To teach is to touch a life forever.
Those words could not be any more true for FIU Law Professor Jose Gabilondo, whose desire to teach was inspired by one of his law professors, Babette “Bobbie” Barton. Today he is taking that inspiration and paying it forward.
Earlier this month, Gabilondo presented the FIU Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment with an annual gift to establish the Bobbie Barton Law and Economy Lecture Series, which will bring local speakers to campus to talk about social justice issues. He has designated the publishing royalties of his most recent book, Corporate Finance: Debt, Equity, and Derivative Markets and their Intermediaries (3rd ed.), to support the gift.
“Bobbie was an extraordinarily kind and capable teacher who inspired me to become a law professor,” Gabilondo said. “My hope is I will be able to help students the way she helped me. Whatever I become as a teacher, I owe to her talent and kindness.”
The humanities center in the College of Arts & Sciences is dedicated to developing humanist endeavors at FIU and in the local community, as well as promoting conversations to foster an understanding of the humanities, including art, architecture, music and theater.
“I’m deeply touched by the generosity of colleagues like Dr. Gabilondo. It’s important for our community to see their willingness to support the humanities center, which, undoubtedly, has tremendous impact on its success,” said Michael P. Gillespie, director of the Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment. “The lecture series will touch upon different aspects of social justice. It’s important to the donor and very neatly reflects the center’s mission.”
Gabilondo, who serves on center’s advisory board, is the second FIU faculty member to make an annual gift. In 2013, Bruce Harvey, associate director of the School of Environment, Arts and Society and professor of English, made a $2,000 gift to the center with the promise to continue donating for the next five years. His gift has funded the Bruce Harvey Annual Advisory Board Dinner and Lecture, which will launch this spring.
“People underestimate the importance of the humanities, even people who are interested in bottom line underestimate it,” Gabilondo said. “The humanities are an important part of the foundation of our culture and society. Studying the humanities helps you develop important analytical skills, including reading. It’s a mistake to think it’s fluff.”