The alma mater celebrated its 50th anniversary Gala Evening in style at the Shangri-la Grand Ballroom last November 22, 2018. No less than Nobel Laureate Prof. Dan Schechtman came to deliver the keynote address. Alumni made sure not to miss this important milestone in AIM’s history and came in force to celebrate and support our beloved alma mater. Government and industry leaders, donors and friends of AIM also came to take part in the joyous celebrations.
Deserving special mention is Ralph “Bud” Sorenson, one of the surviving founders of the Institute. Together with Mark Fuller, son of Stephen Fuller, also one of the founders and the first president of AIM, both flew in from the US to grace this special occasion.
Former AIM President Edilberto “DJ” de Jesus started the evening’s program with an interfaith invocation to offer thanks to the Almighty for the providential founding of AIM and all the achievements that have come to pass in its 50 years of existence, as embodied by the alumni. He also offered a prayer for the board, faculty and staff to faithfully steer the Institute towards its chosen destination.
Mr. Peter Garrucho, OBE, current chairman of the AIM Board of Governors and Trustees, delivered the welcome remarks. He thanked the founders, former presidents, donors, governors and trustees, alumni and faculty for all their contributions to the Institute.
Whereas a one-size-fits-all strategy enabled AIM to become a leading business school in the past, today’s world demands more specialization and focus. He cited AIM’s new School for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (SITE) which offers cutting-edge programs like the Master in Science, Innovation and Business (MSIB) and Master of Science in Data Science (MSDS) as examples of AIM’s continuing role as a trailblazer in management education. Ditto with the soon to be launched Executive Master in Disaster Risk and Crisis Management (EMDRCM) under the Zuellig School of Development Management.
Clearly, AIM sees the challenges of a changing environment and keeps a step ahead to prepare its graduates for the new roles they will be playing in this new milieu. He also singled out AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang for AIM’s new direction and for putting the Institute back on the map.
For her part, AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang, thanked all of the AIM supporters for coming out in full despite the event coinciding with Thanksgiving.She made sure to let everyone know the evening is all about celebrating and thanksgiving, for all who made AIM possible and for those who continue to provide unqualified support for its continued success.
She also thanked the faculty who continue to be the lifeblood of the Institute, especially the pioneering professors who made the case teaching method a point of pride for the school. She thanked alumniwhose achievements bring glory to AIM and who are the school’s crowning ambassadors to the world.
Finally, she offered a toast for AIM, that it moves onwards, forward and upwards as it continues to lead, inspire and transform Asian businesses and societies.
AIM Board of Trustee Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, Nobel winner Prof. Dan Schechtman. Prof. Schechtmanpioneered a course on technological entrepreneurship at the Technion University in Israel. To-date, it holds the record for being the most attended course ever. In his address, Prof. Schechtman emphasized that in any country, the most important resource is human intellectual capital and that education is the most crucial job of the state. He outlined how Israel was able to use its many disadvantages in location, resources, etc to spur technological innovation that the country is renowned for.
Until his retirement, he taught the thousands who enrolled in his course to become technopreneurs.Ultimately, he convinced them that it is alright to fail because when one fails, he gains valuable experience which he can use to prevent his next venture from suffering the same fate. As a result, 25% of his students eventually ended up establishing their own tech businesses which contributed to the rapid development of the country’s economy.
A heartwarming video message was delivered by current Dean of the Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria. In offering his best wishes to the Institute in its golden anniversary, Dean Nohria also expressed Harvard’s pride and admiration for what AIM has become and all that it has accomplished as a leading Institute in Asia. He remarked on Harvard’s and AIM’s shared mission of developing leaders who will make a positive difference in the world, especially at this time when good leadership is much needed. With fondness, he wished AIM the best for the next 50 years and beyond, with a gentle reminder to make use of the occasion for the Institute to reflect and think about what lies ahead, to make an even bigger impact in producing great leaders for years to come.
One of the highlights of the evening was the launching of AIM’s first ever coffee table book. Titled “Celebrating and Advancing Management Excellence”, the book is a commemoration of AIM’s 50 years of academic excellence, trailblazing world-class management education in Asia and producing countless captains of industry, government and development leaders and successful entrepreneurs that have positively impacted Asian businesses and societies.
It is also an affirmation of the important role the Institute will play in the next 50 years and beyond with new curricula and program offerings, reflecting the fast changing world in the era of Industry 4.0. The book outlines the innovations and fresh direction that will ensure AIM’s relevance and leadership role well into the future.
In looking ahead, the book also traces AIM’s glorious past, from its founding to becoming a leading management school in the region. By reliving the past, faculty who became legends of our time, as well as the venerable case method of teaching are highlighted. Not to be missed are alumni achievers who have made the Institute proud and personify the kind of excellence inculcated to every student inside the caseroom.
AIM would not have happened if not for the dedication of an international cast of visionaries who dreamed of establishing the best graduate school outside of the United States of America, and the commitment and perseverance to make it a reality. Our founding fathers proved that rivalry and egos can be cast aside, if only to create what is best for the country and the region. And so, it was but proper to show AIM’s appreciation once again to the founding fathers of the Institute:\
- H. Gabriel Connon, FSC
- Don Eugenio H. Lopez, Sr.
- Ralph Z. Sorenson
- Don Jaime Zobel de Ayala
- Washington Z. SyCip
- James F. Donelan, SJ
- Stephen H. Fuller
- Aurelio Montinola, Jr.
- Roberto V. Ongpin
- Paul Hebert, FSC
Another highlight of the program was the awarding of trophies of appreciation for alumni and corporate partners who have continually supported AIM through the years. In keeping with the theme of the night, 25 alumni and an equal number of corporate donors were honored. The alumni awardees are:
- Class of MBM 1971
- Class of MBM 1972
- Class of MBM 1973
- Class of MBM 1974
- Class of MBM 1977
- Class of MBM 1979
- Class of MBM 1990
- Class of MBM 1995
- Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., EDD-DFA-HOP-2012
- de Claro, MBM 1973
- Euh Yoon Dae, MBM 1973
- Q. Hwang, MBM 1974
- Hyun Oh Cho, MBM 1985
- Winston L. Kawsek, MBM 1980
- Renny Yeo Ah Kiang, MM 1981
- Jose Ma. K. Lim, MBM 1978
- Edgardo L. Limon, MBM 1974
- Mendoza, MBM 1984
- Napoleon L. Nazareno, MBM 1973
- Philip K. Ng, MBM 1980
- Ricardo S. Pascua, MBM 1971
- Joe Y. C. Tam, MM 1980
- Alex F. Tanwangco, MBM 1973
- Marlon P. Young, MBM 1979
- Donor prefers to remain anonymous
The following corporations were given trophies of appreciation for being generous partners of AIM:
- Arthur Andersen LLP
- Ayala Corporation
- Far East Bank & Trust Company
- First Pacific Group
- Ford Foundation
- Intel Corporation
- Jesus V. del Rosario Foundation, Inc.
- Jollibee Foods Corporation
- Lopez Holdings Corporation
- Marilag Corporation
- Megaworld Corporation
- Merje Trading, Inc.
- TeaM Energy Corporation
- Optimax Management Services Pte. Ltd.
- Phinma Corporation
- Republic of China w/ USI Fareast Corp., Great Electronics Corp, China Steel Corp. and ACER
- Sn Miguel Corporation
- San Pablo Manufacturing Corporation
- Security Bank
- SGV and Company
- SM Investments Corporation
- The Starr Foundation
- Washington SyCip and the Washington SyCip Family Foundation
- Zuellig Family Foundation
Last but not least, three distinguished professors were celebrated as alumni’s most Favorite Professors. These professors received the most number of online votes by alumni. Comments like genius, inspiring, guru and other heartwarming adjectives accompanied the votes. In the end, these three professors garnered the most votes:
- Eduardo A. Morato, Jr.
- Richard L. Cruz
- Jesus G. Gallegos, Jr.
Their announcement as favorite professors was met with resounding approval by the audience, cementing their place in the annals of AIM faculty as the first ever officially recognized favorite professors of AIM.
After another round of world-class performances by internationally acclaimed artists like Robert Sena, Isay Alvarez and the UP Singing Ambassadors, the curtains came down on a most memorable night of celebration and thanksgiving for the fifty years of our beloved alma mater and a jubilant toast to the next fifty years and beyond.
words by Bernardino Jiao