MANILA, Philippines—Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno will address more than 4,000 graduates at Sunday’s commencement exercises at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman.
The 103rd commencement ceremony will be the last to be held in April, as the university’s academic year starting 2014-2015 will open in August and end in June.
Ralph John Ugalino, 19, a chemistry graduate with an weighted average grade of 1.067, is at the top of this year’s class, which has 20 summa cum laude, more than 200 magna cum laude and more than 800 cum laude.
Ugalino said he planned to take up higher studies in chemistry in UP and give back by joining the academe.
“I have enjoyed chemistry since my days at Philippine Science High School,” he said, noting that he wants to specialize in physical chemistry.
The eldest son of Rodolfo Ugalino, an employee of a survey firm, and Jacquelyn, a bank employee, Ugalino said he had dreamt of finishing summa cum laude but didn’t expect to be at the top of his class.
“All of us, at one point, wished to attain summa cum laude honors upon entering UP,” he said.
Ugalino, a resident of Quezon City, was the recipient of a Department of Science and Technology scholarship.
UP awards the highest academic honor of summa cum laude to students who finish with a weighted average grade of 1.20 or better.
Magna cum laude graduates have a final grade of 1.45 or better while cum laude graduates have a final grade of 1.75 or better.
The summa grads
In a statement on the UP Diliman website, the university said more than 3,000 would receive their undergraduate degrees. More than 700 would receive their master’s degrees while around 60 would be obtaining their doctoral degrees.
Aside from Ugalino, the 19 other summa cum laude graduates are Adelen Victoria P. Festin, BS Computer Science (1.078); Victor Angelo B. Blancada, BS Industrial Engineering (1.116); Kenji Rowel Q. Lim, BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (1.122); John Felix G. Cabanlong, BS Electronics and Communications Engineering (1.124); Kevin Patrick S. Lim, BS Business Administration and Accountancy (1.127); Camille G. Salazar, BS Computer Science (1.128); Maxine Lourraine T. Ty, BS Psychology (1.131); Patricia Isabel M. Sotto, BS Business Economics (1.146); and Jessica Ruth G.; Biscocho, BS Business Economics (1.155);
Eric David B. Ornos, BS Biology (1.156); Alexander John Cruz, BS Chemical Engineering (1.161); Walter John O. Cheng, BS Psychology (1.164); Jose Maria L. Marella, BS Economics (1.164); Gerard Don C. Padilla, BS Business Administration and Accountancy (1.17); Prince Joseph Erneszer A. Javier, BS Mining Engg (1.171); Rowell De Guzman Castro; BS Industrial Engineering (1.184); Elijah Joshua B. Cayabyab, BS Computer Science (1.193); Justine Kristel A. Villegas, BA Sociology (1.194); and Karen Lena A. McKenzie, BM Voice (1.198).