What had started as a rags-to-riches enterprise has resulted to a massive conglomerate that includes the fourth largest mall in the world and a total of 40 supermalls not only in the Philippines but also in China. Henry Sy Sr., the country’s Retail King and the original Taipan, has expanded his to more than just malls and supermarkets.
Henry Sy Sr. enrolled his children in exclusive schools to ensure that they’ll receive good education. He believes that it will help in the success of the family business. In a Time Asia Magazine interview with Sy’s only daughter Teresita Sy-Coson, the Sy children were barred from studying abroad for fear that the children might stray too far from the business.
All four sons finished their college degrees at DLSU. Henry Jr. (’74) and Herbert Sy (’79) took Business Management. The youngest son Harley Sy (’80) took Management of Financial Institutions while Hans Sy (’78) opted to finish a Mechanical Engineering degree.
Br. Ricky Laguda, chancellor of DLSU, says that the Sy family was invited to contribute to the Centennial Building project. Sy’s children being DLSU alumni may have prompted the Sy family’s dedication to the endeavor.
“The Sy family finds it fitting to honor their father who has provided them the opportunity [of] a Lasallian education by ensuring that DLSU continue to do the same for countless young men and women who desire to be of service to God and country,” Br. Ricky shares.
“They were more than willing to be part of the project because they believe in the Lasallian mission of providing quality education to the present and future generation of Lasallians,” Br. Ricky furthers.
Henry Sy Sr. is also connected to the University through his Honorary Doctorate in Business Management. DLSU awarded the business tycoon in 1999 for his outstanding achievements in the field of business.
The Sy family’s pledge to lend financial support and raise funds for the construction of the Henry Sy, Sr. Building is not the first time that the family invested in an educational institution.
Last May, the Henry Sy Foundation agreed to sponsor Xavier School Nuvali’s primary school building. Xavier School Nuvali is a co-educational school to be constructed in Sta Rosa, Laguna, with a program similar to that of the original Xavier School in San Juan City. All of Henry Sy Sr.’s sons also graduated from Xavier School.
Sy also owns 60 percent of the country’s first private non-sectarian school National University. The family seeks to overhaul the small campus and make it comparable to the standards of the four top universities in the country.