Gómez, L.

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Luis Gómez(1943 - 2017)

The son of a physician, Luis Gómez was born in Puerto Rico on April 7 1943, growing up in the town of Guayanilla. He received his B.A. degree in 1963 from Universidad de Puerto Rico, enrolling there at age sixteen. He received his Ph.D. degree in Buddhist Studies, Indic Philology, and Japanese Language and Literature from Yale University in 1967. His first academic position was at the University of Washington. After that, he returned to Puerto Rico for four years, serving as chair of the Department of Philosophy at the Universidad de Puerto Rico.

He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies in 1973 and was promoted to full professor in 1979. In 1986, he was named a “Collegiate Professor,” the highest faculty rank in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at Michigan, naming his professorship after his former colleague and mentor, the distinguished Chinese historian Charles Hucker.

Luis Gómez’s contributions to Buddhist Studies during his thirty-five years at Michigan spanned the areas of graduate training, undergraduate teaching, and scholarship. He founded Michigan’s highly regarded Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies, which has produced several generations of outstanding scholars. That his students specialized in Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Indian, Thai, and Burmese Buddhism testifies to his wide-ranging knowledge, as well as his high level of proficiency in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese, as well as Latin, French, German, and Italian (in addition to his native Spanish). His work as a graduate mentor was honored in 1995, when he received the John H. D’Arms Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities. In recognition of his outstanding undergraduate teaching, he was named Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in 1997. A dedicated administrator, he chaired the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures for a decade. (Source Accessed May 20, 2020)

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Affiliations & relations

  • University of Michigan · workplace affiliation