University of the Philippines Los Baños

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The UPLB Graduate School (GS) held its 2016 Hooding and Recognition Ceremonies on June 24 at the DL Umali Freedom Park. Of the 279 graduates, 229 obtained master’s degrees and 50 earned doctorate degrees.

In his opening remarks, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. expressed confidence that the graduates will exceed expectations around them. “UPLB has prepared you to become leaders who have the intellectual capacity and the heart to contribute to your respective communities,” he said.  He also encouraged the graduates to use the knowledge they gained from the University not only in pursuing academic and intellectual endeavors, but also in addressing social concerns. 

This year’s GS recognition and hooding keynote speaker is Dr. Chamnian Yosraj, president of Maejo University in Thailand and an alumnus of UPLB (MS ‘83, Ph.D. ‘90). He reminded the graduating class that earning a degree is not the end of learning. “It is just the beginning of a lifelong process, Never stop learning, try to overcome every obstacle and never be afraid of the journey.” He also urged the graduates to adapt to the changing environment, to take risks and to be ready for change.

Leading the Ph.D. graduates this year is Adeliza A. Dorado (agricultural engineering). In her speech before the GS Class of 2016, she acknowledged the role of UPLB in building a competitive nation through research. She noted that in the quest for higher learning and advanced technologies “one should not forget to work for the betterment of our more needy countrymen.” She also reminded her fellow graduates to always uphold what the Oblation represents – that is selfless service to the country.

On the other hand, Glaiza J. Visitacion (agrometeorology), the top MS graduate, said that she urged her fellow graduates to give back to the country through “genuine service.” According to Visitacion, service stands for selflessness, excellence, respect, volunteerism, integrity, courage and enthusiasm.

Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr. and Dr. Mark Dondi M. Arboleda, dean and secretary of the GS, respectively, spearheaded the ceremonies. Present during the event were Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, UP vice president for public affairs, UPLB officials and graduate faculty members of UPLB. (Maribeth C. Jadina

 

 

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“How do you thank your benefactors? How do you thank the Filipino taxpayers? How do you thank the Filipino people as a whole?” asked UP President Alfredo E. Pascual to the 2,245-strong UPLB Class of 2016 on June 25 at the DL Umali Freedom Park.

President Pascual was the keynote speaker during the 44th Commencement Exercises of UPLB that started at six o’clock in the morning, a deviation from the usual afternoon-to-evening ceremonies in the University. He was introduced by Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr.

 “Being the best in what you do is the best tribute that you can offer to our University and to our nation,” President Pascual said.

He called the Filipino taxpayers as the UPLB graduates’ “faceless supporters” for collectively subsidizing their education.

Working towards the perfect time

President Pascual called on the graduates to conduct their future professions with honor, excellence and integrity.

“As you make a living, get the accolades, awards, the praises; any of these is a mark of achievement and the epitome of excellence. But in your pursuit of excellence, do not overlook honor. Honor determines the value of excellent work,” President Pascual said. “Dangal at husay (Honor and excellence) go hand in hand. Both together will make the whole and define your integrity.”

President Pascual also enjoined the graduates to serve the Filipino people. “This may not come instantly for many of you, because of the immediate need to make a living. But as you make a living, continue to better yourselves and your capabilities. Hone your skills and expertise, build up a career and work towards financial sufficiency so that when you are ready to make a full commitment, that’s the time when you will have more to give,” he said.

President Pascual also encouraged the graduates to pursue higher studies and join academe so that they could contribute to finding solutions to the country’s problems. “The country needs to develop its human and knowledge capital, which is considered the key for technological innovation. It is needed to achieve and sustain inclusive growth that reduces inequality and poverty. Higher level education and training will enable you to create knowledge, products and processes, and improve productivity in our country,” he explained.

Conferring Doctor of Laws to a former regent

Another highlight of the 2016 graduation ceremonies was the conferment of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) upon Dr. Nelia Teodoro Gonzalez, former member of the UP Board of Regents.

The conferment ceremony was led by President Pascual and witnessed by Hon. Philip Ian P. Padilla, Hon. Alexis M. Mejia and Hon. Miguel Enrico A. Pangalangan, faculty, staff and student regents, respectively. The honorary degree was approved by the UP Board of Regents on May 27 at its 1318th meeting.

Dr. Gonzalez, in her message of gratitude, expressed her love for the University. “I have loved and served this University for more than 70 years,” she said. ”I take great pride in saying that UPLB is my alma mater!” She graduated from the UP College of Agriculture in 1944.

Dr. Gonzalez cited her achievements to the graduates to show that it is not only success that comes in many forms but also service. She said that one can leave a mark and a positive impact by serving in both the public and private sectors. She ended her speech with what she said was essential: “in big things and small things, you live to serve God and your fellowmen.”

Unity in diversity

Class valedictorian Christian Jirard Z. Custodio, BS Biology, magna cum laude, cautioned Class 2016 in his valedictory address that the changes that lie ahead of them are as diverse as their differences. However, he expressed confidence that UPLB has prepared them to survive this reality.

He encouraged his fellow graduates to take on their own challenges and battles and to see their individual advocacies as a collective thrust towards a better future. “These differences are not designed so that there will be conflict,” he said. “All of these are tiny lights; each one that is lit contributes to a brighter light at the end of a dark tunnel.”

Custodio led the 177 honor graduates of Class 2016, which includes 20 and 157 who graduated magna cum laude and cum laude, respectively. The Graduate School also released the roster of its top graduates who were recognized a day earlier at the Graduate School’s recognition and hooding rites. They were led by Dr. Adeliza A. Dorado (Ph.D. Agricultural Engineering) and Glaiza J. Visitacion (MS Agrometeorology).

Starting the day at UPLB

As early as four o’clock in the morning, people started to gather at the UPLB field for the break-of-dawn graduation rites.

Chancellor Sanchez and President Pascual declared and confirmed the conferment of degrees to the graduates, respectively. Chancellor Sanchez also led the awarding of diplomas and medals to the graduates. Assisting him was Dr. Myrna G. Carandang, university registrar. Present during the ceremonies were the officials and faculty members of UPLB.

Among the guests were UP vice presidents Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion (academic affairs), Dr. Maragtas Sofronio V. Amante (administration) and Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III (public affairs). Also present were Dr.  Emil Q. Javier, former UP president, Dr. Ruben L. Villareal and Dr. Rogelio V. Cuyno, former chancellors of UPLB and UP Mindanao, respectively; Dr. Jose Wendell P. Capili, assistant vice president for public affairs and director of the UP Office of Alumni Relations; and Dr. Melinda DP. Bandalaria, chancellor of UP Open University.

Dr. Amante, on behalf of President Pascual, led the graduates in reciting the Pledge of Loyalty to the University. For. Leo R. Ballesfin, president of the UPLB Alumni Association (UPLBAA), inducted the graduates to both the UPLBAA and the UPAA. (Jessa Jael S. Arana and Mark Jayson E. Gloria)

 

 

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CFNR groundbreaking

 

Groundbreaking ceremony. UPLBChancellor Sanchez, UP President Pascual, and DENR Usec Leones (4th, 3rd & 2nd fr right, respectively) pose at the future site of the Mechanized and Modernized Forest Nursery during the groundbreaking ceremony.  Others in the photo are (L-R) Asso. Dean Manalo, Vice Chancellor Lapitan, RED Juan, FMB Dir. Calderon, Dean Abasolo; ACB Exec. Dir. Oliva, and ERDB Dir. Adornado.(Photo by KC Cadapan)

 

 

The College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) held a combined groundbreaking and ceremonial MOA signing on June 7 at the area behind the Agricultural Machinery Testing and Evaluation Center (AMTEC) building. The groundbreaking ceremony was for the Mechanized and Modernized Forest Nursery (MMFN) and the MOA signing was for the Integrated Research and Development Grant for High Value Forest Crops (IRDG-HVFC). Both projects were spearheaded by UPLB-CFNR in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

 

The MOA was signed by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and Atty. Jonas R. Leones, DENR Undersecretary for Environment and International Environmental Affairs, on behalf of DENR Secretary Ramon Jesus P. Paje. The event was also witnessed by UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez Jr., UPLB-CFNR Dean Willie P. Abasolo, DENR Region IV-A Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan, ERDB Director Henry A. Adornado, FMB Director Rick L. Calderon, and ASEAN Center for Biodiversity Executive Director Roberto V. Oliva.

 

Chancellor Sanchez delivered the opening remarks, noting that the facility and the R&D grant were affirmations of UP’s commitment to making a better Philippines through science and technology, and that the University’s gains would eventually translate to gains for the country. This was followed by a short briefing by Dean Abasolo on the MMFN and the IRDG-HVFC. Abasolo explained that the facility would serve as the research branch of the National Greening Program (NGP)and would preserve and improve the forest crop planting materials, improve the quality of products derived, and promote the development of forest land and forest products through policy formulation.

 

After the ceremonial signing, messages were given by UP President Pascual and Usec Leones. President Pascual’s message revolved around the need for oneness and unity within and among campuses to enable UP to tackle challenges. He also expressed his hopes that the MMFN would be more focused towards research and be primarily used as a laboratory facility instead of a production factory. Atty. Leones delivered a message on behalf of Sec. Ramon Paje, and expressed his thanks for UPLB’s partnership and support in the NGP, highlighting its achievements and what they hoped to achieve more in the coming years with UPLB’s help.

 

            The final part of the program was the groundbreaking ceremony, with UP Pres. Pascual, UPLB officials, and DENR officials participating.