3 September 2015, 2:41 pm – FOR HIS scientific contributions and 46 years of service to the Thomasian community, UST’s top scientist was conferred the title professor emeritus in ceremonies at the Medicine Auditorium Sept. 3.

Prof. Fortunato Sevilla was given the highest title bestowed by the University to a faculty member who has attained not only the rank of a full professor, but has also achieved academic excellence and significant influence in his respective field.

Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. described Sevilla as ‘‘a force to be reckoned with in the field of chemistry,’’ and commended him for being an inspiration to students as well as to other members of the academe.

“He is gently loved by students whom he inspired to commit themselves to excellence. [T]he people who have come today to witness and celebrate his milestone in his remarkable career have surely been touched by him. His name alone, when mentioned, evokes both admiration and respect,” Fr. Dagohoy said during his address of concession.

In his acceptance speech, Sevilla highlighted the importance of student-teacher relationship in research and in teaching. While new technology is prevalent in modern teaching methods, teachers still play a very important role in shaping excellent and exemplary students, he said.

“[M]aaalala ng mga estudyante ang mga guro na nagturo sa kanila, at hindi ang mga computer na kung saan sila natuto. [M]alakas at mabisa ang pakikiugnay ng mga mag-aaral at guro sa laboratoryong pananaliksik. Dito ay sabay silang nakakakita ng bagong kaalaman, natututo, nag-iisip at napapalawak ang kanilang pananaw,” said Sevilla.

Sevilla, an advocate of the Filipino language, also called for the use of the national language in instruction. Lectures, he said, were better understood and disseminated when the medium used was familiar to everyone.

“Sa pagtuturo ng agham tulad ng Chemistry, mas mabuti kung ito ay malapit sa araw-araw na kabuhayan. Madali at malalim ang pagtanggap ng panayam kung ang mga salita ay pamilyar. Mabilis na maiuugnay ang agham sa pang araw-araw na kabuhayan sa ganitong pamamaraan,” he said.

Sevilla has earned accolades for his work in analytical chemistry. His research on chemical sensors and biosensors have been acknowledged  locally and internationally.


Last July 9, Sevilla was named academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology, one of the scientific body’s highest distinctions.

Sevilla obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry in UST in 1968, and acquired both his master’s and doctoral degrees in instrumentation and analytical science from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in the United Kingdom.

He also served as director of the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences in 1987 and was later appointed assistant to the rector for research and development. He was dean of the College of Science from 2002 to 2008.

To be conferred the title professor emeritus, a professor’s students and faculty colleagues must send a petition to their dean, which is then presented to the faculty council. The faculty council then makes a recommendation to the Rector through the Academic Affairs Office.

The Rector then presents the petition to the Council of Regents and the Academic Senate for deliberation and  final approval.  Alhex Adrea M. Peralta 


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