By Freddie Velez
BALIUAG, Bulacan — Scholars from Bulacan took part in SM Foundation’s 22nd Presentation of Graduates held recently at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.
Veronica B. Cunan, SM Baliwag Mall’s public relations officer, said that 330 scholar-graduates from 105 partner universities and colleges nationwide, the largest batch since the scholarship program started in 1993, gathered together with their parents and guardians to give thanks to their main benefactor, Henry Sy Sr. and his family in an annual testimonial dinner.
She said out of 330 scholars, 87 graduated with Latin honors, including Rizalyn G. Arellano who led the distinguished scholars from the province of Bulacan as she graduated Cum Laude in Baliwag University with a degree of BS Accountancy.
Cunan identified the other graduates from Baliwag University as Shara Mariz Mempin, BS Electronics Engineering; John Paul Gabriel Rodriguez, BS in Information Technology; and Mark Justine Rubio, BS Civil Engineering.
The other three scholars from Bulacan State University were Al Gene Baguisa, BS Electrical Engineering; Ferdinand Agub and Jo-Ann Lamata both BS Civil Engineering.
This year’s graduation marked a memorable milestone for both SM Foundation and SM scholars. Some of the graduates were the first batch of Yolanda survivors from Samar, Leyte, and other nearby provinces affected by the killer typhoon, with most of them graduating with honors.
SM scholar graduates paid tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sy, Sr. through a heartfelt song followed by a gift-giving led by Summa Cum Laude graduates: Jedda Pascual, a graduate of BS Accountancy from Ateneo de Davao University; and Danielle Francis Olsen, a BS Accountancy graduate from the University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos.
Aside from the Sy Family, the traditional dinner was graced by partner schools, SM Foundation and SM Executives, and SM’s business associates to honor the hard work of these scholar-graduates.
SM Foundation maintains 2,000 college scholars yearly and another 2,000 technical-vocation scholars. So far, more than 3000 scholars have graduated under the SM Foundation Education Program.