Thomas More New Faculty Emeriti


CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2021) — Thomas More University recognizes Thomas J. Gilday `75, Patricia Raverty, and Barbara Zahler, Ph.D., with faculty emeriti distinction.

Emeritus is an honorary title given to professors who wish to stay active in scholarship following retirement. In recognition of meritorious service, individuals who have held full-time faculty positions at the University for a set period of time may be granted emeritus status at the time of their retirement. Recommendations for this distinction are made by the Faculty Relations Committee to the President and Board of Trustees.

Joining Thomas More in 1979, Gilday taught in the accountancy department and retired after 40 years of service. Gilday’s Thomas More roots run deep, as his father, Vincent, taught at the University for 23 years, and he, his siblings, and children, Erin and Tom, are all Thomas More alumni. During his tenure, Gilday was passionate about preparing students with practical life skills, creating a course about financial literacy for first year students. Gilday received institutional recognition including the Instructor of the Year Award in 1997 and the Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Member of the College of Business Award in 2020. He was also awarded the Outstanding Student Advocacy Award in 2020 from Student Life due to his tireless dedication to experiential learning. Beyond professor status, Gilday also served as department chair, sat on numerous University committees, was instrumental in beginning the Jamaica Service Learning program, and shepherded the co-op/internship program. “Tom’s commitment to fundraising, particularly to help make study abroad, service-learning a financial reality for low-income students, is unparalleled,” says sociology and criminal justice department Chairperson James Camp, Ph.D., noting that his efforts exemplified the mission of Thomas More, being “deeply and passionately committed to others.”

Earning emerita status in her first year of retirement, Raverty has taught at Thomas More University since 1986. During her tenure, she launched the communication-theatre program, managing both speech and communication students and directing the theatre faculty, and served as a Division Chair. She also acted as a visiting team member for many Southern Association Visiting Teams and sat on many committees including a Student Advising Practices Committee and the Core Committee, which has had a lasting impact on the way core curriculum is evaluated. “Most important to many of us has been her steady hand and wise guidance during the last 30 years,” says Thomas More University Creative Media Department Chair Rebecca Bilbo, Ph.D. “She always very much lived her belief in the Thomas More mission.”

The Thomas More Education Department nominated Zahler for emerita status, where she taught from 1998 until her retirement in 2020. “Dr. Zahler brought exceptional knowledge and experience to our teacher candidates and our department in the area of elementary education,” says education department Chairperson Debra Allen, Ed.D. “She exemplified the compassion and professionalism required of all elementary teachers as she drew from her classroom experience, as well as her higher education background, to train our future teachers.” Zahler also established the K-12 teaching community, being consistently present in the classrooms of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, fostering strong relationships between Thomas More University and neighboring educational communities. She also represented Thomas More in the community through many external organizations including serving as president of the Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators, coordinator of Pi Delta Kappa of Northern Kentucky, a member of the SACS/AdvanEd state accreditation teams, and coordinator of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Children’s Literature Conference, which brought a highly regarded annual summit to Thomas More University involving famous children’s literature authors and illustrators.

Emeriti are entitled to use University facilities and retain non-voting membership in the Faculty General Assembly. They may also serve on committees and perform other occasional services in keeping up with their desires and the needs of the University.

On Friday, September 2, 2022, the newest faculty emeritus were recognized with a lunch and presentation of the University’s Thomas More print.

From left to right (front row): Barbara Zahler, Ph.D., Patricia Raverty, and Thomas Gilday ’75. From left to right (back row): Jay Langguth, Ph.D., Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Joseph L. Chillo, LP.D., Thomas More University President.

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About Thomas More University

For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, to build upon the #1 ranking for long term gain in Kentucky (2019 Georgetown study) and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit

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