Professor Jane E. Babin will receive the Silas H. Pearl Medallion
for Distinguished Lifetime Service at Plymouth State University’s Convocation ceremony on Friday, May 20 at 4 p.m. in the John C. Foley Gymnasium in the PE Center on the PSU campus.
Babin first came to Plymouth State as a student. She earned her B.A., B.S., and MBA degrees here before going on to receive a Juris Doctor degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. She is a member of the Bars of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania and of the U.S. Supreme Court, and practiced law in the area of estate planning in the town of Plymouth for a number of years.
Babin returned to Plymouth State in 1988 to join the business department, teaching in the undergraduate and graduate business programs, and serving as the pre-law advisor to all Plymouth State students. She received the Northeast Regional Teaching Excellence Award in 2001 from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the national accrediting body for business education. Babin was promoted to professor in 2002.
Last year, Babin was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a progressive, degenerative neuro-muscular disease for which there is no cure. The diagnosis forced her decision to retire from PSU after 16 years.
But Babin has not stopped teaching. Living with ALS has given her a new subject and a new group of students. Instead of talking to students about business law, she now speaks to medical students, church congregations, groups of terminally ill patients and the general public about ALS, doctors, hospitals, drugs and medical trials, and about the profound way this disease has changed her perspective on what is important in life. She is planning a book about her experience with ALS.
“The mission in which I now engage,” says Babin, “to educate others about ALS and to participate in clinical trials in order to help researchers find a cure has strengthened me as a person, has made my life purposeful. This mission has also helped me to understand the true meaning of why we are here and to share with others that life is not about earning and having and doing, but giving and sacrificing and being.”
With her characteristic strength and humor, Jane Babin is finding meaning in misfortune and sharing her insight with the world.
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