Dr. Joanne Storm

Dr. Anne Hendershott

Director, Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life, Professor of Sociology

About Dr. Hendershott

Like most children, Anne Hendershott never tired of asking why. But unlike most adults, she never stopped asking that question.

“I’ve always been curious about why people do what they do,” explains Franciscan University’s newest sociology professor. “When I’ve got a question, I’m like a dog with a bone. I should have been a detective.”

Maybe. But that would have been a loss to Franciscan, as well as the Church.

Hendershott, who joined the Franciscan faculty in the fall of 2013, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, both as a sociologist and a prolific Catholic essayist, with her writing appearing regularly in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The Washington Times, as well as Catholic publications such as Crisis Magazine and Catholic World Report.

How she finds the time to publish so frequently, let alone do the investigative research behind her pieces, all while spending time with her family, teaching full course loads, and attending most every West Point football home game (her son is an alumnus) is a mystery, only partially explained by her penchant for rising at 4:30 a.m.

Hendershott’s explanation is that she’s driven by a combination of deep intellectual curiosity and an even deeper love of the Church.

She says, “The Church is my home, my mother, and when I see her being attacked, I feel like I have to do something. So I do.”

That love of the Church comes, in part, by way of the Franciscan sisters who taught in her Waterbury, Connecticut, Catholic grade school.

“The sisters were the best role models,” she says. “They were brilliant, strong, loving, and kind. They gave me the best possible start in life.”

The Franciscans had help from Hendershott’s family, including her father, who, as the co-owner of the local baseball team, went out of his way to make sure his daughter married a good Catholic man, inviting the Catholic players who passed muster over to dinner.

His efforts paid off when one of those players (“who had a college degree and paid cash for his car”) won Hendershott’s heart.

Thirty-nine years, two children, one grandchild, three degrees, and two tenured teaching positions later, Hendershott is eager to begin the next phase of their life in Steubenville.

“Steubenville reminds me of where I grew up—an industrial city with lots of Catholics and lots of churches,” Hendershott says. “I feel so at home and so welcomed. Franciscan is becoming increasingly well known, with so many people contributing to its great reputation. I just hope to add to it.”