DLSU officially sworn in its 23rd President Br. Raymond Suplido FSC, PhD and its 5th Chancellor Dr. Gerardo Janairo in an Investiture ceremony held on June 30 at the Most Blessed Sacrament Chapel in St. La Salle Hall.
Members of the Lasallian community participated in a procession prior to the ceremony. Students and faculty members as well as representatives from the academic colleges, Administration Council, Lasallian Mission Council, Research Council, Academics Council, and University Fellows were part of the said procession.
The ceremony commenced with a Eucharistic celebration presided by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, and concelebrated by Archbishop Emeritus of Manila His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and other priests.
“Today’s event reminds us of the Lasallian leadership that continues to uphold the tradition of faith, service, and communion in mission, the four values espoused by our founder, St. John Baptist de la Salle,” spoke Br. Dennis Magbanua, Investiture Marshall for the event and also OIC President and Chancellor of DLSU before Br. Suplido’s appointment.
De La Salle Philippines President Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC read the citation for the outgoing president Br. Ricky Laguda FSC. The plaque was presented by Mr. Jose Pardo AFSC, Chair of the Board of Trustees (BOT).
Dr. Janairo was presented the Chancellor’s Medal by Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Carmelita Quebengco AFSC, DLSU’s first Chancellor, who served from 1995-2008. Afterwards, Br. Suplido was conferred the Presidential Medal and Presidential Mace by Br. Laguda and Mr. Pardo, respectively. Br. Suplido’s Oath of Office was administered by Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC from the Lasallian East Asia District.
In his inaugural address, Br. Suplido likened his term as President of DLSU to the biblical Parable of the Talents. “In [many ways], DLSU offers its talents to serve our Church and nation through its faculty, staff, students, and alumni,” he described.
“The authority of my office is for service, to tap, unleash, harness, and harmonize the talents and efforts of everyone towards the achievement of our common goals,” spoke Br. Suplido. “Authority and leadership is not necessarily having the right answers. More often, it is asking the right questions. Today, I dare to ask a lot of questions. The answers we will discern and pursue together.”
Br. Suplido was formerly the President and Chancellor of University of St. La Salle in Bacolod. Meanwhile, Dr. Janairo served as Dean of the College of Science from 2002-2012, where he is also a member of the Chemistry Department.
The BOT, with the participation of various sectors in the DLSU community, elected Br. Suplido as the new DLSU President in an official announcement released on January 7 this year. Br. Suplido assumed presidency on May 16.
Meanwhile, Dr. Janairo was appointed by Br. Suplido on June 9 through the recommendation of the Search Committee for Chancellor, chaired by Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Quebengco. She was assisted by BOT members Edgar Chua, Sr. Cora Manalo DC AFSC, former DLSU Presidents and Chancellors Br. Armin Luistro FSC, Br. Narciso Erguiza FSC, and Br. Ricardo Laguda FSC, and multi-sectoral representatives consulted during the nomination process. Dr. Janairo assumed his post on June 10.
For the past four years, DLSU has been operating under an integrated Office of the President and Chancellor. The last time there had been two individuals as President and Chancellor was in 2011, when Br. Laguda served as Chancellor during Br. Erguiza’s tenure as President.
Br. Suplido is hopeful that the revert to having different individuals for the positions will “make things work better.” In an interview with The LaSallian, he shared, “Because of the size of the University and the complexity of its operations, [it was decided] that it will be good to separate the President from the Chancellor.”
However, Br. Suplido explained that there should not be too much of a difference in operations following the separation. “If you have one person trying to do all, that’s more complicated. [The separation] should [address] that because we have two people,” he stated.