UPAE Intensifies Long History of Partnership with the College of Engineering
The U.P. Alumni Engineers (UPAE) has remained true to the aims of its original founders. Over the years since its founding in 1947, UPAE has embarked on various projects to assist the UP College of Engineering (COE) in retaining its premiere stature in the Philippines (See Table 1). It has brought together alumni through various activities, recognized those who have been of service to the private and public sectors, and provided a platform through which the alumni can serve the College, its students, and the country.
In 2015, under the leadership of Lilit Tumbocon, UPAE embarked on an ambitious project, the Study Now Pay Later (SNPL) program. This is a direct response to findings that some Engineering students, despite tuition scholarships, drop out owing to financial constraints. This initiative provides these scholars the financial assistance, in the form of a loan, to cover basic needs such as board & lodging, transportation, school materials etc., for their remaining three years at the U.P. College of Engineering. The program aims to increase throughput of engineers – making them productive members of society sooner than later. Repayments of the loan, expected when grantees are employed, will ensure the sustainability of the program.
Admittedly, the SNPL program will not happen without funds. During the year, various successful fund raising projects including an unprecedented three golf tournaments were undertaken. The funds raised resulted in a financial turnaround for the organization and the future viability of the initiative. In addition, a two-year raffle got off the ground. To gain support for these fund raising activities, the various COE organizations, alumni, donors and sponsors were invited to fellowship events that resulted in many benefactors coming out, notably, Mag Albaraccin and Sid Consunji who have not wavered in their support for the UPAE’s SNPL and the Faculty Development Program which UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation (UPERDFI) spearheads with support from the UPAE.
Along with the enthusiasm with which the programs were conceptualized and implemented were administrative changes that ensured efficient and effective operations. In the meantime, the Board adopted a new logo, to replace the slightly modified College of Engineering logo. The new Board has likewise, within the year, relaunched its website – www.upae.org that has kept alumni abreast of the developments within the association. The website is enabled to accept donations and payments for the various initiatives.
In 2016, a new set of officers was inducted into office by UP President Alfredo Pascual. At the turnover ceremony, UPAE 2016 President Levy Espiritu announced full support for the previous term initiatives, in particular, carrying on with the same passion, the full implementation of the Study Now Pay Later program. Responding to the request from the COE Dean, the new Board is also determined to play a key role in the Linkages initiative, which seeks to link the students with people in industry through immersion programs. The continuing collaboration with the UPERDFI to support professorial chairs and other grants were likewise in the program of 2016 activities, mainly through the raffle project to be concluded in the year.
The 2016 programs include a continuation of UPAE involvement in demonstrating the breadth of research being undertaken by COE faculty to the business sector and to engage them to support research projects. Through the cooperation of UPAE, UPERDFI and Meralco, a CEO forum was organized, featuring several research presentations by COE faculty to captains of Industry which included Dado Banatao, Manny Pangilinan, and Oscar Reyes as speakers.
During its planning and follow up meetings, the following working groups within the Board were formed: Study Now Pay Later implementation and associated Fund Raising activities: Raffle, Golf Tournament. Other committees were: Vision/Mision, Strategic Communication, Linkages and the 2016 Homecoming.
Golf tournaments and Fellowships had been scheduled for the year to reach fund raising targets. Internally, the Board continues to pursue professionalizing the services it offers to alumni and to the organization through administrative streamlining. The UPAE website continues to evolve, now featuring career opportunities for alumni and enhanced features for accepting donations through Paypal.
Indeed, it can be said that UP alumni engineers, in various ways over the years, had been unwavering in their passion to give back to their alma mater and to their country.
UPAE ADOPTS NEW LOGO
During its April 2015 Board meeting, the UPAE directors passed a resolution adopting the logo shown above. The seal of the Association consists of two concentric circles with the outer rim in orange. The outer circle is colored maroon and bears the name of the University and the Association in white. The center circle framed in white rim, has at the lower right side the year the Association was founded. The Oblation on the lower half of this circle is dominated by the green color while the Sundial on the upper half has an orange background. The colors of the Association depicted in this seal are maroon and gold (for UP); green and orange (for COE).
Table 1. UPAE Historical Timeline
First alumni reunion held at the Manila Hotel, groundwork for UPAE formation
Books donated to the Engineering library, the first “big boost in its collection”
Books from abroad donated; semi-annual seminars conducted
Piano donated to the College for the Engineering Sing glee club
Sundial project launched – featured a steel sundial structure with a gnomon in the shape of a slide rule on the west side of the building façade
Engineering flag hoisted at General Purpose Pilot Plant Building preceding a motorcade from the old engineering building in Ermita to Diliman; first Alumni Directory published
Completed Engineering Alumni Center presented to the University
Engineering building named Melchor Hall in honor of Alejandro S. Melchor, professor and secretary of college with UP President C.P. Romulo unveiling bronze plaque; first Citation of Merit awards given to outstanding alumni
Engineering Smoker revived after a ten-year hiatus.
UPAE Building inaugurated – first university building to be built by an alumni group.
Student lounge furnished
Project to reconstruct the Sundial damaged by Typhoon Yoling launched
Life Membership drive, Operation Comfort to rehabilitate and repair toilets of Melchor Hall, Yearbook and Directory publication started
Summer employment project for alumni started
Seminar/lecture series initiated; water reservoir installed on top of the building for supplying water to the toilets of Melchor Hall
Mechanics for industry-academe collaboration involving summer training of students in factories and factory visits as part of student course work laid down
Conference on Engineering the Philippines for the 21st Century held at the EDSA Plaza Hotel as the homecoming activity for the year
UPAE office at the National Engineering Center renovated; first annual raffle draw to modernize teaching facilities of the College held
Faculty retention program of the College supported through a Raffle; fund-raising campaign by UPAE President and Dean among US-based alumni, Balik Baterya Program and Facelift of the Sundial undertaken
UPAE contribution recognized- New Engineering Library and Computer Science Building given the name UP Alumni Engineers Centennial Hall
UPAE sponsors’ offerings and career opportunities for alumni promoted through Ibang KlasEngg Networking
For the COE’s 100 th year, lined up various activities culminating in the awarding of the 100 Outstanding Alumni Engineers
Professorial Chair funds donated
Traditional UPAE Golf Cup and Homecoming activities continued from previous years