By Francis Ivan G. Ho
With a cumulative grade point average of 1.2 or 93%, Bachelor of Science in Mathematics graduate Henzel Mae Ymbol made a record-breaking feat after being hailed as Negros Oriental State University’s first-ever Summa Cum Laude during the university’s 54th Commencement Exercises last March 23.
Twenty-year-old Henzel Mae Ymbol is a scholar of the United Coconut Planters Bank–Coconut Industry Investment Fund (UCPB–CIIF). Ymbol is the first ever graduate who achieved the summa cum laude award in the history of NORSU and in UCPB–CIIF.
NORSU President Henry A. Sojor told the The NORSUnian (TN) that he was glad with the achievement of Ymbol as the ‘record-breaker’ in the university’s history. He added that if someone will gain such recognition, he/she will lead a way for aspiring students.
“Because someone broke the record, soon enough, [more] Norsunians will follow,” the university president disclosed.
Ymbol, being the NORSU graduate who first achieved the summa cum laude award, also received the Medal of Excellence from UCPB-CIIF Foundation, Medal for Leadership Award from Senator Aquilino Pimental III and the Medal of Excellence from Senator Manny Villar and former Finance Secretary Margarito “Gary” Teves.
“Your advocacy for excellence has guided her [Miss Ymbol] to strive for the highest academic performance as well as hone her leadership skills,” said UCPB-CIIF President Edgardo Amistad in a letter to the university president.
Edgardo also expressed his admiration for what Ymbol has done and recognized her as the first UCPB-CIIF scholar to gain the highest award among the 385 UCPB–CIIF scholars from the different universities in the country since 2004.
Meanwhile, Ymbol in an interview with TN, expressed her happiness about the recognition. "I am happy with the awards I have received…it was a mixture of feelings actually. I am even afraid because there's a bigger responsibility I have to shoulder. I'll be representing and carrying the flag of NORSU, and I have to live up with the expectations of the people," she said.
Ymbol also thanked her scholarship [UCPB-CIIF] for letting her avail of a free college education that her parents could not afford.
"We were classmates before. She is very quiet but answers questions well," said Katherine Villocillo, a fresh graduate of Bachelor of Science in Technological Education.
Furthermore, Rojan Talita, a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy student said, "I hope that she can achieve what she opt for."
Ymbol’s achievement solicited national attention and that several leading newspapers in the Philippines published articles about her ‘record-breaking’ performance.