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The Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America



Annual Report, 1999




I. Introduction


The Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America is pleased to present this second annual report.  The Foundation was established in 1997 to promote and disseminate Zubiri’s ideas and philosophy, primarily in North America and the English-speaking world. However, there has been considerable interest shown in the Foundation by scholars and others from South America as well; so the Foundation works with them too.  The Foundation also cooperates with the Fundación Xavier Zubiri in Madrid.  The calendar year 1999, the third year of the Foundation’s existence, has been very active and has witnessed many exciting developments.  Interest in Zubiri in the United States continues to grow, albeit slowly; those who have contacted the Foundation are scattered throughout the country.  The Foundation’s extensive Web site has been the key to establishing contact with such persons, and with interested people as far away as Japan, the Philippines, and Australia, as well as throughout Central and South America. 


II. Objectives of the Foundation


The Foundation was created with the following objectives:

·        Publish and distribute translations of Zubiri's works.

·        Serve as a resource center for research and study of Zubiri.

·        Sponsor seminars on Zubiri, and sessions on Zubiri at major conferences .

·        Allow scholars studying Zubiri to exchange ideas, papers, and other research material.

·        When resources permit, sponsor established scholars to study Zubiri in Madrid, and fellowships for graduate students interested in doing theses and dissertations on Zubiri.

·        Maintain a liaison with the Fundación Xavier Zubiri in Madrid and coordinate North American activities with those in Spain and elsewhere in the world.

·        Ensure accurate interpretations of Zubiri’s works, and thwart efforts to use Zubiri’s name or philosophy to advance ungrounded political, religious, or other agendas.


During 1999, the Foundation has concentrated primarily on publishing works by and about Zubiri.  The Xavier Zubiri Review, a yearly periodical devoted to articles about Zubiri’s philosophy and related topics, was launched with volume I, published in January.  This volume contained all of the papers on Zubiri presented at the XX World Congress of Philosophy, a total of eight.  Volume II of the Review, containing seven papers, but about 50% longer than volume I, was published in late December.  Printed versions of both volumes were mailed to authors and selected other scholars and interested persons.  Electronic versions of the Review are available on the Foundation’s web site, where they can be either read directly on the computer screen, or downloaded and printed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader. 



III. Major Accomplishments and Milestones


During 1999, the Foundation has fulfilled its objectives by accomplishing the following goals:


·        Launching of the Xavier Zubiri Review, a yearly periodical devoted to articles about Zubiri’s philosophy and related topics.  Volume I was published in January.  This volume contained all of the papers on Zubiri presented at the XX World Congress of Philosophy, a total of eight.

·        Volume II of the Review, containing seven papers, but about 50% longer than volume I, was published in December.  Printed versions of both volumes were mailed to authors and selected other scholars and interested persons.  Electronic versions of the Review are available on the Foundation’s web site, where they can be either read directly on the computer screen, or downloaded and printed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader.

·        Obtained ISBN prefix and numbers for Foundation publications.

·        Thomas Fowler’s translation of Inteligencia sentiente, Zubiri’s magnum opus, was published by the Foundation in May.  Printed copies are available, and the entire text is available on the Foundation’s web site.  At the present time, the original printing is nearly exhausted, and a new printing will be required in 2000.

·        Continued development and updating of the Foundation’s web site devoted to Zubiri.  This is currently by far the largest and most comprehensive Zubiri web site on the Internet.  It has over 3,000 pages of information in various categories, and is continually being expanded.  This has consumed the bulk of the Foundation’s effort since its inception, but is an invaluable resource for Zubiri scholars worldwide, especially insofar as it makes available works published in journals which are difficult or impossible to obtain outside of their country of origin. The complete “official” Zubiri bibliography, consisting of Rafael Lazcano’s original compilation, supplemented by the Fundación Xavier Zubiri in Madrid, and our Foundation, continues to grow.  Many articles and books are hyperlinked to the Bibliography. The Foundation wishes to thank Board of Directors member Dr. Jeffrey Mirus for his invaluable help with the Web site, as well as for hosting it gratis on his organization’s server.

·        Continuation of the Foundation’s cooperative effort with the Seminario “Redemptoris Mater” in Brasilia to staff courses on Zubiri.  To date, the Foundation has arranged for six scholars to give courses at the Seminario.  Two more are currently scheduled for the year 2000.

·        Facilitation of communication among Zubiri scholars worldwide via the Directory of Zubiri scholars on the Internet site.  This has proved to be one of the most useful features of the web site.

·        Establishment of connections with other organizations in order to promote the study of Zubiri.  These include other web sites, and the International Academy of Philosophy in Leichtenstein.

·        Set up the first Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America office, in part of President Fowler’s garage (in the great American tradition of first-office-in-the-garage).  This office contains a small library, Foundation files, copies of books and journals for sale, computer and fax equipment.

·        On-line publication of one doctoral dissertation and one Master’s thesis on Zubiri.



IV. Projects Underway

·        Translation of several major works, including Zubiri’s theology trilogy: El hombre y Dios, El problema filosófico de la historia de las religiones, and El Cristianismo. Also being translated are Cinco lecciones de filosofía, and La estructura dinámica de la realidad.  Publication of the translation of El hombre y Dios, with the title, Man and God, is expected in 2000.

·        Staffing of Brasilia seminary courses.

·        Development of Zubiri glossary on the Internet site.

·        Scanning of Zubiri texts and articles about Zubiri, for addition to the Web site.

·        Publication of Volume 3 of The Xavier Zubiri Review.

·        Implementation of an improved way to bind books for small press runs.  To date, Foundation publications have been printed and comb bound by Kinko’s.  There is available a new machine which can create bindings similar to the perfect bindings used by commercial printers.  This machine can also do a type of cloth binding (though pages are glued, not sewn in signatures).  We will be experimenting with this method.  If successful, it will be used for Man and God, reprinting of Sentient Intelligence, and future volumes of The Xavier Zubiri Review. 



V. Goals for 2000


The goals for 2000 include the following:

·        Raising of additional funds, and possibly funding from a continuing source with interest in Zubiri.

·        Listing of the Foundation’s telephone number in the Foundation’s name.  (Not currently done to save money).

·        Publication of Man and God and possibly one other major translation. 

·        Further expansion of web site.

·        Development of Zubiri glossary.

·        Establishment of further links with our Internet site, and an entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

·        Creation of an index to the Web site, to facilitate searches.  This will require editing of most existing HTML documents on the site to ensure a consistent representation of words with accent marks.  An MS Word macro has been created to facilitate this process.  All accent marks in HTML documents are being converted from standard HTML format to extended ASCII characters.


VI. Problems encountered


The original legal counsel for the Foundation, Mr. Joseph Fletcher, told the Foundation that it was not required to file income tax reports with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unless its income was $25,000 or more.  Unfortunately, this turned out to be erroneous advice, and as a result, the Foundation had to file IRS form 990PF for 1997 and 1998, and post appropriate legal notices.  Because the 990PF form had not been filed in 1998, there was a penalty assessed by the IRS against the Foundation for $137.50, which the president paid out of his own funds so as not to encumber the organization.  This problem will not recur in the future.


Brasilia: Foundation Board of Directors member Professor Nelson Orringer his class at the Seminario “Redemptoris Mater”, May, 1999



VII. Financial Status


Fund raising continues to be a difficult problem.  Foundations have so far not proved to be a fruitful source, though many remain to be asked.  There is enormous competition for funding now, and Zubiri’s name is not well enough known to elicit much response.  Advertisements on the web site have brought in no money, and direct mail solicitation is extremely unlikely to be successful either, both because the market is already saturated, and because few in the U.S. have heard of Zubiri.  It appears that the Foundation is the type of organization that will have to be funded by a few “angels”, whether individual (persons interested in making Zubiri better known in the U.S.) or corporate.  At the present time, the Foundation has obtained a copy of the book, Foundation Guide for Religious Grant Seekers, and has ordered a copy of a related book, Catholic Funding Guide: A Directory.  These will be searched for possible donors.  To date, funds for the Foundation have come almost exclusively from donations by the President and one of the board members.


Unfortunately, one of the major goals of the Foundation, granting of scholarships and fellowships to those interested in the study of Zubiri, cannot begin until a reliable source of funding at a fairly high level is achieved.  The Foundation will also continue to look for possible individual donors, e.g., wealthy persons of Basque extraction, who would like to see Zubiri become better known.  The specific expenditures of the Foundation to date are summarized in Appendix A.  Most of the expenses in 1999 were to cover publication and mailing costs, and the situation is expected to be the same in 2000.


The Foundation continues to keep its operating expenses to a bare minimum.  It rents no office space, has little in the way of equipment (an answering machine, a fax machine, and a bookcase), pays no salaries, and as pointed out earlier, its web site is graciously hosted at no charge by board member Dr. Jeffrey Mirus.  A friend of the Foundation has indicated that he may be able to interest a major university press in publishing a series of Zubiri translations.  This would occur some years from now, however, if at all.  In the meantime, the publish-on-demand method will continue to be used.



VII. Financial Summary


For 1999, contributions and expenditures for the Foundation are as follows:


Total Donations:                                                                                       $2,045.00

Receipts from sales of books                                                                           85.00


Total income:                                                                                             $2,130.00




                 Legal and Official                                                                            $36.50

                 Internet                                                                                             35.00

                 Office supplies, equipment, postage                                                 344.65

                 Printing                                                                                        1,146.26

                 Travel expenses                                                                              352.97


Total expenditures:                                                                                   $2,119.29


Cash on hand as of 1 January 2000:                                                           $100.66




Officers of the Foundation:


President: Dr. Thomas B. Fowler

Secretary/Treasurer: Dr. Maika Will Fowler


Board of Directors of the Foundation:

Dr. Nelson Orringer, Professor of Spanish Philosophy and Literature, University of Connecticut

Mr. William Marshner, Professor of Theology, Christendom College

Dr. Thomas Fowler, Principal Scientist, Mitretek Systems, and Acting Chair, Department of Physics & Mathematics, Christendom College

Dr. Robert Young, Professor of English, North Carolina State University

Dr. Gary Gurtler, S.J., Professor of Philosophy, Boston College

Dr. Jeffrey Mirus, President, Trinity Communications

Dr. Diego Gracia, Professor of History of Medicine, University of Madrid, and Director of the Fundación Xavier Zubiri, Madrid


Legal Counsel for the Foundation:


Mr. Warren Dean

Thompson Coburn

700 14th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20005

Phone: 202-508-1000; Fax: 202-508-1010



This annual report is respectfully submitted by



                                                                        Thomas B. Fowler, Sc.D.



Washington, DC

15 January 2000



Xavier Zubiri Foundation of North America

1571 44th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20007 USA


Phone: 1-202-298-0495

Fax: 1-202-338-9084