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Goodbye For Now, But Not Farewell: AIM Celebrates Professor Jess Gallegos

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On the day of his retirement from AIM, the AIM community, alongside his family and friends, paid tribute to Professor Jess Gallegos for his almost four decades of unstinting and outstanding service.
 
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Professor Gallegos is not only widely respected for his erudition and expertise in business and management, but is beloved by students, colleagues, and staff. As Dean and COO of the Institute from 1995-2000, the school’s performance both in rankings and financial health was unparalleled, Asian crisis notwithstanding. Colleagues who gave testimonials described Prof. Gallegos as one who consistently demonstrates integrity in word and deed. As Prof. Maya Herrera said, “He would always ask, ‘What is the right thing to do?’ not what is the easiest, or what is best for the bottom line, but what is right.” He is, everyone acknowledged, a patient mentor, and someone who challenges you, as well as trusts you, to always do your utmost.
 
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In bidding his AIM family goodbye, Prof. Gallegos shared how chance and unplanned events open new doors. It was a series of chance encounters that led him to government service and ultimately to teaching. He also shared six key life lessons he holds dear: first, to be change-friendly and remain flexible; next, that people entrusted to one’s care are stewardships — and as a steward, you are responsible for making them better persons. His third life lesson: empowerment plus hard work works, but is not enough; luck and God’s grace are likewise needed. Fourth: walk the talk and take responsibility for your life. “Fight for the right,” he exhorted, “don’t belong to the wrong.” His fifth life lesson has to do with being positive and staying optimistic: “It is not your aptitude, but your attitude, that determines your altitude.” His sixth, and the most significant one, is that we all must live the absolutes. He asked, “Is our purpose in life to serve as an example to others, or as a warning to others?” He ended his short valedictory by reminding everyone that while it is important for us to do well and live well, we must also do good. 
 
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In keeping with their classmate’s mantra, MBM ’73 honored Prof. Gallegos’s retirement by presenting AIM President and Dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang with a cheque, once again donating a million pesos to their cherished alma mater.
 
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The evening was replete with shared memories and songs, as well as music from the 70s. Most importantly, it was an evening meant to celebrate a man who epitomizes the art of doing and living well by doing good.
 


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