Last May 19, 2017 (Friday), the University of Santo Tomas sent off 8,396 graduating students from the different faculties, colleges, institutes, and schools, during the traditional Baccalaurate Mass, at the historic Grandstand and Open Field.

One last assignment

In his homily, the Rector, the Very Rev. Fr. Herminio V. Dagohoy, O.P., PhD, challenged the attendees to peer at the tip of their noses. Recognizing that this feat is difficult, the Rector emphasized that while vision may not afford such sight, touch allows us to realize that it is there. “We cannot see it because it is too close to our vision, just like how we cannot appreciate the forest when we are too close to the trees.”

Recognizing the nostalgia associated with the event, the Rector reminded the community that “every moment of separation manifests what we are made of. It is the time when our anxieties appear, when our fears emerge, and our needs become more pronounced–moments when tears stream down our faces for losing something we can no longer replace, but it is the feeling of loss that is also the moment of discovery.”

Fatima @ 100

The Baccalaureate Mass featured a special addition this year: the veneration to Our Lady of Fatima, whose image was adorned with flowers from college representatives, while the community sang “Immaculate Mother.” This activity was yet another way of UST to commemorate the centennial, beginning with the May 12, 2017 Mass at the Plaza Mayor.

The traditional exit through the Arch

Just as they entered through the Arch of the Centuries as freshmen, the graduates were led out of the Arch of the Centuries by the Father Rector, signaling their successful completion of their undergraduate / graduate studies in the University. The solemn investitures for degree graduates began last May 20, 2017 (Saturday), with the Ecclesiastical Faculties of Sacred Theology, Philosophy, and Canon Law.