250 students to graduate from UOG on Sunday
The University of Guam will confer degrees to approximately 250 graduates at its Fanuchånan 2021 Commencement Ceremony this Sunday at the Calvo Field House.
The ceremony will be held in three segments by school to allow for social distancing and will be invitation-only events:
Making history among the degree recipients will be 12 graduates earning the first civil engineering degrees to be conferred by the university following the 2019 launch of its Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program.
“With our first-ever engineering graduates, who will start filling jobs in a highly in-demand sector of the region’s workforce, this commencement really embodies our 70th anniversary theme of Transforming Lives and Advancing Communities,” said UOG President Thomas W. Krise. “We’re so proud of all of our graduates and look forward to following their contributions and achievements across all industries.”
Speaking to the graduates from California for the commencement address will be Diosdado P. “Dado” Banatao, an engineer himself as well as a self-made entrepreneur, and venture capitalist who has come to be known as a visionary within Silicon Valley, the global center for high-tech innovations.
Banatao has ties to Guam through his father, Salvador, who worked overseas in Guam from the Philippines when Banatao was a child.
Banatao is credited with developing several semiconductor technologies, including the first graphics accelerator chip and the local bus concept that continue to be foundation technologies in every personal computer today.
He co-founded three technology startups — Mostron, Chips & Technologies, and S3 Inc. — which provided him a unique perspective in technology investments to later launch his own venture capital firm, Tallwood Venture Capital, which became a multimillion-dollar company. He invested in complex semiconductor technology solutions, including the first GPS chipset and the first noise-cancelling chip for mobile phones, among many others.
Banatao is known for his rags to riches story — the son of a rice farmer and a homemaker in Cagayan Valley in the Philippines, where he walked barefoot to elementary school. He earned his bachelor’s in electric engineering from the Mapúa Institute of Technology in the Philippines and then his master’s in electrical engineering and computer science from Stanford University after having immigrated to the United States for a design engineer job with Boeing.
Today, he holds numerous awards for his contributions to technological innovations, but also for his philanthropic contributions both in the United States and in the Philippines and was named “Benevolent Disruptor” on the cover of Forbes Philippines magazine.
“Mr. Banatao’s life was transformed through education, which then allowed him to transform the lives of others, both as an innovator and as a philanthropist,” Krise said. “We’re honored to have him be part of this special commencement and to share his inspirational story with our graduates.”
Tickets to attend the commencement ceremonies must be acquired through the graduates. Graduates are limited to two guests each. Pandemic safety protocols will be in place for the ceremonies, including required masks, temperature checks, and socially distanced seating.
For complete details on the commencement ceremony, visit the official Fanuchånan 2021 Commencement webpage.