First published in the August 17, 2008 issue of Mindanao Scoop.
Several years ago an avid web surfer from New York, USA saw an address appear on his screen “9200 Iligan City.” Out of curiosity Robert Schappert was intrigued as to where in the world Iligan City was and what may be there.
Web searching on popular web search engines brought a flood of information about Iligan with a high percentage of pictures, videos and text information put up by the people of Iligan. Mr. Schappert commented “Internet postings originated by Iliganons give more of a true picture of Iligan than could ever be attained by reading travel books and commercial websites. ” The most useful websites he found are Mindanao.Com, Skyscrapercity.com, Iligan.gov.ph and youtube.com. There are many more but these continually inform the viewer as to the latest news and events in addition to good background information.
Along the way, Mr. Schappert made some good friends and acquaintances on various internet chat channels and interactive websites which also proved to be good sources of information about Iligan City.
Mr. Schappert further commented, “One of the earliest websites I found in Iligan City was that of MSU-IIT which seemed to be a focal point of the city in many respects. It gave me the opportunity to learn of the quality of higher education that is available in the Philippines.”
“It appeared Iligan City had such a variety of things that caught my interest, and finally decided to come and visit to see so much of what I had learned about it on the internet come to life right in front of me. I had never been to the Philippines before and I felt Iligan City would be an excellent representation of what this part of the world is all about.”
Mr. Schappert actually came to Iligan earlier this year and in addition to seeing many of the popular sites and attractions Iligan City has to offer, he spent half a day touring MSU-IIT. Twelve students and alumni of the University were his tour guides.
Being of a technical nature himself, Mr. Schappert commented, “I can really appreciate the level and expertise of education and training for today’s technical and commercial trade careers being offered here.” What interested Mr. Schappert were the IT, Electronics, Automation, and Air Conditioning & Refrigeration undergraduate courses. He enjoyed many conversations with faculty and staff as well as some of the students.
As Mr. Schappert sponsors Scholarships at Western Connecticut State University, not far from where he lives in the USA, his impression of MSU-IIT prompted him to create an International Scholarship here at MSU-IIT.
Mr. Schappert commented, “As so many MSU-IIT graduates gain employment not only in Iligan City and The Philippines but throughout the entire world, the results of my scholarship donation could make great things happen here, there or anywhere!”
“Many people are not aware that almost anyone individually or as a group effort may create and fund a scholarship at a university of their choice. Scholarships may be customized to the desire of the scholarship creator to meet their specifications and requirements of which there can be many. In addition to financially assisting a student, being awarded a scholarship is a way of recognition of achievement by the student to qualify for Scholarship assistance.”
“I am in hope that in creating this International Scholarship at MSU-IIT, it may inspire potential domestic and foreign employers of future MSU-IIT graduates by establishing a scholarship at this university of excellence, they can pre-invest in their future employees. I consider this not only an investment in the future of Iliganons but an investment in the world of tomorrow.”
Mr. Schappert was very impressed with everything he viewed at MSU-IIT and that included the entire campus and all of the buildings, “You just can not experience a place like this from pictures, text or videos, although they can be a good start.” [As told to Irma S. Boza]