By Jordan Dykes
Collier campus is raising money for a memorial gazebo in honor of the late master professor, James Langlas, who passed away in August 2018.
“Langlas was a great teacher,” said former student Fred Dolce. “He had love for everyone. Being his student got me through some rough parts of my life. He was one of the big reasons I went back to school.”
The gazebo will not just honor Langlas’ contributions in the classroom, but also in taekwondo, a martial art in which Langlas held an eighth-degree black belt.
In his book, “Heart of a Warrior,” he expounded upon seven traditional martial arts principles which help people lead happy, healthy, and successful lives.
These principles will be immortalized in the gazebo design in an effort to make a place on campus where people can come to meditate, learn, and smell the ever-fragrant gardenias he was so fond of.
“When he asked ‘how are you’, he really wanted to know,” Jack Langlas said in his father’s eulogy at Saint Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Naples.
“With dad, there was no small talk,” Langlas said.
The touching tribute was greeted with a thunderous ovation from the hundreds at the congregation.
The gazebo is not an inexpensive venture. The cost totals $15,000, with organizers still in need of $6,000. The Langlas project is currently pursuing a five-year donation drive.
“Any and all leftover donations received, even if we’re not able to put the gazebo up, will roll over into his memorial scholarship fund. Every donation, no matter how small, is a show of love and respect for Dr. Langlas,” said Tina Ottman, Langlas’ “office neighbor” of many years and the gazebo project’s coordinator.
Former students or friends of Langlas, and those looking for a good cause to give to, are encouraged to support this memorial by going to fsw.edu/foundation/givenow and typing “Langlas Gazebo” in the “other designation” box.
“He really made you feel like you mattered,” said Dolce. “He deserves that memorial and more. If we could just give back a fraction of what he’d given us, the world would be a better place.”