Four well-respected public servants will lead the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) Class of 2023 in a series of graduation ceremonies to be held this September.
The PLM Board of Regents voted to confer honorary doctorate degrees to Hon. Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Martin "Koko" Pimentel III; former Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, PhD; Her Excellency United States Ambassador Chantale Wong; and Hon. Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo in recognition of their substantial contributions to the academe, public service, as well as towards social and economic development.
They will also serve as guests of honor and keynote speakers in four graduation events to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Senator Pimentel will be conferred with a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa, in recognition of his invaluable contribution to Philippine policymaking and legal education which has supported the development of various sectors and of the larger Philippine society. The honorary degree will be conferred in the morning of Thursday, September 7, 2023.
Prof. Taguiwalo is set to receive a Doctorate in Humanities, honoris causa, in appreciation of her service in the academe and government, as well as her lifelong advocacy for human rights, women empowerment, and gender equality. She has also been instrumental in the establishment of PLM's School of Social Work, paving the way to train students as future social workers in the country. She will be officially awarded her honorary degree in the afternoon of September 7.
Ambassador Wong, currently the United States executive director at the Asian Development Bank, has been a prime mover in the fields of fiscal transparency and development finance. An engineer by profession, she relocated to the Philippines to continue her decades of work in the ADB in assisting emerging economies in their path towards development by way of loans and grants as well as through policy guidance. She also runs "Focus on the Story," a nonprofit organization that supports visual artists in producing content that shed light on critical issues faced by societies. PLM will confer a Doctorate in Humanities, honoris causa, in Ambassador Wong's honor on September 8.
Chief Justice Gesmundo – a widely respected magistrate, law professor, and public servant whose career in government spans more than 35 years – has also accepted PLM's conferment of a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa. He has dedicated his professional life to the Executive and Judicial branches while also helping nurture future lawyers through the academe. Chief Justice Gesmundo’s track record speaks volumes about his caliber and his integrity as a lawyer, as well has his passion to serve the Filipino public. The conferment ceremony will be held during the graduation rites scheduled on September 28.
"On behalf of the PLM Board of Regents, it is our privilege to name Senator Pimentel, Professor Taguiwalo, Ambassador Wong, and Chief Justice Gesmundo as holders of honorary degrees from our University. Their compassion in the academe and their dedication in uplifting the lives of millions of Filipinos are truly admirable and worthy of commendation," PLM President Emmanuel Leyco said.
"The conferment of these honorary degrees is a small gesture compared to their individual contributions in their respective fields of practice. Thank you for serving the people," he added.
The schedule of the graduation ceremonies is as follows:
- September 7, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: School of Government and PLM Business School
- September 7, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.: School of Social Work; College of Architecture and Urban Planning; College of Education; College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; College of Music; College of Nursing; and College of Physical Therapy
- September 8, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: College of Engineering and College of Science
- September 28, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Graduate School of Law, College of Law, College of Medicine, and Graduate School Programs
Further details about the programme and logistics have been disseminated by colleges and academic units to graduands.