During the recent graduation rites held at the Izod Center in Teaneck, New Jersey, Tan was cited for keeping a high degree of professionalism in business, remaining committed to education, providing jobs to the unemployed and having a soft heart for the needy.
Tan, founder of the Foundation for Upgrading the Standard of Education (FUSE), one of the beneficiaries of the Tan Yan Kee Foundation, was accompanied by his wife Carmen and a small entourage.
“Achievements only become extraordinary when they are shared and make a positive impact on the lives of others,” Dr. Tan said shortly after receiving the honorary degree from FDU president J. Michael Adams and university provost Joseph Kiernan.
The US institution described the University of the East as one of the business tycoon’s “greatest treasures” and the Tan-owned Philippine Airlines “a national icon of Filipino hospitality, service and safety.”
Dr. Tan told the graduates and the FDU community that the foundations he had established in the Philippines were more oriented to the development and growth of the country’s educational system as knowledge “is a great equalizer.” He added: “ While our contributions are merely a ‘drop in the bucket,’ so to speak, we are doing our best to help lift our countrymen out of poverty.”
After the ceremonies, FDU officials and the Filipino-Chinese community hosted a dinner for Dr. Tan, wife Carmen and the couple’s entourage in the Rutherford Room of the university’s Metropolitan campus.
In his brief remarks, Dr. Tan hoped FDU and the Filipino-Chinese community, led by cousin Dr. Alfredo Tan, in New Jersey “can work together in molding students to become enlightened and socially responsible citizens.”
Earlier, the group attended a dinner hosted by Adams and his wife on the eve of the commencement exercise.