Lee Caplin, whose multi-million dollar gift has energized and catalyzed the reinvention of Florida International University’s School of journalism and media, describes his childhood as being swaddled in periodismo.
“I lived in a world of journalists,” said Caplin. “I lived in the world in the Washington Post. The family that owned the post, their sons were classmates of mine. So I had a very close relationship with journalism.”
Having experienced firsthand the challenges and triumphs of growing up in a Jewish family in the South, Caplin understood the significance of a welcoming and inclusive educational environment.
“Being Jewish the deep south is not like being Jewish in Manhattan, despite the Woody Allen stories,” said Caplin.
Ambassador Steven J, Green, an old friend of Caplin’s, and his daughter, Kimberly, introduced him to FIU. Caplin recognized the school’s commitment to student’s success and growth, even after graduation. He says that is something many other universities lack.
“A lot of the Ivy League schools, especially where I went, Duke University and the University of Virginia law school, they teach you the theory of it,” said Caplin. “And they leave you later in your life to learn what happens when your boots are on the ground.”
While having worked in entertainment for decades, Caplin expresses his dedication to truth-telling.
“I love making entertainment,” said Caplin. “I love making people laugh, making them cry for the right reasons. But at the same time, I don’t want to change what really happens in life and make it unrealistic.”
With a deep understanding of the critical role that honest and accurate reporting plays in society, Caplin has consistently supported initiatives and organizations that uphold the highest standards of journalistic ethics.
It was in Monterey, California that Caplin began his work in educational institutions. In partnership with Chicano playwright Luis Valdez, he co-created the Film, Television and Radio program at California State University, Monterey Bay.
FIU’s vibrant and diverse community inspired Caplin.
“Why is truth important? I think truth is important to me as it should be to every human being because we’re laying the groundwork of how society functions and what’s right and what’s wrong.”
This the second part of a two-part series. Find part 1 here: https://caplinnews.fiu.edu/caplin-rebrand-fiu-journalism/(opens in a new tab)