Crowds of people were in attendance as Foundation University held its the annual Commencement Exercises this afternoon at The Green.
A total of 835 graduates for senior high school, college level and graduate studies were conferred with their respective degrees by the 70-year old institution of higher learning.
‘Cream of the Crop’
Romille Lijah N. Marquez, College Valedictorian (Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering) led the processional bearing the University Mace – “the emblem of authority and the testament of the institution’s commitment to education for nation-building.” Meanwhile, Rellian V. Garcia (Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics) was also named College Salutatorian. Both hailed from Bayawan City and were recipients of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholarships.
On the other hand, Marie Venice B. Pescuela and Mafhy Sweet G. Tabujara, from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strand, emerged as Valedictorian and Salutatorian, respectively, for the senior high school level.
Foundation University takes pride in recognizing the students who sacrificed and worked hard to achieve excellence in their academic and co-curricular endeavors and thus, reaching the highest grade point average of the graduating class.
‘Use Technology as Tool for Success’
ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur 2015 Awardee, Mylene Abiva, addressed the Class of 2019 during today’s commencement.
“Use technology as your tool for success,” shared Abiva who is closely engaged in the fields of business, marketing, education, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Along with this, she shared her own version of the 4Ps in marketing. First of which, Positive Attitude. For her, it is important to get hold of this trait because as with her experience when she started introducing robotics in the country, there were only 8 schools who would want to avail but as of the present, 1300 educational institutions now subscribe to the services they offer. She draws fulfillment from seeing children engage and learn in a fun way.
Abiva also mentioned about being Passionate. The esteemed speaker wore several hats but she was able to carry out successfully the tasks because of her for the work that she does.
Along with this, she challenged the young graduates to be Physically Fit and to acquire emotional and mental well-being at an early age. Abiva is engaged into several sports which includes mountain climbing, boxing and tennis. According to Abiva, mountain climbing enables her not only to be physically-revived but it also helps cleanse her thoughts and provides an opportunity to admire the work of the Divine through nature.
“Smiling is the less expensive asset you can carry,” shared Abiva and even refers to it as one’s first marketing tool.
Lastly, she told the graduates to be Prayerful. Abiva narrated that the secret behind overcoming the financial problems faced by the company she leads, is prayer – where one can ask for strength and wisdom from the Divine. Prayer, for her, is essential before making any decisions that can either result to success or failure.
Throughout her speech, she engaged the graduating class through videos, shown in the LED wall, depicting the 4th Industrial Revolution more specifically on robotics used for classroom education among the youth of today.
Abiva is an award-winning professional entrepreneur and current President and Chief Executive Officer of FELTA Multi-Media Inc., – a company that produces innovative and instructional materials and devices used for educational purposes in a span of 53 years. Since 2012, FELTA serves as the Education Solution Provider of INTEL Education.
In her entrepreneurship ventures, she has earned the following accolades: Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines (Women Entrepreneur) 2009; Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Leader (Women’s Category) 2009; ASEAN Woman Entrepreneur 2015; 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World 2016, and ASIA CEO’s Most Innovative Company 2017.
Abiva is one of the pioneer mentors of GO NEGOSYO in 2005, former President of the Philippine Marketing Association (2009) and organizer of the Philippine Robotics Olympiad. At present, she is also serving as Ambassador of the World Robot Olympiad representing more than 60 countries the world over.
The FU ‘Sablay’
Since last year, Foundation University decided to use the “sablay” in place of the traditional academic hat and toga, which are of Western origin. The decision has been made in order to align with the ideals of its founder, nationalistic academician and visionary – Dr. Vicente G. Sinco.
This year, the senior high school graduates were adorned with ‘sablay’ uniquely modified with the Foundation Preparatory Academy logo, the rose and the year 2015 – the year of its establishment.
“Sablay” pertains to an indigenous loose garment worn during formal occasions.
Due to Foundation University’s environmental advocacy, the institution’s personalized version bears the letters symbolizing the four elements namely: earth, wind, fire and water in “alibata” – the ancient Filipino alphabet.
Gray, the University’s official color, dominates the “sablays” with a designated color on the piping for each discipline. FU “sablay” comes as an emblem of the University’s pursuits in preserving and promoting the Filipino culture through its academic and co-curricular programs.
The “sablay,” will serve as a constant reminder to the graduates not only to put on the knowledge but also to bear the important values earned inside the hallowed pillars of Foundation University.
Capping the Ceremony
The annual ceremony honoring the graduates was capped by the singing of the Foundation University Hymn. It has sung for almost seven decades now, across generations of students and alumni who went through the pillars of the institution.
The hymn reminds the students, alumni and the whole academic community that its founding is indeed a “benediction,” a blessing for providing equal opportunities to quality education in this part of the country.