Friends of U.P. Foundation in America: A Brief History
By Dr. Vicente Limcaoco
This article appeared in Fall 1996 issue of the FUPFA newsletter.
Dr. Limcaoco (BS ’60; MD ’63) was founding executive director of FUPFA
It all started with an idea. In 1981, when a distinguished U.P. alumnus and head of the biggest law firm in the country, Edgardo J. Angara, now a Senator, was elected by the Board of Regents as the U.P. President, he embarked on a project of reaching out to all the alumni in the Philippines and all over the world. In the summer of 1982, President Angara and members of his executive staff, notably, Prof. Solita C. Monsod and Mrs. Sally Zaldivar Perez, travelled throughout the United States to meet with various alumni groups. The idea presented was how to make the alumni more active in the affairs of the University and how to attract donations to help the University in its educational mission as the premier institution of higher learning in the country.
The response of the alumni was overwhelming. It was suggested that a Foundation be created in the U.S. to solicit tax deductible donations from U.P. alumni and friends. Thus was born the Friends of U.P. Foundation in America. It was chartered in California as a tax exempt public benefit corporation through the efforts of U.P. alumni lawyer, Juan C. Collas, partner at Baker & McKenzie, who became its first and still is its current Corporate Secretary and Trustee.
Meanwhile in Manila, the Diamond Jubilee celebration at the University was in full swing. A series of lectures, seminars and concerts extolling the 75 year history of the University were held. The U.P. Development Fund was launched, soliciting donations from all alumni and friends to promote faculty development.
President Angara and his staff and various officials of the University travelled throughout the Philippines to reach out to all alumni and friends. They were received enthusiastically by alumni from all walks of life – lay people and professionals, political friends and foes of the government alike.
On one of the trips to Mindanao, when peace was edgy and there were tanks and government soldiers at every corner of town, it was said that there was an unofficial temporary truce. And so U.P. alumni from the hills come down to see President Angara as well as Prime Minister Cesar Virata, another distinguished U.P. alumnus, who was with the University’s official party.
By 1985, the Foundation had been well organized. Its Board of Trustees consisted of the late Rafael Salas, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations as Chairman, and as Members, President Edgardo Angara, Juan Collas, Vicente Limcaoco, Ramon Quesada, Jr., Reginaldo Picache, and Ambassador Romeo Arguelles. President Angara and his staff, among which were Dr. Conrado Lorenzo, Chancellor of the U.P. Manila and Regent Clemente Gatmaitan, Vice Chancellor George Eufemio, assisted by Trustees of the Foundation, visited with various alumni groups throughout the United States and Canada. The trip was on overwhelming success.
Receptions were organized all over the country by enthusiastic alumni leaders. The names are too many to mention but we remember the following as coordinators:
New York, New Jersey – Dr. Arceo S.M . Laano, Flora Libay, Luz Gonzales, Amador Muriel Ph.D., Dr. Connie Sumera-Uy, Dr. Aniceto Lomotan, Dr. Gerardo Juan
Philadelphia, Delaware, and South Jersey – Dr. Vitaliano Bernardino, Jr., Dr. Elizabeth Fong De Leon, Virgie Luz, Dr. Floranto Rellosa, Dr. Patricio Reyes, Dr. Virgie Carino-Vergara
Baltimore, Washington – Dr. Ben Del Carmen, Ramon Paterno, Esq., Dr. Rey Magno, Dr. Willie Buhain, Nestor Santiago, Dr. Ferdinand Rodriguez
Toronto, Canada – Dr. Guillermo De Villa, Jr.
Chicago – Francisco Juan, Dr. Juanito Bartolome, Remedios Runo, Esq., Dr. Librada Masaquel Manaligod
Detroit – Dr. Renato Roxas
Milwaukee – Dr. Violenta Ambo Singson, Dr. Juanito Singson
St. Louis – Dr. Leo Pardo, Dr. Casimiro Garcia
Texas – Jess Ocampo, Dr. Rafael Chan, Dr. AI Manahan, Anthony Araos, Dr. Bart Ibarra,
Dr. Ariston Awitan, Jr.
California – Juliet Salazar, Eric Aguiluz, Esq., Mellie Leandicho Lopez, Dr. Aurora De Guzman, Dr. Edgardo Arcinue, Dr. Dodie Arevalo.
All these U.P. Alumni were the pioneering leaders in organizing and promoting the Friends of U.P. Foundation in America.
In 1988, under the administration of President Jose V. Avueva, a second visit to U.P. alumni throughout the United States and Canada was made. Again, the enthusiasm and good will of the Alumni was unsurpassed.
What has the Foundation done for the University so far?
The following U.P. faculty members have been given Post Graduate Study Grants: Elizabeth Pastores, Ph.D. in History, U.C.L.A. 1983-84; Jose Fernando Alcantara, Ph.D. in Political Science, University of South Carolina, 1984-85 and London School of Economics, 1988; Dr. Abundio Balgos, M.D. Pulmonary Fellowship University of California at San Diego, 1986-87; Herminia Alfonso, Ph.D. in Mass Communications, University of Pennsylvania, 1987-88; Professor Leo de Castro, Doctorate in Philosophy, University of South Wales, United Kingdom 1988-89; Dr. Melinda Labuguen, M.D., Fellowship in Pathology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, LaJolla California,1989-90; and Professor Maria Lourdes Ladrido, Doctoral Dissertation in Reading Education at Syracuse University, New York,
Several Professorial Chairs, through the creation of a Trust Fund in Diliman, have been established in the University in various colleges through donations by the following individuals: Ms. Leticia Canso, Pharmacy; Drs. Paulino and Miriam Cruz, Medicine; Drs. Miguel and Elizabeth Deleon, U.P. Iloilo; Dr. Prospero A. Flores, University College; Dr. Elpidio Gamboa, Infectious Diseases College of Medicine; Dr. Archie B.M. Laano, Cardiology; Dr. Felix V. Llamido, Medicine; Dr. Jose Navato, Pharmacology; Dr. Godofredo T. Ng, Zoology; Dr. Stewart Parker, Veterinary Medicine; Mr. & Mrs. McArthur V. Delos Reyes, Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences; Irwin J. Robinson, Law; Dr. Maria Chanco-Turner, Microbiology, College of Arts & Sciences; Drs. Manuel and Emelita Veloso, University College; Atty. Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Fisheries, Forestry & Rural Medicine; Dr. & Mrs. Victor Villadolid, Ophthalmology, North Texas, U.P. Medical Alumni, Physiology, U.P. College of Medicine; and Dr. Ben Buentipo, Jr., MD ’56, Antonia Capino, MD ’70, Narcisco Cinco, MD ’53, Rafael Chan, MD ’70, Edgardo Dujon, MD ’66, Thelma Hernandez, MD ’65, Connie Maileg, MD ’65, AI Manahan, MD ’65, Rolando Oro, MD ’67, Dr. Ben Gatmaitan, MD ’65.
At present, the Foundation is in the process of reinvigoration. A new Board of Trustees have been appointed by President Emil Q. Javier, with a new Executive Director, Dr. Antonio S. Racela. A regular newsletter will be published integrating University and Alumni news and hopefully all the items from the Carillon, which is published regularly by Diliman to reach out to the alumni. The trustees aim to rekindle the old U.P. spirit in the hearts of every alumni and to remind them to be thoughtful of the University that gave them the education and training for their professional success. Hopefully this will create an ongoing stream of donations and support from alumni and their friends.
In Diliman, the young students still sing “Push on U.P., we’re going to win.” Now the alumni really feel they have won and know it is time to give back, and help their Alma Mater.