A solemn topping-off ceremony of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Santa Rosa’s first building, the Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong (TTC) Innovation Center, was held on August 3, 2021.
The topping-off ceremony is a builders’ rite traditionally held when the last beam (or its equivalent material) is placed atop a structure. The ceremony included blessing rites presided by the UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D.
UST Facilities Management Office Director Rev. Fr. Dexter A. Austria, O.P., in his opening speech, shared his hope “that the center will be part of a greater vision for the UST Santa Rosa campus as a hub of discoveries, research, and innovation.”
Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1975, and founder of Jollibee Foods Corporation, sent a message for the auspicious occasion. It was read by Faculty of Engineering Dean Prof. Philipina A. Marcelo, Ph.D.
In Tan Caktiong’s message, he said that the new three-storey structure intends to “welcome our country’s potential and future innovators including alumni, students, and entrepreneurs from companies and surrounding communities—innovators that can make a difference and play a meaningful role in the holistic, inclusive, and responsible growth of the Philippine economy.”
“The Santa Rosa campus will become a research and innovation campus where students, faculty members, scientists, and researchers can transform their ideas into realities. The TTC Innovation Center is a first in Philippine education, which will revolutionize the way we do research in the country. May this milestone inspire all of us to contribute to the generation and advancement of knowledge in the University and the nation,” said Fr. Ang.
The Dr. TTC Innovation Center broke ground in December 2020, while the 40-hectare UST Santa Rosa campus had its site development kick-off ceremony in September 2017.