TODAY Show highlights life-changing teacher, TU alumnae

Esther Lim ’92 shares heartwarming surprise for former teacher Jean Herbert ’82

July 12, 2022

today show

Two Towson University graduates were the subject of a heartwarming story on The TODAY Show with Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager July 11.

The NBC-network story spotlights how Jean Herbert ’82 was a life-changing mentor and teacher to Esther Lim ’92. Lim moved from South Korea to the United States as a 12-year-old child with her parents and siblings in 1983 and didn’t speak English.

Lim told TODAY that she “met my first angel in America” in her science class.

Herbert was in her first year of teaching the class after graduating from TU at the age of 45.

“I could see something in her, right away, that was inherent and it needed to be nurtured,” Herbert told TODAY.

Herbert agreed to teach the English language to the entire Lim family around her dinner table. Lim went on to also graduate from TU and is now partner and chief diversity and inclusion officer for Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP. She is also the past president of the D.C. Bar Association.

She never forgot “Mrs. Herbert,” however.

Towson University leads the way in addressing the increasing need for multilingual education.

Read more.

It was announced during the story that the College of Education  established the Mrs. Jean Herbert Scholarship Fund. The Bojangles Foundation, which promotes literacy, is donating $10,000 to the scholarship and 100 books to the English Language Learner’s Library in Herbert’s name.

Laurie Mullen, dean of TU’s College of Education, was moved by the story.

“Jean and Esther’s story showcases the fact that teachers matter,” Mullen said. “The College of Education congratulates Jean and all teachers who go above and beyond to serve the children and youth in their classrooms and schools.”

Watch the emotional story.