Eugene S. Acevedo, President and Chief Executive Office of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), donated Php2M of his family’s own personal money to the University’s R.I.S.E. campaign for its 75th Charter Anniversary.
He turned over the donation to University President Fr. Narciso A. Cellan, SVD, D.Comm. during an event dubbed “Diamond Conversations with Eugene S. Acevedo” at the SAFAD Creative Hub earlier today, October 1, 2022.
Acevedo graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. Physics degree from USC. Describing himself as a “free rider,” Acevedo’s university education was sponsored by a Department of Science and Technology scholarship. He also graduated as a Javier Nepomuceno scholar from the Asian Institute of Management.
“I had the best-of-class education, and USC invested in my leadership training looking for nothing in return,” said Acevedo. “Today is about repaying a long standing debt, with interest,” he added.
Acevedo’s wife, Cenia Natividad Lucas Acevedo, M.D., is also a Carolinian. She graduated magna cum laude to go with her B.S. Biology degree. She was equally enthusiastic when Acevedo shared his plan to contribute to the R.I.S.E. project, and they eventually chose to give to Physics over Biology, to which he quipped, “very rarely have I had my way.”
The Acevedos donated Php1.5M for a smart classroom in the Department of Physics, as well as Php500T towards a physics scholarship. “We give,” he said, “so that young people will continue to benefit from the USC experience.”
Narrating his journey from physics to banking, Acevedo credited his quantitative training which allowed him to join Citibank’s analytics division. He learned data science and his interest in programming was partially responsible for moving RCBC’s digital transformation. Under his leadership, RCBC was awarded as the best digital bank and best retail bank, and was upgraded by MSCI to a Double A (AA) ESG rating. Digital technology allowed RCBC to dispense Php20B of DSWD’s “ayuda” (aid) during the COVID-19 pandemic to sectors of society who needed it most.
He also described RCBC’s support for clean energy and effective transportation. The bank led the financing package that enabled the construction of the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), a project that also brings pride to the RCBC President.
“Social transformation is an advocacy,” Acevedo said, alluding to one of USC’s tenets, devotio.
Fr. Cellan, for his part, recalled his speech during the 75th Charter Anniversary launch, and spoke about how imagination and dreams can easily be overwhelmed by daily struggles and challenges. “When people like Eugene partners with us,” he said, “our imagination becomes richer.”Describing the event as a watershed moment, Fr. Cellan added, “We are not only doing this for today, but for future generations of Carolinians.”
by Patrick John Y. Lim, Ph.D.