THOMASIAN business tycoon Washington SyCip passed away on Oct. 7 in a flight bound for Vancouver. He was 96.
SyCip received his bachelor’s degree in accountancy from UST in 1939, graduating summa cum laude at the age of 18.
He passed the Certified Public Accountant licensure exam a year later and studied for a master’s program while teaching at the College of Commerce and Business Administration.
However, SyCip was not able to immediately join the field of accounting because the law required applicants to be 21 years old before being licensed.
He left the country in 1940 and enrolled in a master’s program at Columbia University in United States.
Patricia Empleo, dean of the Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy, said SyCip was the perfect role model for accountants and one of the greatest Thomasian alumni.
“Washington SyCip was God’s gift to the Philippine accountancy profession because he defined and gave direction to it,” Empleo said in a statement to the Varsitarian.
Empleo said SyCip was an inspiration to Thomasian accountants as he left a legacy for them to continue.
“He left a legacy that others profess to continue: by being a world-class professional and contribut[ing] to nation-building. He remains to be a guiding inspiration to all accounting professionals in the country,” Empleo said.
Malacañang condoled with SyCip’s family and friends in a statement released on Oct. 8.
“He was a respected voice in corporate governance and [a] staunch believer in Filipino talent,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
SyCip opened an accounting firm named W. SyCip & Company in 1946. He later on partnered with Alfredo Velayo and Ramon Gorres, co-founding the SyCip, Gorres, Velayo and Company (SGV & Co.).
He also founded the Asian Institute of Management, an international business school, in 1968.
SyCip was a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding in 1992, the Golden Medallion of Professional Excellence and Business Leadership from the Professional Regulation Commission in 2000, New Silk Road Award from the California-Asia Business Council in 2004, Dr. Jose Rizal Award for Excellence in 2004, Lifetime Achievement Award from Columbia Business School in 2010, Order of Lakandula in 2011 and the Ramon V. del Rosario Award for Nation Building in 2012.