With the help of the University of the Philippines Engineering Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (UPERDFI), UP received two new professorial chairs during the signing of the deeds of donation for the Manuel V. Pangilinan Professorial Chair in Engineering and the PLDT-Smart Foundation Professorial Chair in the UP Board of Regents Room in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City on February 12, 2020.
A deed of donation from the PLDT-Smart Foundation signed in 2019 was also renewed. The event was attended by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, PLDT Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Smart Communications Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, and top officials of PLDT, PLDT-Smart Foundation, Maynilad, One Meralco Foundation, UP College of Engineering, and UPERDFI.
In his message to the donors, Concepcion explained that the professorial chairs are truly beneficial to UP faculty and students, with the University as the premier learning environment for the nation’s future engineers and leaders of vital industries. he said, “Malaking bagay po ito at nagpapasalamat kami sa inyo. Maraming salamat po sa inyo!”
Pangilinan, who is a renowned businessman and sports patron, revealed that he is no stranger to UP, since his grandfather had encouraged him to study in UP and his father was in UP Los Baños. He said that their group of companies has been supporting UP in various ways, from the time of UP Presidents Dodong Nemenzo and Emerlinda Roman up to the present. He added that businesses and industries have the obligation to help the academe, and to nurture dialogues and expand relationships that aim to clarify the roles of these sectors in the changing global and domestic landscapes. “It’s our privilege and gratitude for allowing us to help UP in whatever way we can,” he said.
According to UPERDFI Executive Director Alfonso A. Aliga, Jr., the group of companies where Pangilinan holds leadership positions is presently sponsoring 14 professorial chairs in Engineering: five are from Maynilad; one from Meralco; one from the Meralco Millennium Foundation, in honor of Manuel Lopez; one from MIESCOR, in honor of Cesar Nuguid; one from PLDT SMART Foundation; two from Philex Mining Corporation; one from Maynilad Contractors, called Maynilad UP Centennial Chair; and, the two new donations. This is 7% of the UP College of Engineering’s 196 professorial chairs.
Professorial chairs are awarded to faculty members and serve as incentives for the recipients to further excel in teaching and to pursue researches related to their fields of interest and expertise. As a symbol of appreciation and distinction, UP gives the donor a Sundial Plaque, an elegantly framed artwork depicting the meters-high concrete sundial that stands in the UP College of Engineering compound.