Why our Professors are called Fellows

The members of the teaching faculty of Thomas More College are known as Fellows for several reasons:

I) While one is a professor of a particular subject matter, one is a fellow of a college. The term fellow, then, is more in keeping with the nature of the College, which is “a community of scholars dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom,” rather than an assemblage of specialists with diverse ends.

II) As the faculty at the College are not distinguished by rank, but only by seniority, the title fellow is more in keeping with the overall structure of the community.  The distinction between Visiting Fellows and regular Fellows mirrors the distinction between part-time and full-time members of the faculty.

III) Unlike tutor, the title fellow, by virtue of being a term of reference to a community, places an emphasis on the common good of wisdom shared by the faculty as the source of the intellectual good of the students.

IV) The title fellow has a welcome resonance with the system of collegiate organization still observed at venerable English universities, and, moreover, is the English equivalent of the Latin term socius that was used to describe the full members of the academic communities that were the first colleges within European universities, such Robert de Sorbon’s foundation at Paris.