Lumbera receives perpetual professorial chair
The Natividad Galang-Fajardo Foundation Inc., in coordination with the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts, recently established Ang Natividad Galang-Fajardo Natatanging Gawad Profesoryal sa Kulturang Pilipino in honor of Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, faculty member of the Filipino Department.
Lumbera, 1993 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts, has been with De La Salle University-Manila since 1999. During the formal launch of the chair at the Marilen Gaerlan Conservatory last April, University Fellow Dr. Isagani Cruz described him as “hindi iisang tao, kundi maraming taong nasa iisang tao—guro, mentor, mandudula, makata, aktibista, ama, asawa, kaibigan, Fulbrighter, kabi-kabilang pinaparangalan, idolo, manunulat, mananaliksik, mananalumpati, tagapangulo, administrador, patnugot, manunuri, mamamahayag, historyador, kritiko, Pilipino.”
Lumbera was professor of the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature at the University of the Philippines for 22 years before he joined La Salle. Before that, he was visiting professor of Philippine Studies at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies in 1985-1988.
In the 60s, he also taught English and Philippine Literature at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he first met Eduardo Fajardo, principal of the Foundation. Fajardo remembered Lumbera as “the brilliant and charismatic young English teacher” who coached him through his college valedictory and helped hhis “coming of age as a Filipino in a troubled land.”
Fajardo said the perpetual professorial chair would be the first in a series for senior distinguished faculty members of DLSU-Manila. Dr. Bee Ching Ong Kian Koc, coordinator of the University for the Foundation, said it was the first time the Foundation donated a P1-million endowment fund of this kind.
The Natividad Galang-Fajardo Foundation has already donated a total of 30 professorial chairs in the past years. Natividad is the mother of Fajardo.