Friday, April 19, 2024

Herman Gamboa, a co-founder of STI College, passes away at 85

Herman T. Gamboa, one of the four founders of computer school STI, died last March 10, 2024. He was 85.

A robust and sprightly individual despite his advance age, Gamboa was still active in managing his businesses and in social media until he was hospitalized due to an ailment. He appeared to have recovered but sadly passed on after a few months.

Gamboa co-founded STI, now one of the leading tech-focused learning institutions in the country, with fellow tech professionals Augusto “Gus” Lagman, Edgar H. Sarte, and Benjamin A. Santos.

They inaugurated the school on August 21, 1983 – the same date that martyred hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was killed at the Manila International Airport. This explains partly why STI has adopted yellow as its official color.

Initially, the four founders put up STI to address the manpower shortage of their respective companies. Gamboa, in fact, had also established his own company called Data Center Design Corporation (DCDC) that same year.   

The co-founders did not expect to STI to become so successful with campuses sprouting all over the country. Gamboa himself operated a few branches of the school even after he and his co-founders sold their shares to businessman Eusebio Tanco, who became majority owner of STI.     

Gamboa (right) together with his three STI co-founders Lagman, Sarte, and Santos. (Photo courtesy of STI)

Born on May 12, 1938, Gamboa was a self-made man who battled adversity early on in his life in the chaotic streets of Manila. His father died when he was just three years old, leaving only his mother to fend for him.

This pushed him to study hard and excel academically. He went to Arellano High School in Sta. Cruz district where he graduated with honors along with future Supreme Court chief justice Reynato Puno. He then took up engineering at the Mapua Institute of Technology as a working student.

After graduating from Mapua, Gamboa worked for American firm Burroughs as a mechanical technician. While at the company, he underwent computer trainings in the US and the United Kingdom. He rose to become head of engineering before leaving in 1983 to establish DCDC.

A dedicated civic leader, Gamboa was also a hardcore member of the Rotary International who served as governor of his district. His long and deep involvement with Rotary saw him travel around the world and receive accolades for his humanitarian work.

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