The University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman recently went viral for having an amazing number of summa cum laude graduates: a total of 54 brilliant young minds.
Timothy Jason “TJ” Simeon was among these smart young students who completed a degree as summa cum laude from the university. But he stood out from the rest in that this was his second course – and he completed the first one as magna cum laude!
High school graduation; Photo credit: TJ Simeo / Inquirer
The young man recently went viral for this amazing feat, with netizens expressing admiration over this brilliance. A lot of netizens even mused that they were barely able to pass their college course, but this guy completed two – and both with flying colors! Wow.
A consistent honor student even in his elementary years, Simeon had a lot of potential to excel and have an awesome career. When he graduated from high school as valedictorian back in 2006, he was invited to attend the Ateneo Junior Summer Seminar program.
After completing the program, he was given automatic admission to Ateneo de Manila University, with full scholarship. But he also wanted to study in UP. After weighing his options, he picked Ateneo where he would graduate in 2010 as magna cum laude from his course, BS Management Engineering.
BS Management Engineering graduation; Photo credit: TJ Simeo / Inquirer
For 5 years after that, Simeon worked. But his dad, an engineer, encouraged him to take another course. With growing construction industry in the country, he chose Civil Engineering as his second degree.
“UP immediately came to mind because it was one of my what if’s back in Ateneo. I’ve always wondered how different my college life would be if I had chosen UP over Ateneo. And as the country’s premier state university, UP was the instant choice,” Simeon shared.
Despite this being his second course, Simeon experienced various challenges and even had to face the added pressure of graduating with honors because he completed the first one as magna cum laude.
Civil Engineering graduation; Photo credit: TJ Simeo / Inquirer
But he managed to exceed his goal of also completing his Civil Engineering degree as magna cum laude — because he actually got it as summa cum laude! Amazing.