University of the Philippines Los Baños

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“The road to change is treacherous to say the least. But to guide us in every step of the way, compassion is what shall set our bearings.”

This is how President Danilo L. Concepcion contextualized his call for compassion during his investiture address as the 21st President of UP System on Sept. 20 at the University Theater, UP Diliman.

President Concepcion emphasized the need to have compassion, along with honor and excellence, in achieving UP’s solidarity and lasting camaraderie. “When we genuinely feel compassion, we are truly careful with our words and deeds; we are very careful of our every move so as not to hurt or harm the things we value and care for,” he explained.

Pres. Concepcion said that his administration will be guided by the overarching vision of UP: to be a leading regional and global university in an environment that sustains 21st century learning, knowledge creation, and public service for society and humanity.

In his speech, he spoke about his administration’s future plans and initiatives such as the protection of students’ right to freedom of expression, the option for return service for UP graduates, improving working conditions of faculty and staff, and rehabilitation of University facilities.

Present during the ceremony was Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education and of the UP Board of Regents (BOR), who presided over the investiture.

Also present were Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, who is also a UP alumna, other government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, National Artists, National Scientists, heads of state universities and colleges and private higher education institutions, former UP Presidents, and current officials of the UP System.

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President Concepcion was accompanied by his wife Atty. Ma. Gabriela Roldan-Concepcion, mother Natalia, mother-in-law Teresita, and his four children, namely: Juan Arsenio Gabriel, Carlos Rafael, Alfonso Miguel, and Isabella.

The BOR elected President Concepcion as chief executive of UP on Nov 15, 2016 during a special BOR meeting. On Feb. 10, former President Alfredo E. Pascual formally turned the position over to him during a program at UP Diliman’s Quezon Hall. On March 10, UPLB welcomed President Concepcion at a program held in his honor. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)