Humans of UD: Dr. Stacey Hibbs

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Dr. Stacey Hibbs, far right, enjoys the UD campus with her husband and friends.

When Dr. Stacey Hibbs was an undergraduate student, she changed her major five times and still managed to graduate in four years. 

Stacey Hibbs grew up in Indiana and earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Butler University in Indianapolis. She eventually chose the political science major because she loved biology and other hard sciences, yet longed for something beyond mere facts.

“What I didn’t like was that there was so little care and attention devoted to life and that these ethical and philosophical issues weren’t really being addressed. So, I wanted to pursue something that touched more on these big questions,” said Hibbs.

Though Hibbs loves political science, she still finds time to engage with the other sciences. Most recently, she read “The Lagoon,” a book about Aristotle as an early scientist that combined science and philosophy.

“I love science. I’m kind of a science — not a professional, but an amateur — science geek. So my kids make fun of me all of the time about the things that I like to read,” she said.

Stacey Hibbs continued her education at The University of Notre Dame, but she did not enjoy their traditional political science program. However, she  met Dr. Thomas Hibbs at Notre Dame, where they were married on campus in 1987 in the Basilica of Notre Dame. After living in California for some time, they moved to Massachusetts, where Thomas Hibbs taught at Boston College and Stacey Hibbs went back to school, earning both her master’s degree and PhD.

“The graduate program at Boston College is a more theory-based program, which is very compatible with the type of politics that’s done here at the University of Dallas,” said Stacey Hibbs. “You get a better understanding of the historical whole, and the principles that are involved, and the considerations that go into how government can facilitate human flourishing.”

Stacey Hibbs focused on political philosophy along with constitutional law, and concentrated in politics and literature.

“It was kind of an eclectic program,” she said.

Stacey Hibbs went on to teach at Boston College and then moved to Texas with her husband, where she taught at Baylor for sixteen years.

 After their children grew up, Stacey Hibbs said that she and Thomas Hibbs were talking and praying about how they wanted to spend the next part of their lives.

“Quite honestly, almost immediately following a particular kind of intense prayer about discernment, we found out that the job as the president of UD was open,” she said.

Thomas Hibbs had graduated from the University of Dallas in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in English and received his master’s degree in philosophy in 1983.

Although the Hibbs loved their lives at Baylor, the job opportunity aligned with their search for something new, and they decided to pursue the opportunity.

Stacey Hibbs is thrilled that they made the choice.

Stacey Hibbs is currently teaching one section of Philosophy and the Ethical Life and two sections of Principles of American Politics at UD. When Thomas Hibbs is on campus, he co-teaches the Philosophy class with her. Stacey Hibbs especially appreciates how interactive the students are, and is delighted to find that the majority of students bring their books to class and engage in conversation with comments and questions.

“When you have students who are going to take active roles in their education, it makes things much more pleasurable for students and for teachers,” Stacey Hibbs said.

Stacey Hibbs considers UD’s architecture to be the biggest surprise so far. She finds the thoughtfulness behind the buildings and focuses on light very beautiful, and especially enjoys the layout of the art village.

“I know there are a lot of people who don’t think the campus is attractive, but I find it absolutely fascinating,” said Stacey Hibbs. “It’s a very peaceful campus.”

“We’re glad to be here, that’s a pretty simple way to put it,” said Stacey Hibbs.

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