Culver City Edition Local News

Loyola Marymount presents Philippine president with honorary degree

WESTCHESTER — Philippine President Benigno Aquino received an honorary doctorate at Loyola Marymount University Feb. 17 in an invitation-only ceremony.

Aquino, who was elected in 2010 to a six-year term, was honored in recognition of “his dedication to his country, his integrity and his embodiment of a Jesuit education,” said Loyola Marymount University Communications and Media Director Celeste Durant.

He was given a doctor of humane letters degree in a ceremony at the university’s Life Sciences Building Auditorium.

“President Aquino represents precisely what we as educators mean about helping our students become women and men for and with others,” LMU President Timothy Law Snyder said. “His deep commitment to the Philippine people is a model from which each of us can learn.”

The fourth-generation politician is the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines and the only son of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino.

Aquino was in California to attend a summit grouping President Barack Obama and the leaders of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations at Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage Feb. 15 and 16.

Aquino reminisced about his days in school and how he learned about the importance of public service.

“The be-all and end-all of our existence here is: how does it lead to the bettering of the condition of others?” he said. “We were taught not just that this was the right thing to do, but also that it is a moral imperative.”

Mayor Eric Garcetti was among those attending the ceremony, noting the role Filipinos played among the original settlers of Los Angeles.

“This legacy of Filipinos, who have been here from the very beginning, who have enriched the city’s vibrant culture and have strengthened the politics and economy that we have here, has helped position Los Angeles as the creative crossroads of the world,” Garcetti said.