From February to March 2015, Dr. James Beebe visited the country as a Fulbright Specialist to the De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila. Two years later, his wife Dr. Maria Beebe also visited the same university aside from her main host institution – the Asian Institute of Management – for her own Fulbright Specialist program. Her research is focused on exploring the global leadership of Filipinas, while James’ field of work is in Anthropology.
Being Fulbrighters is not the only experience that they share. “Both Maria and I identify ourselves as practitioner-scholars, and social activists and this identity has impacted our love of books and what we have collected,” Dr. James Beebe said in his opening speech. They both pursued graduate studies in Stanford University in California, they have both worked for the Peace Corps, and have passionate hearts for public service.
Two days ago, October 10th, they only further reiterated their contribution to the strengthening of friendship between the Philippines and the United States. Dr. James and Maria Beebe gathered over 280 Filipino-American literary works and Filipiniana materials to donate them to the DLSU Library’s American Corner.
Maria reminisced, “by 1969, James had started teaching part-time at a provincial college where I also was teaching part-time. One of our colleagues at the college introduced us to each other and claimed we were made for each other. This was not clear to one of us, me. At the time, I had already started collecting books. When we married in 1970 we each brought to the marriage the beginning of a library.”
The event last Tuesday was attended by administrators from DLSU, officials from the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Fulbright Philippines, and Peace Corps representatives.
The Beebe Collection is a product of the couple’s professional career in the Philippines with USAID, Peace Corps, Fulbright, and Maria’s affiliation with the Filipino Women’s Network. “I was originally a bit sad thinking about giving up books collected over many years. The feeling of sadness has been replaced by a feeling of satisfaction knowing that the materials will be cared for by well-trained library staff and will be made available to students and scholars in countries where we have served,” Maria expressed during the closing speech.
For a transcript of the couple’s speech, click here.