UST tops off Henry Sy Sr. Hall at Manila campus

The University of Santo Tomas held the topping-off ceremony of the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall on October 7, 2023. This is a builder’s tradition that highlights the placement of the final beam on top of the structure.

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery Dean Assoc. Prof. Ma. Lourdes D. Maglinao, M.D., said that “The birth of the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall will herald the adaptive transformation, witnessing how our 152-year old traditional medical school embraces innovative metamorphosis in response to the changing landscape of medical education.”

Bearing the name of esteemed businessman Henry Sy, Sr., UST is grateful for the generous donation of Teresita Sy-Coson, Vice Chairman of SM Investments Corporation (SMIC), the Henry Sy Foundation, and the SM Foundation Inc.

The seven-storey building will serve as a hub for simulation in medical education, interactive student centered-learning, collaborative multidisciplinary research, and interprofessional education. It will also house the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Medical Simulation and Research Center, which will feature simulated emergency rooms, surgical suites, delivery rooms, adult and pediatric intensive care units, and medical wards. There will also be consultation rooms fully equipped with low, medium, and high-fidelity mannequins and control rooms that academic staff can modify according to the complexity of a medical case. In addition, there will also be debriefing rooms capable of real-time observation and assessment of learners as well as playback of events for discussion, among other features.

“This paradigm shift is set to revolutionize medical and healthcare education and research, ultimately providing future Filipino physicians with the best and accessible 21st century medical education to better serve our country and our people. With cutting edge simulation technology, it will provide a realistic environment for learners to hone their skills, practice procedures,  enhance patient care, and promote patient safety. Hence, simulation-based learning is an ethical imperative,” said Dean Maglinao.

UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., Ph.D., in his message, said that through the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall, “We see the embodiment of our commitment to nurturing future generations of Thomasian medical doctors.”

“As the building acquires its final form, we invoke the Lord’s guidance to inspire us to further work toward building a legacy of healing and service,” said Fr. Ang.

SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI) Executive Director and Trustee Ms. Deborah P. Sy shared that the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall intends to elevate health education in the Philippines and it  “stands as a symbol of our enduring commitment to education and its pivotal role in fostering social progress. Through strategic partnerships such as these, we’ve constantly supported academic excellence and development across the nation, recognizing that it’s through education that we pave the way for a brighter future. This Hall embodies this vision, humbly contributing to the journey of progress through knowledge.”

Facilities Management Office Director Rev. Fr. Dexter A. Austria, O.P., thanked and congratulated the “countless hands and hearts that have contributed to its construction. Their dedication and expertise have brought us to this moment.” This included the consultancy firm CA Ventura and Partners, led by its Principal Architect Rodolfo Ventura, who also serves as Dean of the College of Architecture, the general contractor AIMM Builders and Construction Supply led by Engr. James Liong, project management team JCV & Associates led by Engr. Jason Valderrama, and the UST Facilities Management Office.

Aside from the generous contribution from SM Investments Corporation (SMIC), the Henry Sy Foundation, the SM Foundation Inc., and Anargyroi: FMS Foundation Inc. played a significant part in the completion of the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall.

The donation was formalized on October 19, 2022, when the Father Rector and the Sy Family inked a memorandum of agreement for the project. Present during the signing were Elizabeth T. Sy, Deborah P. Sy, Teresita Coson-Sy, Henry T. Sy, Jr., with other UST representatives, UST FMS Dean Dr. Ma. Lourdes D. Maglinao, FMS Regent Rev. Fr. Ángel A. Aparicio, O.P., and UST REFI Executive Director Rev. Fr. Maximo P. Gatela, O.P., among others.

As of October 2023, the structure remains on track to be completed by June 2024, said Fr. Austria, who mentioned that the project is currently at 40% completion. ♦

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