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FFRF benefactor endows secular chair at U of Texas

Brian Bolton

FFRF is hailing the creation of a new secular studies professorship at Texas’ premier public university, which is being endowed by FFRF Lifetime Member Brian Bolton.

The professorship at the University of Texas at Austin will focus on the growing segment of the population that adheres to a secular world-view, thanks to a generous gift from Bolton, a stalwart FFRF supporter. The Brian F. Bolton Distinguished Professorship in Secular Studies will be held by a senior faculty member whose research and scholarship specializes in secular studies.

There has been a significant recent increase in the United States of people with a secular perspective, especially among the youth. More than one-fourth of the U.S. population currently has no religious affiliation whatsoever; among Millennials, the “unaffiliated” figure jumps to 38 percent. This has prompted increased research in this realm, and the Bolton Distinguished Professorship is a capstone.

The executive wing of FFRF’s office, Freethought Hall, is named for Bolton, due to his support of FFRF’s headquarters expansion. Bolton has also singlehandedly underwritten for a decade FFRF’s essay contest for grad/older students, with up to $10,000 prize money yearly. And he is financing a bible accountability project to call attention to the continuing harm of the bible to society that includes subsidization of the cost of mailing FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel’s recent book, The Founding Myth, to every member of Congress last fall. FFRF will be publishing Bolton’s new work, tentatively titled Why the Bible Is Not a Good Book, this year. Bolton, who lives in Texas, will be speaking briefly at FFRF’s annual convention in San Antonio in November.

Bolton is a retired academic psychologist with a background in mathematics, statistics and psychometrics. His contributions in psychological measurement, personality assessment and rehabilitation psychology have been recognized by universities and psychological societies. His 10 edited and authored books include Handbook of Measurement and Evaluation in Rehabilitation, Psychosocial Adjustment to Disability, Rehabilitation Counseling: Theory and Practice, and Special Education and Rehabilitation Testing: Current Practices and Test Reviews. He is a licensed psychologist, humanist minister, karate black belt and Distinguished Toastmaster.