WMSU confers on Lobregat honoris causa in humanities PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 July 2012 14:12

On the occasion of its 108th Foundation Anniversary, the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Board of Regents headed by the presiding chairperson Commissioner Nona S. Ricafort of the Commission on Higher Education will confer a degree of Doctor of Humanities (honoris causa) on Mayor Celso L. Lobregat in fitting rites this morning at the Dr. Juanito A. Bruno Gymnasium.

The conferment is pursuant to a BOR resolution following the recommendation of the Academic Council, making Lobregat the first recipient of an honorary degree from WMSU under Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho’s presidency.

Lobregat, now serving his third term as mayor of Zamboanga City, holds a Master in Business Administration degree from the prestigious Asian Institute of Management, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Ateneo de Manila University. He also served two terms as congressman of the city’s lone district.

His mother, the late congresswoman turned Mayor Maria Clara L. Lobregat was also conferred of the honorary degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Administration on September 30, 1994 under Dr. Erdulfo B. Fernando’s incumbency. 

A record from the University showed that WMSU, which traces its foundation to 1901 as a secondary school in Zamboanga City, conferred the first degree of Doctor of Humanities (honoris causa) on the First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda R. Marcos, in March 1980.

In December of same year, Rear Admiral Romulo M. Espaldon, commander of the then Southern Command (now Western Mindanao Command), was the second recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities.

Also recipients of Doctor of Humanities (honoris causa) were Muslim World League Secretary General Sheikh Mohammad Ali-Al Harakan (January 1982), Prof. Abdulmari Asia Imao (Fine Arts and Humanities) in March 1985, business tycoon Lucio C. Tan (June 28, 2005), and Dr. Jose R. Rodriguez, director of Instituto Cervantes (July 25, 2011).

Recipients of Doctor of Education in Educational Administration (honoris causa) were Malaysian educator Pengiran Amir Muhammad Tyssof (April 1984), US Ambassador to the Philippines Frank G. Wisner (May 30, 1992), Senator Santanina T. Rasul (April 3, 1993), Civil Service Commission Chairwoman Patricia A. Sto. Tomas (April 4, 1994), Korean doctor of Oriental Medicine Dr. Hak Jin Kim (September 1, 1994), Senator Raul S. Roco (deceased) on April 3, 1995, Ignacia B. Olaso (deceased) on May 26, 1995, Rep. Harlin Castillo Abayon of 1st District, Northern Samar on June 10, 2002, and DepEd Undersecretary for Regional Operations Dr. Ramon C. Bacani on July 20, 2010.

Datu Hj. Kamaruddin Bin Datu Seri, Paduka Hj Talib, secretary general of Brunei Malay Chamber of Commerce is so far the sole recipient of WMSU’s honorary degree of Doctor of Public Administration on June 10, 2002.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ho will be formally installed the 5th WMSU president during the investiture ceremonies this afternoon, three months after she won the hotly-contested election last April 16 with six of 10 regents voted in her favor.

Founded in 1901 by virtue or Republic Act 372, WMSU started as a secondary school in Zamboanga, and became a tributary normal school to the Philippine Normal College in Manila in 1909. In 19014, it became the Provincial Normal School. In 1961, by virtue of RA 3272, the school was elevated to the Zamboanga Normal College, which was converted in 1969 to the Zamboanga State College pursuant to RA 5492, until June 10, 1978 when it became a university by its present name pursuant to PD 1427 with the late Dr. Juanito A. Bruno as the first/acting president. — Vic Larato