The University of Guam bestowed its first ever President’s Medal award to Tan Holdings president and CEO Jerry Tan during the UOG Athletic Scholarship Signing and Alumni Luncheon last Friday at Hyatt Regency Saipan.
UOG president Dr. Thomas Krise, who presented Tan with the medal, said that Tan is a “real role model” for someone who is fulfilling the university’s mission statement, which is “Na, Deskubre, Setbe” (To Enlighten, to Discover, to Serve).
“[It’s the] highest award that the president of the university can give and for people who really demonstrated enthusiasm for the mission of the university. It’s for people like Jerry who touched so many aspects of this community. In this case it’s scholarships, sports, higher education, the economy, and keeping our brains in the CNMI and in the region,” said Krise.
He also clarified that the award is not meant for UOG alumni only as it can be awarded to anyone.
“This is our 70th year, our platinum jubilee. So we decided to institute a new award that’s called the President’s Medal. This award is given to people in our community that demonstrate a particular commitment to our mission,” he said.
He said Tan has been a supporter of the university for a very long time and is one of the most prominent people in the entire region. “Tan Holdings is a family company that is engaged throughout the region as one of the few organizations that actually thinks of the whole Micronesian region as a region,” he added.
Tan, who graduated from UOG in 1983, said that education is important to his family, especially to his father, Tan Siu Lin.
“I graduated and took advantage of the education I received and did my best in my life for our region. For my father, education is the most important area of charity. He continues to do a lot of charity work in Hong Kong where he lives and in other countries as well,” Tan said.
He added that UOG has a very special place in their family’s hearts as he and his siblings are all alumni. “Many people don’t actually know that all my siblings went to University of Guam because the timeline when we moved to Guam as an immigrant we were all going to school at that time. So, everyone of us graduated from the University of Guam,” he said.
Tan said that, while he’s pretty much flattered being the first recipient of the UOG President’s Medal, the occasion last Friday was intended more to celebrate the signing of five CNMI student-athletes who will continue their journey at the school he graduated from. (See story on Page 20)
“It’s very special for me today other than being recognized today. Thank you very much, Dr. Krise and UOG, but at the same time I’m very, very happy to be here to be part of this ceremony,” he added.