Central Philippine University

By Mikee Natinga Norico

Words of wisdom from a Summa Cum Laude graduate: Riley Buep delivers his inspirational speech at CPU’s commencement ceremony.

Riley A. Beup wasn’t just another name on the list of graduates during Central Philippine University’s 96th Commencement Exercises for University Colleges last June 23. The 21-year-old Bachelor of Science in Biology (Pre-Med) student from Roxas City, Capiz, stood out as the sole Summa Cum Laude awardee for the entire academic year 2024.

But Riley’s achievements go beyond academic excellence. His speech during the ceremony resonated with a message that transcended deadlines and awards. He reminded his fellow graduates that “life is not all about deadlines, achievements, or awards.” He emphasized the importance of treasuring the time spent with loved ones, highlighting the beauty of human connection amidst academic pursuits.

This sentiment reflects Riley’s well-rounded character. While excelling in his studies, he actively participated in extracurricular activities, serving as the captain of the College of Arts and Sciences Men’s Football Team. These experiences honed his leadership, teamwork, and discipline.

His path to academic excellence began in his hometown, San Roque, Roxas City, where he credits his supportive environment for laying the foundation of his success. He attributes his drive to his family and friends who constantly believed in him.

But Riley’s journey wasn’t without challenges. Balancing academics, research projects, and extracurricular activities demanded resilience and stress management. He overcame these hurdles by prioritizing tasks effectively and reminding himself to enjoy life outside of school.

Riley’s research endeavors are noteworthy. His studies on the intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica and the levels of heavy metals in red seaweed provided valuable insights while earning him recognition as an Outstanding Researcher and publications in international journals.
He acknowledges the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Rolando V. Pakingking Jr., who instilled in him the pursuit of excellence that will undoubtedly serve him well in his future medical career.
Inspired by his late father, a physician and general surgeon, Riley is determined to follow in his footsteps. His goal is to pursue a medical degree and make a positive impact on people’s lives.
As Riley embarks on this new chapter, he leaves behind a legacy of inspiration. His message to future students is simple yet powerful: “Study hard and study smart…never make the same mistake twice.” But more importantly, he encourages them to find fulfillment, value the support system around them, and strive to contribute to the betterment of their communities.

Riley A. Beup’s story is a testament to the transformative power of hard work, dedication, and a supportive network. It’s a reminder that true success goes beyond academic accolades; it’s about achieving balance, giving back, and inspiring others to reach their full potential.