Tycoon Lucio Tan, donned in his UST doctoral gown, chats with Dr. Charles Chante of Philippine Airlines during the installation of Fr. Rolando V. De la Rosa, O.P. Photo by AKEMI B. AIDADESPITE their hectic schedules, business tycoons, government officials, and university presidents were on hand to witness the historic installation of UST’s 95th Rector.

Alfredo Velayo and Washington SyCip, co-founders of the monolithic SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co. audit firm, were among the VIPs given front-row access, along with two of the University’s biggest donors, businessmen Lucio Tan and Emilio Yap.

Velayo and SyCip, who both finished summa cum laude in accounting at the University in 1938 and 1940, respectively, are benefactors of UST’s top-performing accountancy program.

Velayo, in particular, donated P100 million to a foundation co-managed by UST to fund faculty development and other projects, leading to the creation of the UST – Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy in 2004, the first time a degree-granting unit was named after an individual.

Tan, owner of Philippine Airlines, Fortune Tobacco, and the soon-to-be-merged Philippine National Bank and Allied Bank, shouldered half of the cost to build the Tan Yan Kee Student Center that now houses UST’s student organizations.

Yap was given an honorary doctorate of laws in 2005 while Tan received the UST Medal of Excellence in 1999. Tan later finished his Ph.D. in Commerce in UST through an equivalency program.

Ma. Cristina Padolina of Centro Escolar University, Lydia Echauz of Far Eastern University, Vicente Fabella of Jose Rizal University, and Ricardo Pama of Angeles University were among university presidents who attended the installation rites last June 10.

Padolina said the three-time UST rector would again lead the Thomasian community to glory.

“May he have the blessings from God. And I’m certain that Father De la Rosa will perform excellently in his job again,” Padolina told the Varsitarian.

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Nona Ricafort and Amelia Biglete, officials from the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), were also present.

Ricafort, together with the Dominican Prior Provincial, Fr. Quirico Pedregosa, O.P. assisted De la Rosa in wearing the Rector’s Medallion, the Rector’s symbol of authority.

“UST is actually very lucky to have a former Ched commissioner as (its) rector, especially a hard-working and experienced leader like Father De la Rosa,” Ricafort said.

Lourdes Bautista, wife of the late press icon, Felix Bautista, a former Varsitarian publications adviser, said she was “very happy for the University to have a prayerful and capable rector.”

Members of the diplomatic community, led by Ambassador Luis Arias Romero of Spain, were also present to witness the installation.

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