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Instituto Cervantes' Spanish director receives honorary degree from Zamboanga university

ZAMBOANGA CITY, July 27 -– In celebration of its 107th Foundation Anniversary, the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) conferred on Monday the degree of Doctor of Humanities (honoris causa) on Jose R. Rodriguez, a Spanish journalist and educator, making him the 19th on the list of individuals from various callings to receive honorary degrees from one of the country’s premier universities.

The conferment was approved by the WMSU Board of Regents pursuant to Resolution No. 151 series of 2011 upon the recommendation of the University’s Academic Council through Resolution No. 18 dated June 17, 2011.

Rodriguez, director of Instituto Cervantes Manila, is the second to receive honorary degree from WMSU under Dr. Grace Rebollos’s incumbency as president.

The first was Dr. Ramon Bacani, former Undersecretary of the Department of Education (DepEd), who was conferred the degree of Doctor of Education (honoris causa) during the University’s 106th anniversary last year.

In their resolution, the WMSU Board of Regents chaired by Higher Education Commissioner Nona Ricafort cited Rodriguez for having distinguished himself in the fields of journalism, education and public service.

The Board also recognized Rodriguez’s exemplary leadership in education and valuable services as director of Instituto Cervantes Manila and his substantial contribution to the cause of academic excellence and the promotion of culture in the country.

Instituto Cervantes is a worldwide non-profit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991.

It is the largest organization in the world dedicated to the teaching of Spanish language and increasing knowledge of culture in Latin-American countries.

At present, it has 73 centers in 20 countries, including the Philippines.

In April 2009, Rodriguez signed a memorandum of agreement with Rebollos as witnessed by Mayor Celso Lobregat and Congresswoman Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar for the teaching of Spanish language at WMSU through the College of Liberal Arts, now the College of Communications and Humanities.

Specifically, the agreement paved the way for collaborative activities between WMSU and Instituto Cervantes Manila with particular attention to academic, culture and other exchanges mutually beneficial to both institutions.

Meanwhile, other recipients of WMSU’s Doctor of Humanities degree (honoris causa) were Rear Admiral (ret.) Romulo Espaldon, Sheik Mohammad Ali-Al Harakan, Fawzi Shobokshi, Abdulmari Asia Imao (National Artist) and business tycoon Lucio Tan.

Recipients of honorary degree of Doctor of Education were the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat, former Senator Teresa-Aquino Oreta, Dr. Harlin Cast Abayon, Prof. Shen Bin, Singaporean businessman Ang Thian Soo, Dr. Ignacia Olaso, the late Senator Raul Roco, Dr. Hak Jin Kim, former Civil Service Commission Chairperson Patricia Sto. Tomas, Frank Wisner, former Senator Santanina Rasul and former Ateneo de Zamboanga University President Fr. William Kreutz. (PNA)

DCT/LAM/TPG/ssc

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