‘Go forth and be true public servants’

August 26, 2014

Eighteen years after she worked on the creation of one of the country’s premiere institutions in leadership and public service, Hon. Henedina Razon-Abad returned to the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG). This time, ASoG’s founding dean gave the commencement address to the Class of 2014.
“This is an important milestone for the School, one we must rightly celebrate. For today, we do not only recognize our graduates and their achievements- we are also celebrating the School’s ability to stand on its own and more significantly, distinguish itself as a premiere institution in governance and public leadership,” Hon. Abad said.Hon. Henedina Razon-Abad, MPA  of the lone District of Batanes
Currently serving her second term as the congressional representative of the lone district of Batanes and one of the Deputy Speakers of the 16th Congress, Hon. Abad holds the ASoG close to her heart.  She was, after all, instrumental in developing ASoG from a departmental program to a full-fledged academic unit of the Ateneo de Manila University.
“The decision to create the school was a result of years of experience of the University in working with government, civic organizations and social movements in various capacities and in different arenas - as educator, trainer, policy advocate, or simply as a refuge for its graduates who are leaders in government and in civil society,” she said. Good governance, Hon. Abad added, is a “collective passion and endeavor of the University.”
The university is rooted in Ignatian spirituality and this, according to Hon. Abad, has steered the fruition of ASoG.
“We drew inspiration from the richness of our Ignatian tradition and pedagogy. We configured programs not only to inform our students and our partners- but to guide them to make informed choices- conscious, deliberate and responsible choices as the result of process of discernment-grounded on rigorous analyses linked to tested theories that guide responsible, effective and ethical decisions and actions,” Hon. Abad remarked.
“This what the ASoG aims to achieve- develop leaders for public service, whose actions are informed to be a vision greater than their self-interest, with a sense of courage, confidence and generosity of heart to make a difference in our society.”
Hon. Abad called on the class of 2014 to take the challenge and make things happen. The test now is how to translate the classroom learnings and insights into the real world.
ASOG Class of 2014
“I’d like to believe that you are here now- that you have completed your courses with passion and excellence- not out of caprice or coincidence but because you want to help create a better Philippines through public service. I trust that all of us here today desire pretty much the same thing:  a government that truly works for the benefit of the people.  What is before us is an unprecedented opportunity to learn, to inspire and to lead. My dear graduates, go forth now and be the true public servants, the inspiring leaders that events today have made it possible for you to be.”
ASoG held its commencement exercises at the Henry Lee Irwin Theatre.

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