George Ty receives honorary degree from UST

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Metrobank chairman George S.K. Ty has received many honorary doctorates from other countries, but being conferred a Doctor of Humanities honoris causa from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), his alma mater, is special to him.

In his acceptance speech, the 81-year-old Ty thanked school authorities. “I stand before you humbled and grateful for the honor you bestowed upon me today,” he said.

 Ty is the 75th person to receive an honorary degree from UST. His wife Mary and other members of the family witnessed the conferment.

He joins the roster of UST honoris causa recipients such as former Presidents Sergio Osmeña Sr., Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, Corazon Aquino, General Douglas McArthur and Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, among others.

Ty admitted that he was not a very good student because he had to drop out from his Commerce course at the age of 18 to help in his father Norberto Ty run the family business Wellington Flour Mills, which at that time supplied one fourth of the total requirements of the country.

But he said one of the greatest lessons he learned in life is the importance of education. His failure to get a college degree fueled his desire to make sure that his children would receive the best education he could provide.

While there are those who could afford to send their children to good schools, like the UST, he said there are instances when experience can become a person’s alternative teacher.

“Experience can be a very hard, very strict teacher. Sometimes, even cruel. But the lessons you will learn from experience, you will never forget.”

The conferment recognized Ty’s successful business ventures and his philanthropic works, spanning various fields such as education, arts and public service.

In 1979, he set up the company’s social arm, the Metrobank Foundation, and from it sprung charitable programs such as the Search for Outstanding Teachers, the Metrobank Art & Design Excellence for talented Filipino artists, The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers, The Country’s Outstanding Police Officers in Service, the Metrobank Foundation Professional Chairs program and the search for Journalists of the Year.

“I put up the Metrobank Foundation in 1979 based on my philosophy that whatever I spend for my personal and family needs and wants, I should be able to give the same or even more for charity since there are many who are needy.

“I likewise believe that as a successful financial institution, Metrobank has the responsibility to contribute to building our country.”

At the age of 29, Ty put up the Metrobank and in just 30 years succeeded in making it one of the strongest financial institutions in the country. Last year alone, he said Metrobank paid over P20 billion in taxes.

To those who are dreaming of becoming entrepreneurs someday, Ty shared some advice. “If you go into business, there is nothing more important than trust.”

“Like all good things, trust is not given. It must be earned. You must make sure to deliver on your promises. Pay your debts and you borrow what you can pay. You keep your word. You stay honest, and avoid scandal and shame. In other words, be a businessman with honor.”

They should also be law-abiding citizens.

If others trust a businessman, likewise a businessman must also look for people that he can trust. In the Metrobank Group, he treats his employees like friends because of the dedicated hard work they do for him and for the company.

Lastly, he said one must never lose hope.

“I suppose you could say that I made a deposit in my own bank – an investment of hope, an investment withstanding the test of time, an investment that will never be withdrawn. That is my legacy to the nation and to the future, and I am trusting you all to take good care of it,” he said.



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with