strathfield, later graduating with a B.Sc. from the University of Sydney in 1948. For seven years he worked as an industrial chemist and studied medieval philosophy at night. In 1955 he emigrated to Canada to commence advanced studies in philosophy at Laval University, earning a L.Ph. and Ph.D. in 1956 and 1957 respectively. Following graduation, Ferrari accepted a position as lecturer with St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1957-1958) and later as assistant professor with Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax (1958-1961).

Ferrari began his 34-year association with St. Thomas University in 1961, joining the faculty to lecture in philosophy. In 1964 he relocated from Chatham, New Brunswick, to Fredericton when St. Thomas moved into new facilities on the University of New Brunswick campus. Active on a number of university committees, he was the first chair of the Executive Committee of St. Thomas Faculty Association (1965), later renamed the Faculty Association of the University of St. Thomas (FAUST). In 1970 UNB appointed him Honorary Research Associate of the Graduate School, and a year later St. Thomas elevated him to the rank of full professor.

Recognized internationally as an authority on Augustine of Hippo, Ferrari published over 35 works on the 5th-century bishop-philosopher and presented a number of academic papers on him at conferences and conventions. In 1982 he was invited to deliver the annual Saint Augustine lecture at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania. A substantial work, "Concordantia in libros XIII confessionum S. Aurelii Augustini", the first published concordance to the Skutella text, was published jointly with Rodney H. Cooper, Peter M. Ruddock, and J. Robert Smith in 1991. Ferrari retired from university teaching in 1995; at spring convocation 1998 he was named first professor emeritus of St. Thomas University.

Outside scholarly pursuits, Ferrari took an active role in the community, sitting on the executive committee of several societies and organizations. For a number of years he served as president of The Flat Earth Society, an organization dedicated to renewing "faith in the veracity of sense experience", which he helped found. In addition he wrote several articles for the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission on racial discrimination, acted as president of both Grosvenor Park Home and School Association, Halifax (1960-1961), and Kingsclear Home and School Association, York County, NB (1964-1967), and chaired the Centennial Committee for the New Brunswick Home and School Federation (1965-1967). For several years, Ferrari was an exhibiting member of the Fredericton Society of Artists. In 1998 he lives in Fredericton with his wife Lorna E. Drew.

Leo Ferrari died on October 7, 2010 in Fredericton, NB.


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