Chicago, 25 November 2022 – The Philippine Consulate General in Chicago (Chicago PCG) signed the Deed of Donation with the University of Michigan (U-M) for the PHL Studies Program on 22 November 2022 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Consul General J. Susana V. Paez, on behalf of the PHL Government, and Mr. Thomas Baird, U-M’s Vice President for Development, signed the agreement.
Held at the University’s Hatcher Library, the ceremony was witnessed by Chicago PCG and U-M officials and representatives. The agreement is relative to the PHL Government’s grant of Php 5 million to the U-M for PHL-related research on relevant topics, the procurement of Filipiniana materials and the conduct of academic exchanges, among others, under the Congressional Initiative for PHL Studies, championed by Senator Loren Legarda.
In her remarks, Consul General Paez mentioned that the grant will be able to assist the University in further enhancing PHL-related programs offered by its Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and also its library’s Philippines collection. She expressed confidence that, like other University-grantees in different parts of the globe, the U-M will be successful in promoting a greater understanding of PHL history, culture and society among its students and other stakeholders.
Consul Melvin Almonguera read Senator Legarda’s message for the occasion, which gave a backgrounder on the PHL Studies Program since 2017. The senator’s message also noted, “The Philippine Studies Program at the University of Michigan will highlight the relevance of the academe in enhancing our countries’ relations and opening opportunities for more collaboration in various fields,” while boosting the rich historical ties between the Philippines and the US.
In his closing remarks, U-M’s Mr. Thomas Baird reiterated the University’s appreciation for the donation, marking a new chapter of relations between the PHL Government and the University. He pledged that, with the initiative, meaningful academic exchanges will be conducted with prestigious higher education institutions in the PHL.
Promoting PHL studies is not a novel undertaking for the U-M. Its CSEAS is reputed as one of the largest programs on Southeast Asian Studies in the US and its library’s PHL collection is known as one of the most extensive in this part of the globe. Filipino public historian, academic, journalist, and author Professor Ambeth R. Ocampo will be the first Visiting Professor. END