HARI Foundation, Inc. (HFI) Chairman Richard L. Lee paid tribute to his Lasallian roots and affirmed his personal advocacy for innovation in the sciences with the launch of the Richard L. Lee Engineering and Technology Block.
The latest addition to the 50-hectare De La Salle University (DLSU) Campus in Laguna is set to realize its donor’s desire to be a premier innovation hub that bridges scientific research with business, and a seedbed for leaders committed to spread and nurture the Lasallian values of Religio, Mores, Cultura (faith, good conduct, and love for country) in the 21st century and beyond. Envisioned to enhance DLSU’s reputation as a Commission on Higher Education (CHED) “Center of Excellence,” the technology block will serve the country’s network of La Salle schools and over 50 other Metro Manila colleges and universities that have access to La Salle as a CHED Zonal Research Center.
DLSU was recently proclaimed as the only private university in the Philippines to make it to the 2019 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for outstanding research-intensive universities. Said rank puts DLSU in the top 3% of more than 22,000 higher education institutions in the world.
During the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Lee, a proud “primus” or first graduate of La Salle Greenhills, expressed delight that his dream to give back to his alma mater in a meaningful way is now a reality: “It is an honor to provide a new institution of learning to De La Salle University’s Laguna Campus. This is a place where minds will be sharpened, challenged to think critically, solve problems, and innovate…The Engineering and Technology Block now stands as a living commitment to produce generations of Lasallians rich in knowledge and skills, but even richer in heart, putting their energy, talents, ambitions, and ideas to bring more greatness to our nation.”
In response, DLSU President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC said, “(Four years ago), there was nothing here except a dream to have a place where research and education will find a home—a very modest Silicone Valley. We needed pathfinders and Richard Lee was very eager to be a pathfinder. The Laguna Campus is the future of De La Salle University, where new programs will be offered and respond to the challenges of the 21st century.
In attendance at the inauguration were DLSU partners, luminaries from business, technology, education, and the diplomatic community.
A highlight of the inaugural ceremony was the symbolic turnover of the “Innovation Bell” by artist Pete Jimenez, Jr. The turnover of this commissioned artwork signaled the establishment of a tradition to honor the great minds that will be passing through the halls, explained Mr. Lee. “Every time a brilliant idea, great or small, proceeds from these walls, the entire academic body celebrates with the ringing of this bell.”
The Richard L. Lee Engineering and Technology Block is expected to enhance and broaden the applied learning experience of the academic community. It will house engineering programs in all fields. Ongoing programs include research in computer science, alternative and renewable energy sources, and road traffic management.