Emeritus Professor Honors for Dr. Fabian M.Dayrit

July 08, 2019

In an academic and research career spanning more than three decades, Dr. Fabian Antonio “Toby” Dayrit  (GS’67, HS’71, BS Chemistry’ 75) has served the nation through his intellect, vision, and commitment in the field of science. On June 28, upon the recommendation of the Committee on Faculty Rank and Permanent Appointment and the approval of the Board of Trustees, the Loyola Schools conferred upon him the rank of Professor Emeritus.

The Loyola Schools confers upon Dr. Fabian M. Dayrit the rank of Professor Emeritus.
 

“Toby’s academic and professional achievements are extensive and truly worthy of the respect and esteem with which he is held in the academic and scientific communities,” said University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ during the conferment ceremony.  
 
Dayrit’s numerous contributions to science and technology, Villarin said, “reflect the depth of his love for and commitment to this country and to science. We honor Toby with the title that he will hold for the rest of his life. But it is just a molecule compared to the honor he has brought to us, our university, and our country through his vocation, through his mission.”

The newly minted Professor Emeritus with Dr. Maria Luz Vilches (Vice President for the Loyola Schools) and  University President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ.

After graduating cum laude at the Ateneo, Dayrit honed his expertise in organometallic chemistry at Princeton University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Oxford University. Upon his return to the country, he focused on natural products and was instrumental in making medicinal plants become accessible to the public. For example, those who have used lagundi as cough medicine have benefited from his research. His chemical analyses have been instrumental in things that mattered: from detergents in waterways to food safety for soy sauce to quality standards for virgin coconut oil, among others.

Another of Dayrit’s key projects was Project Blue Sky, requiring emission testing for all vehicles entering the Ateneo campus. Realizing its benefits, the government began integrating nationwide emissions testing for motor-vehicle recognition.
 
“For every year when our vehicles on campus go through emission testing, let us remember that it began with Project Blue Sky,” said Dr. Maria Luz C. Vilches, Vice President for the Loyola Schools.
 
Since 1996, Dayrit has led the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines. Under his leadership, the Chemistry Profession Act was enacted, regulating professional practice in the country.
 
He has received many awards and honors for his contribution to science. In 2009, Dayrit was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology, serving as its Vice President from February 2016 to February 2019.
For years, Dayrit has taught at the Loyola Schools, guiding and mentoring generations of Ateneo students. He used his experience to help students understand how science and technology could address some of the country’s pressing social concerns.  

In his response, Dayrit expressed gratitude to the University, whose eco-system, he said “made the time go by so quickly.”

Dr. Dayrit with Ateneo administrators and his family.

“Having the passion to do something meaningful is a gift and having the passion that is sustained over many years is an even greater gift,” he said. These passions, Dayrit added, have become his advocacies and challenges.
“Many people, once they lose their passion, they retire. The best thing or maybe the worst thing that one can do is to retire from learning. Being in a university is a good place to be.”

The Conferment Ceremony was attended by Dayrit's family, friends, and colleagues from the Ateneo and various other institutions.