Last May 17, 2016 (Tuesday), the University of Santo Tomas paid tribute to twenty-nine (29) faculty retirees, in a testimonial held in their honor, at the Sycip-Velayo Multi-Purpose Halls.
Change and continuity
In her opening remarks, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita D.L. Carillo, PhD, called the retirement of the faculty members as a chance to write a new chapter in their lives, anchored on the phenomena of change and continuity.
Change, Carillo said, manifests itself in the gradual disappearance of day-to-day work-related activities, such as waking up early to catch the first class, to check papers and submit grades, and meeting fellow faculty members.
The reality that much of what is existent will continue was a sign of continuity, Carillo said. The identity of Thomasian faculty members will never be removed, and the prefix “re” in retire was meant to be understood as a chance to meet again, retool, and continue the quest for learning and education. “It will not come as a surprise if they [retirees] continue to persist and be productive again and again,” Carillo said.
Tributes from the deans
Prior to the conferment of the recognition to the retirees, their respective deans paid homage to them for the years of service they devoted to the University of Santo Tomas, and wished them all well in this next chapter of their lives.
The retirees included the following:
Asst. Prof. Mercedes J. Hinayon
Arts and Letters
Assoc. Prof. Amelita C. del Rosario, PhD
Asst. Prof. Cresencio M. Doma, Jr.
Assoc. Prof. Reynaldo G. Lopez
Prof. Evelyn A. Songco, PhD
Prof. Belen L. Tangco, PhD
Commerce and Business Administration
Asst. Prof. Eduardo J. Mariño, Jr.
Counseling and Career Center
Ms. Nenita B. Cervantes
Assoc. Prof. Evelyn O. Ladines
Asst. Prof. Virgilio N. Agbayani
Prof. Benedicta B. Alava, PhD
Fine Arts and Design
Mr. Myrna M. Sunico
Assoc. Prof. Maria Cristina J. Cornejo
Medicine and Surgery
Asst. Prof. Mateo R. Bagsic, MD
Prof. Maria Lourdes B. Coloma, MD
Assoc. Prof. Imelda S. David, MD
Prof. Ma. Graciela G. Gonzaga, MD
Assoc. Prof. Normando C. Gonzaga, MD
Assoc. Prof. Pedro Danilo J. Lagamayo, MD
Assoc. Prof. Renato M. Reyes, MD
Prof. Antonio S. Say, MD
Prof. Jesus V. Valencia, MD
Assoc. Prof. Robie V. Zantua, MD
Asst. Prof. Ricardo R. Calubayan
Assoc. Prof. Apolonia B. Guilang
Asst. Prof. Ophelia S. Laurente
Asst. Prof. Erlinda T. Nuguid
Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel G. Fiedacan
Asst. Prof. Celia D.C. Vinoya
Panorama of memories
Prof. Belen L. Tangco, O.P., PhD underscored the need for faculty members, especially in a Catholic institution like the University of Santo Tomas, must remain faithful to teaching the faith, inspired by both Jesus Christ and her Church.
Former Arts and Letters dean Tangco said that thanksgiving for the recognition given to the retirees was both “an expression of the mind and the heart.” She said that her fellow retirees were undoubtedly filled with merriment. fueled by the panorama of memories from years and decades of teaching.
Dashes of life
Most associated with the Office for Student Affairs, Prof. Evelyn A. Songco, PhD, who served in the Office for Student Affairs for a total of 23 years, stressed the importance of how the best years of one’s life were lived, drawing inspiration from Linda Ellis’s classic poem “The Dash.”
Songco said that the careers of the retirees were not just decorated by the usual classroom encounters, but were likewise enriched by the Thomasian family activities that have become Thomasian family traditions, such as the annual Paskuhan, Baccalaurate Mass, the historic visits of the Pope, and the never-to-be-repeated Quadricentennial celebration of the University.
In his closing remarks, the Acting Rector, the Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., PhD, called on the retirees to not look at their retirement and aging with a moribund perspective. “Retirement is not about cheerless and woeful conceptions; in reality, retirement is a joyful celebration of one’s invaluable contributions.”
Fr. Ang rallied the retirees to look at the next chapter of their life as another chance to pursue a purpose, in much the same way that they have strived for success and excellence in their teaching careers. “Retirement is something that will happen to all of us; how we face it is just a matter of attitude,” Fr. Ang said.