Dr. Eustacia Rigor (Photo grabbed from eusrigormdmemories.com)

THE FIRST female dean of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Dr. Eustacia Rigor, died on the evening of Dec. 18. She was 93 years old.

Rigor was diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia, her family and relatives told the Varsitarian.

Rigor obtained her doctorate in medicine from the University in 1952. 

She became a practitioner in the pediatrics department of the University of Chicago and at Pritzer School of Medicine. She became a professor of the UST Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in 1959.

Three decades later, Rigor was appointed dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, making her the first female dean of the faculty. She was also chairwoman of UST Hospital from 1984 to 1992.

The late professor took leadership roles outside of the University. She was a former president of the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Philippine Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion.

She also served as chief of the cancer and hematology center of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

“[S]he was a doctor to all of us looking after our health; an aunt who cared about us, our partners, families and extended families; a loving and doting grandma who traveled around the world just to be able to hug and see her grandchildren; and a sister to all her siblings who was always in hand for companionship and their every need,” Rigor’s niece Cecile Luna told the Varsitarian.

Rose Torrifiel, a former student of Rigor, said the professor was an outstanding and dedicated educator.

“She was very strict and was a disciplinarian but … [I] learned a lot in my youngest years as a medical student … We are better clinicians because of the many likes of you at UST,” she said on Facebook.

Vilma Hao, also a former student, said Rigor was “one of the best and most caring pediatricians during her time.”

Granddaughter Anne Rigor, a third-year UST advertising student, told the Varsitarian the former dean “tended to her nieces and nephews as a mother would.”

The family is holding a virtual memorial service via St. Peter Life Plan and Chapels’ “eBurol.”

A memorial website was created by the family to honor the memory and achievements of the late UST medicine professor and dean. (permalink: https://eusrigormdmemories.com/)


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