CSU Confers its First Summa Cum Laude

CSU Confers its First Summa Cum Laude

Abzonie Reño delivered his valedictory speech on top of the pile of achievements during the 42nd Commencement Exercises of the Caraga State University as the first CSU student who graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Reño was one of the 1061 bachelor’s degree graduates who were conferred en masse with their respective academic degrees on May 30 and 31, 2019 by the presiding officer, University President Anthony M. Penaso, with Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and Hon. Sherwin Ting Gatchalian as guest of honors and commencement speakers. The university especially recognized 1 summa cum laude, 10 magna cum laude, 91 cum laude, and 20 academic leadership and co-curricular awardee graduates in 2019.

Reño inspired the audience with his story. He shared how he deferred his own dream of proceeding to college when he decided after high school to leave Butuan City for Metro Manila to find jobs to support his family. Determined to improve their living condition, Reño tried everything from being a houseboy to a janitor, to a factory worker, to a security guard, to a bakery worker, among other jobs to make ends meet. Although the pay was good, it was barely enough to support his family like he imagined.

Realizing that he could have found a better-paying job had he finished college, Reño finally decided to go back home and get a bachelor’s degree in 2015. He was able to find a scholarship to study BSED Mathematics at CSU. Already 23 years old then, he felt challenged to do his best because he was much older than his classmates. He also shared that he had only dreamed of going back to school to get a degree and never thought of graduating with the highest academic distinction.

Reño’s academic achievement and inspiring story became a trending topic on social media and was featured on national TV. His valediction included a thank you speech to all the significant individuals who helped him through his academic journey.

Reño is living proof that determination can be the fire in one’s belly to persist in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Due to financial conundrums, life had never been easy for Reño who waited for a long time to fulfill his dreams of finishing college, but he never gave up on his dreams even though it took him a while to find his way.

After graduating with a degree in teacher education, Reño is now preparing to take the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET). Through this, he can pursue his other dreams which is to inspire others and provide a better life for his family.

CSU has once again reached another milestone by producing a number of employable graduates who are competent and upright in the service of nation building and economic development. jgvb/pico

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