A celebration of generosity

Published March 24, 2022, 1:14 PM

by John Legaspi

Gokongwei Brothers Foundation celebrates ADMU School of Management 20th year, establishing a School of Education and Learning Design

“I believe that equal access to quality education is the only way to save this country and compete in this world,” the late Filipino businessman, investor, and philanthropist John Gokongwei, Jr. once said. Through the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF), created in 1992 by John and siblings Johnson, Henry, and James, many Filipino youth have been educated with the help of the foundation’s great partners, one of which is the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU).

John Gokongwei School of Management (Photo from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation)

Since March 2002, ADMU’s John Gokongwei School of Management (JGSOM) has become one of the breeding grounds for future Filipino business leaders. On March 19, 2022, the university and the foundation marked the school’s two-decade legacy under the theme, “A Celebration of Generosity.” Apart from the anniversary, the event also honored the dedication and establishment of the Gokongwei Brothers School of Education and Learning Design (GBSEALD).

“GBF is most fortunate to be collaborating with an excellent and esteemed educational institution, which is the ADMU, in raising the quality of education in the country,” GBF Chairman Lance Gokongwei, son of John Gokongwei, Jr., said in his speech. “Thus, today is not just a celebration of generosity but of the long-lasting partnership between ADMU and GBF, as well, as we mark the 20th anniversary of the JGSOM and the dedication of the GBSEALD.”

Lance Gokongwei, chairman of GBF (Photo from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation)

Through JGSOM, ADMU is able to produce young professionals who are responsive to the needs of today’s world. A testament to that is the school’s Center of Excellence status in the areas of business administration and entrepreneurship given by the Commission on Higher Education in 2007, which made it the first academic institution to gain such a recognition in the country. In 2021, the university was accredited as a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSBI), a global business education network committed to shaping the next generation of leaders.

“As much as 20 years may sound long, it is only a fraction of our continuous journey to attain the collective vision of Mr. John and ADMU to ‘develop skilled and principled business leaders to help the country attain its national goals and priorities,’” Dr. Luis Dumlao, dean of JGSOM, said.

Left to Right: Grace R Colet, GBF executive director; Atty. Wilfrido E Sanchez, GBF Board of Trustee; Patrick Henry C Go, GBF Board of Trustee; Lance Gokongwei, chairman of GBF; James Go, president of GBF; Robina Y Gokongwei-Pe, GBF Board of Trustee; and Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, GBF general manager (Photo from Gokongwei Brothers Foundation)

To further achieve their goal, the GBF and ADMU continue to push the boundaries of education with the GBSEALD. Launched in 2021, when the country’s schools faced a challenging time at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, GBSEALD aims to help improve education through the formation of educators, educational leaders, policy makers, and other learning professionals.

“This new School of Education and Learning Design exemplifies ADMU’s commitment to Philippine education,” Fr. Johnny Go SJ, the founding dean of the new school, said. “Our motto puts it best: ‘Bago ang lahat, edukaskyon!’ We are committed to the priority of our educational mission, as well as the need to reimagine what needs to be new in education.”

“Through the GBSEALD, we hope to discover more effective ways of teaching and learning that will help elevate education, especially appreciation for STEM, inspiring a new generation of Filipino scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians,” Gokongwei added.

“As GBF enters its 30th year and beyond, we continue to fulfill our aspirations of being able to take a purposeful role in the learning journey of 10,000 educators and 1,000,000 learners by the year 2025,” he continued. “This lofty goal becomes more achievable with great partners like the ADMU, as we work hand in hand to make a significant impact in transforming the lives of Filipinos and contributing to national progress through the lasting gift of education.”