A Vision Continued

Post by Jerwin M. Lasin | Date: 9/9/2011 11:36:22 AM

DLSU-Main Campus high school 1956 produced some of DLSU's earlier basketball icons in Kurt Bachmann, Honorato Cruz, Dominador Sevillano, and Rene Wassmer. It also graduated future government leaders like Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. and Jose Pardo. One member, Rafael Donato, however, pursued a different calling and joined the Christian Brothers. Br. Donato ultimately served as Brother Visitor from 1983 to 1990 and president of DLSU-Manila from 1991 to 1994 immediately prior to his presidency of De La Salle Lipa for eight years. He is credited for the expansion of DLS Lipa and made it the premier academic institution in Southern Tagalog. He made such a difference that he was adopted son of the city in 1996 and, after his tenure, was honored with the title president emeritus.

In 1988, two years into the post-Marcos regime of Corazon Aquino, some class members of the class heeded their Brother Visitor's classmate's call to give a chance to underprivileged high school graduates to study in a La Salle college and incorporated the Foundation for La Sallian Education.

The Foundation's beginnings were modest and its initial scholars were students who were mentored by volunteer professors in the night college at DLSU-Manila. These were followed by scholars at the College of St. Benilde . The Foundation became dormant until 1998 when Br. Donato, then president of DLS Lipa, invited 10 Lasallians to embrace a new scholarship model which was implemented the following school year, 1999-2000. The scholarship formula was unique in its simplicity and personal in its approach. The conditions for sponsorship were simple:

DLS Lipa's Lasallian Assistance Management Program (LAMP) seeks, evaluates, and processes 10 underprivileged honor high school graduates in Batangas. These are matched to 10 sponsors who each commits to pay for the full tuition and selected expenses of his scholar in any four-year baccalaureate course in DLS Lipa. (In order to keep the sponsor number manageable, FSLE's Board of Trustees specified a limit of only 10 scholars per school year.)
Immediately for the next year, the sponsor nominates at least one person who will subscribe to do the same as in number 1, thus perpetuating the program.
After a scholar graduates in four years, his sponsor helps him either look for a job or gives him one.
This approach is fundamentally different than donating to a typical scholarship endowment fund of La Salle . Under the traditional approach, some P2.9 million with an estimated annual high yield today of some 7% would be needed to underwrite one scholar for four years. If FSLE had adopted this approach, it would have been able to pay for only one scholar from 2003 to 2007. In addition, an endowment fund is impersonal: the sponsor does not know his scholar, whereas under the FSLE method, each sponsor is assigned one scholar with whom he communicates over the years. In short, FSLE's sponsors know their scholars by name and monitor their academic – and personal – progress.

Shortly before his untimely death in November, 2006, Br. Donato, who was by then Auxiliary Brother Visitor and President of De La Salle Araneta University, intimated that with his transfer to Manila , he could no longer oversee the Foundation's scholars in Batangas. He expressed his desire to end all scholarships upon graduation of the last batch. Br. Donato's sister, Mrs. Salud de Castro, and her daughter, Mrs. Caress Banson, decided to perpetuate Br. Donato's legacy and continued the Foundation scholarships. The two stepped in as chair and president, respectively.

FSLE by then had graduated 23 students who are all gainfully employed.