15 November 2009

The University of the Philippines confers the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa on Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn

The Philippines’ National University, the University of the Philippines, will confer the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa upon Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on November 17, 2009 at UP Los Baños for her achievements as a global leader in sustainable rural and agricultural development and in promoting education and science to improve the lives of farming communities in Asia and the world.

Following the footsteps of her father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, she has been promoting the interest of resource-poor farmers in Asia. Through the conferment of the degree, UP recognizes the Princess’s support for research in natural resource management and agricultural science, for the rural development projects of the King as Chair of the Chaipattana Foundation, and for her initiatives in conserving the plant genetic resources of Thailand.

UP also cites the Princess’s involvement in philanthropic organizations and foundations that support education, child nutrition, and the dissemination of knowledge. Her Royal Highness led the establishment of commemorative public libraries in towns and cities in Thailand, the institution of a National Iron Deficiency Disorder Control Program, and the use of remote sensing in natural resource surveys.

Princess Sirindhorn has worked to build educational and academic cooperation with other countries such as China, and is an eminent advocate and supporter of non-profit institutions engaged in research and development, such as the UP Los Baños-based International Rice Research Institute.

Princess Sirindhorn was a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1991. Her honorary degree from UP will be the first from a Philippine university. She had received honorary degrees in Veterinary Medicine, Environmental Science, Regional Development Strategies, Humane Letters, Public Health, Information Technology, Pharmacy, Botany, Agriculture, and Geography, among others from other universities in Thailand, China and Australia, such as Chulalongkorn, Thammasat, Chiang Mai, Beijing and Queensland.

The conferment ceremony, hosted by UPLB Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco, will be held at the Narra Hall of the Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, UPLB, starting at 8:30 a.m. The UP Board of Regents, the highest governing body of the University, co-chaired by UP President Emerlinda Roman and Commission on Higher Education Chair Emmanuel Angeles, will confer the degree on the popular and well-loved princess. (Jo Florendo Lontoc, UP SIO)

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