UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, together with officials of the UP Diliman College of Engineering (CoE) and the UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (UPERDFI), hosted a reception for the donors or benefactors of the CoE at the UP Board Room in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman campus in Quezon City on June 5, 2018.
The donors received Sundial Plaques and UP alumni pins as tokens of appreciation for their untiring commitment and support to the University. The donors were: the DM Consunji Group, for the DMCI Homes Computational Laboratory for Structural Engineering, at the Institute of Civil Engineering; the OceanaGold Philippines, Inc., for the upgrade and modernization of the Mining and Metallurgical Laboratories at the Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; and, the WITCO Construction and Development Corporation, owned and managed by Mr. Mark Villanueva, for establishing the Prof. Emeritus Dr. Meliton U. Ordillas, Jr. Professorial Chair in Metallurgical Engineering.
In her opening remarks, CoE Dean Rizalinda L. De Leon said that the CoE has about 6,000 students, 800 of whom graduate every year. She added that the professorial chairs and support provided by their donors help improve the quality of UP education since these provide incentives for faculty to do more research and publish more papers, help modernize facilities and laboratories, and also inspire the students to excel.
Concepcion, speaking on behalf of UP, expressed gratitude for the continuing support of fellow alumni and UP’s partnerships with industries. Citing the CoE as the biggest college in UP Diliman, with the largest number of students and faculty, Concepcion affirmed that these donations, in the form of labs, facilities and professorial chairs, are beneficial to many generations of UP students and teachers. He also said that UP alumni can also consider other forms of support for poor but deserving students.
Concepcion added that UP faculty need to be provided with competitive compensation comparable to those of their counterparts in other colleges and universities. He said that he is hoping UP can continue having better facilities through the alumni’s support and that they can further support the faculty for their post-graduate studies and advanced researches. He also added that these incentives help produce better graduates. “Nagrereport ako para hindi kayo magsawa, at patunayan sa inyo na nagagamit at hindi nasasayang ang mga ibinibigay ninyo,” he said.
Representatives of the donor groups also delivered inspirational messages: Mr. Mark Villanueva, for the Dr. Meliton U. Ordillas, Jr. Professorial Chair; Ms. Dinky Consunji-Laperal, for the DMCI Homes Computational Laboratory for Structural Engineering; and, Mr. Hilbert Cardenas of OceanaGold, for the upgrade and modernization of the Mining and Metallurgical Laboratories at the Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.
Dr. Meliton Ordillas, Jr., in honor of whom the professorial chair was named, expressed his appreciation of the donation. He shared his story of how he started out in 1960 as a faculty member of Mechanical Engineering, with a humble salary of Php 2,490 per annum. He took up Metallurgical Engineering and continued teaching in UP. He added that in 1965, through a grant, the College was able to send him and others in the faculty to study abroad; and by the 1970s, when the CoE was upgrading its faculty, all of the grantees came back to UP. “I hope that other alumni will follow Mark’s example (of donating a professorial chair),” Ordillas concluded. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)