Hugh T. Wilder

Hugh T. Wilder, 1968

B.A., Denison University
M.A., University of Western Ontario
Ph.D., University of Western Ontario

Citation awarded June, 1999

Hugh Wilder is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. He is also an avid masters swimmer.

Hugh earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, specializing in philosophy of language and mind. He still works in those areas, with special interest in animal minds. He has published and lectured widely on these topics, and has edited a book on Language in Primates, an interdisciplinary study of attempts to teach language to non-human animals. Hugh has been awarded a fellowship and several research stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

From 1972 to 1981, Hugh taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has taught at the College of Charleston since then, has been Department chair since 1990, and was Acting Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1996. He has held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the University of California, Davis.

Hugh was a four-year NCAA All-American swimmer at Denison under Coach Ted Barclay. He was inducted into the Denison Varsity D Association Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979. After 22 years off, Hugh returned to the pool in 1990, joining the local masters swimming team in Charleston. He swims regularly in national and international meets, competing against ex-Olympians and even a few former Ohio Conference athletes (Hugh loves beating Kenyon swimmers). Holder of several world and national records in the 45-49 age group, Hugh now claims four world records and five national records in the 50-55 age group, several of which are faster than his times in the younger age group. Overall, his speeds are the same now as ones he clocked as a Denison senior.

Hugh has been married since 1968 to Pana Mabrey Wilder ’68, whom he met in Shakespeare class at Denison in 1966. They have two grown sons, Nicholas and Jason.