On May 2, 2019, the University of Santo Tomas Miguel de Benavides Library received the personal library collection of noted historian, diplomat, lawyer, polyglot, and educator Antonio Molina, for Civil Law Dean and Secretary-General of the University.

The donation, which was held on the occasion of Molina’s 100th birth anniversary, comprised over 1,000 books that were housed in the family’s homes in Madrid and the Philippines.

The books are “home”
In his remarks, UST Rector Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., PhD represented the Thomasian community in memorializing the legacy of Dean Molina, who was one of the last lay Secretaries-General of the University. “To be the Secretary-General of the University is something remarkable for a lay person, and we thank Dean Molina for his love, loyalty, and service to UST,” Fr. Dagohoy said.

In the same message, the Rector thanked the kin of Dean Molina for choosing the UST Miguel de Benavides Library as the recipient of the personal collection. “With boldness, I can say, the books are ‘home,’” Fr. Dagohoy added.

Someone to look up to
Faculty of Civil Law Dean Atty. Nilo T. Divina, Ll. B. heaped praises on his predecessor, saying that with Dean Molina’s accolades, he is, indeed, someone whom Thomasian lawyers can look up to.

Quoting former Civil Law Dean Augusto K. Aligada, Divina called Molina a “man of this world, for he was a cultured man who loved learning.” Divina pledged that a memorial lecture will be held by the Faculty of Civil Law in Molina’s honor.

Our father’s affection for UST
The Molina family was represented by Ms. Carmen G.A. Molina, who said the event was “steeped in wonderful memories.” Paying tribute to UST, where all the Molina children were born and whose halls the children frequented on days when they waited for Dean Molina to finish work, Molina explained why UST was chosen as the beneficiary for the collection.

“My father’s deep affection for UST as well as his commitment to scholarly work and quality education [are the reason why] my siblings and I donate his personal library to UST,” Molina said. “We hope that his books will be an enduring and tangible expression of our father’s devotion to UST.

“The books in my father’s personal library are reflections of man.” she said.

The life of Dean Molina on exhibit
The Miguel de Benavides Library also mounted an exhibit in Molina’s honor, showcasing the many facets of the well-lived life of the former Dean. The exhibit will be open to Thomasians until May 15. It contains some of the books that have been donated, as well as personal memorabilia like the UST Professorial Medal and the Presidential Medal given to Molina by former President Corazon Aquino. The exhibition showcased Molina’s formative years as a Thomasian historian, writer, educator, administrator, and diplomat.

Molina, born 1918, earned his Law degree from UST in 1940, and returned six years later to begin what will be a twenty-four-year career in UST, where he was also Director of the Institute of History and Vice-Rector for External Affairs from 1968-1970.