A BSIT student of Jose Abad Santos Campus, AU in Pasay City , Lester Harvey B. Dabu who graduated Summa Cum Laude, led 1732 candidates for graduation during the 79th Commencement Exercises of Arellano University (AU) on April 1, 2017 (Saturday) at the Philippine Convention Center (PICC), Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.
The students from the campuses outside of Manila held their ceremony at 8 o’clock in the morning. These included students from Plaridel Campus( AU in Mandaluyong City), Elisa Esguerra Campus (AU in Malabon City), Jose Abad Santos Campus (AU in Pasay City) and Andres Bonifacio Campus (AU in Pasig City). The students of the Main Campus (Legarda, Sampaloc, Manila) had theirs in the afternoon, which started at 1 pm.
Included in the ceremony were the 121 students who graduated under the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP). They received their diploma signifying their completion of the requirements of their degrees, which in their case, is either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Secondary Education degrees.
Certificates of Completion were also given to students of the International Nursing Program of Arellano University. They have completed their 3-year study at AU, and will finish their nursing course either at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, USA or Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.
Special Awards were also be given to students who have exhibited excellent performance in academic, extra curricular activities and sports. (Pls. see list below.)
Graduating with a Summa Cum Laude distinction is no mean feat and Lester Harvey B. Dabu has an inspiring story about his school life. He received some medals in his elementary grades, but he got involved with ‘barkadas’ that high school became an erratic experience. Financial difficulties in the family forced him to skip college and find a job and he found one as a technical support in a BPO company. At age 23 he decided to try his luck working abroad and he did, in Doha, Qatar, as an admin coordinator in a company involved in production of construction materials. He was making up to P80,000 monthly salary, but after his youngest sister has graduated in college, he went home to fulfill his goal in life: to graduate in college. And he did, with flying colors!
The Guest Speaker in the afternoon, an alumnus of Arellano University, Fr. Leonardo E. Dollentas, Ed.D., likewise, has a very colorful professional life. An ordained Catholic priest, a school director, a professional lecturer of the Florentino Cayco Memorial School of Graduate Studies, a board member of the Institutional Ethics Committee of the Department of Science and Technology and an Adjunct Guest Lecturer at the University of Haifa in Israel from 1914 to the present, he is also a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of Brigade Captain, having attained Juridical Incardination from the Catholic Diocese for the Armed Services.
Fr. Dollentas earned his degree Doctor of Education, major in Educational Management from the Florentino Cayco Memorial School of Graduate of Studies. In the AU 2009 commencement exercises, he graduated with Highest Honors and was awarded the Dean’s Citation for Best Dissertation.
In 2015, he was chosen awardee of the Fundacion Humanidad Cristiana, a personal foundation of the Queen of Spain, in recognition for his Boat Program in Eastern and Northern Samar after Typhoon Haiyan, where he distributed a total of 1700 wooden boats to the devastated fishermen and their families and created livelihood training for them. The recipients of his program included those who belonged to different Christian denominations and religions, and Muslims.
The Guest Speaker in the morning was Mr. Warren D. Ang, Chairman, CEO and President of Waine’s Software and Technologies Inc. and Chief Technology Officer of Acabars Pande-Pizza. He is an alumnus of Jose Abad Santos High School, AU in Pasay City. During his high school days he was the President of the Student Council and he graduated Valedictorian in the Commencement Exercises of 1993. An expert in information technology, he speaks the language of the young, whose preoccupation in computers reflects the present and the future of the students.
Let the Ceremony Begin! The Philippine Convention Center, all spruced up for the event; Atty. Roland Niedo, University Registrar, carrying the Arellano University mace; bottom right, candidates for graduation descending the PICC staircase to go to their assigned seats; bottom left, the graduates, the Arellano University community and the audience in the plush Plenary Hall of the PICC.
The Chairman and the Guest Speakers. At left, Chairman and CEO Francisco P.V. Cayco , confirming the graduation of the candidates; top right, the Chairman , assisted by Vice President for Academic Affairs Ma. Teresa N. Rivera, granting the AU Achievement Award for 2017 to Mr. Warren D. Ang, commencement speaker in the morning ceremony; and in photo below, to Rev. Father Captain Leonardo E. Dollentas, Ed.D., commencement speaker in the afternoon ceremony.
Ceremonies for Master Degree Graduates. Chairman Cayco and Dr. Teresa N. Rivera, put on the hood of graduates of Master of Arts in Education, Master in Business Administration and Master of Arts in Psychology.
AU Sports Luminaries. Top achievers in sports received their Plaque of Recognition : top left, the Track and Field team- back-to-back Champion, NCAA Seasons 91 and 92; top right, AU Pep Squad- Champion, NCAA Season 92 Cheerleading competition; bottom, Women’s Volleyball – Champion, NCAA Season 92, with AVP for General Services/ AVP for Administration Pedro S. Cayco (center) and VP for Marketing /Athletic Director Valente V. Cayco (extreme right).
Outstanding Graduates. From left to right, Lester Harvey B. Dabu, Summa Cum l, delivering the Valedictory Address; Pedro Alvarez S. Cabral, Cum Laude, leading the Citizen’s Pledge of Loyalty and Ms. Sunshine Cruz, a multi-awarded movie and television actor who graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Psychology via the ETEEAP .