The Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), led by Thomasians Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong and wife Grace Ang Tan Caktiong, is an important support to UST’s bid to become a major player in research and innovation and university-based entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia.
Dr. Tan Caktiong holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the UST Faculty of Engineering, which he obtained in 1975. He also received a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, from the University. Meanwhile, Mrs. Grace Ang Tan Caktiong finished her secondary education at the UST High School and obtained her BS in Chemical Engineering degree, also in 1975, at the UST Faculty of Engineering, cum laude.
In a meeting on September 14, 2022 between the officials of the JGF and UST administrators, Prof. Philipina A. Marcelo, Ph.D. presented how the JGF-donated building will be “a venue to support the research and innovation agenda of the University by forging and sustaining long-term partnerships with industry and other external stakeholders through research commercialization, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” The structure is named after the founder of the Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee Foods Corporation.
The target niche interdisciplinary research areas for UST-Sta. Rosa are health and well-being, food security and safety, environmental sustainability, energy, information and communications, and material sciences.
“The long-term operational and sustainability plan for UST-Sta. Rosa involves three phases, namely, capacity-building, rapid growth, and sustained growth and expansion,” Marcelo explained. “The UST-Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center (UST-TTCIC) will promote synergy between the University and external stakeholders to achieve the target outcomes for this plan.” Marcelo, who now serves as the Assistant to the Rector for UST Sta. Rosa, said that this initial roadmap would span 15 years.
JGF executive director Ma. Gisela Tiongson attended the meeting held at the Rector’s Hall at the UST Main Building. She was joined by Jenice Estrada, Caleb Uy, and Arnel Dalisay.
University officials were led by the Father Rector, the Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D. Other officials present included Vice Rectors Rev. Fr. Roberto L. Luanzon, Jr., O.P., and Rev. Fr. Jannel N. Abogado, O.P.; office directors Rev. Fr. Maximo P. Gatela, O.P., and Rev. Fr. Dexter A. Austria, O.P.,; Assistant to the Rector for UST Sta. Rosa Prof. Philipina A. Marcelo, Ph.D., and Assistant to the Rector for UST General Santos Prof. Maribel G. Nonato, Ph.D.; TOMASInno officers Engr. Raymond A. Marquez and Prof. Michael Francis D. Benjamin, Ph.D.; Facilities and Management Office Assistant Director Engr. Albert S. Surla; Executive Assistants Assoc. Prof. Michael Jorge N. Peralta and Mr. Levine Andro H. Lao; and UST Research and Endowment Foundation, Inc. officer Mr. Cristian L. Naval.
In addition to the support already extended to UST, JGF also committed to fully sponsor four deserving scholars, who are studying at the UST Senior High School.