On September 28, 2021, the community officially welcomed Bro. Paterno Corpus, FMS, Ed.D., the 19th School Head and 12th President of the Notre Dame of Marbel University.
Held at the St. Marcellin Champagnat Hall, the Virtual Investiture Ceremony invited few important guests and was commemorated by the students, faculty members, and stakeholders through the Facebook live broadcast of NDMU.
The event officially started after the Eucharistic Celebration by Fr. Ariel Destora, the university chaplain. The Holy Mass honored this sacred day in NDMU.
Atty. Paisal D. Tanjili, Chair of NDMU Board of Trustees, opened the investiture ceremony by stressing the significance of the event in the university’s history.
Bro. Dominador Santiago, FMS virtually graced the event from Marikina to conduct the Investiture to Office. Bro. Santiago is the Provincial Superior of the Marist Brothers East Asia Province.
“In whatever you do, make Marist life your model,” Bro. Santiago said in his dedication to Bro. Corpus. “Jesus was the whole focus of Mary’s life; He is to be the focus of ours. Always act as she did with her discretion, sensitivity, and respect for each person.”
It was then followed by the administration of the Oath of Office by Hon. Felix F. Mesa, Regional Trial Court Judge, and the Conferring Blessing by Most Rev. Cirilo U. Casicas, Bishop of Diocese of Marbel.
The ceremony was also an opportunity for Bro. Corpus to elucidate the values and priorities he wants to foster during his leadership. He delivered his inaugural address filled with gratitude, insights, and vision amid the critical junctures in the community.
He declared his beliefs in human rights, environment, interfaith dialogues, and youth formation, and his commitment to promote them through guiding the stakeholders he is dealing with.
As to his leadership model, the new president emphasized the concepts of accountability, modeling, creativity, and teamwork to accomplish the goals of the whole institution. Being mindful of these virtues would allow NDMU to develop batches of students who are ethical leaders the world needs, he added.
Bro. Corpus prompted the societal issues that NDMU needs to resolve: ecological emergency, food production, health, globalization, and good governance, among others. He also reminded the viewers to be intentional and serious in the election period and vote for leaders in the local and national offices who share the same values with the university.
Most notably, he shared his ideas on how education in NDMU is supposed to be practiced. According to him, “More than just providing them skills and knowledge, I subscribe to education that builds character—character that expresses truth and respect of God, people, and God’s creation.
“The world is in constant change, and so are we. Therefore, we cannot just rely on past knowledge and theories. It is not bad to learn and use knowledge based on experiences and ideas of people in the past, but education should be able to help the new generation to adapt and to interact with emerging development in the society and the world in general.”
Welcoming the 12th President
The event was a remarkable day for the new president to get acquainted with the people he will work with. The student leaders, personnel representatives, administrators, friends, and agencies expressed their affirmation and congratulatory remarks to Bro. Corpus.
Dr. Nelia Alibin, the Commission on Higher Education XII Director, sent a video message to Bro. Corpus to proclaim her eagerness to collaborate with NDMU. According to Dr. Alibin, “NDMU should be an example of an HEI that is dynamic and conscious in promoting the academic pillars of quality instruction, research, and extension. Your programs and activities shall be relevant to your clientele, stakeholders, and the communities that you (Bro. Corpus) serve.”
Important personalities took their time to publicly greet Bro. Corpus, such as Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena; Department of Interior and Local Government XII Director Josephine Cabrido-Leysa; Department of Education SOCCSKSARGEN OIC Director Carlito Rocafort; Notre Dame Educational Association (NDEA) Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Dollete; Notre Dame of Dadiangas University President Bro. Manuel de Leon, FMS; Notre Dame University President Fr. Francis Efren C. Zabala, OMI, DMIN; and so on.
About Bro. Pat
Bro. Paterno Corpus, FMS, Ed.D. commenced as the current University President on July 1, 2021.
Aside from formerly serving as the President of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University from 2014 to 2021, Bro. Corpus has devoted his vocation and skills in teaching at several Marist schools around the region and leading Marist formation programs in the country.
Bro. Pat, as what his close friends call him, graduated from the Notre Dame of Marbel College, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education Major in Mathematics and Physics.
He continued his studies and obtained Master of Arts in Theological Studies in Ateneo de Manila University and Doctor of Education Major in Educational Management (with Distinction) in De La Salle University, Manila.
Bro. Pat preceded Br. Santiago and the late Bro. Wilfredo B. Lubrico, FMS.
With Bro. Pat’s enthusiasm to build on the vision of past university presidents and integrate his brand of leadership, the future of NDMU is beaming with great optimism in the days to come.