THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters (AB) produced 149 graduates with Latin honors—the highest number recorded in the last 120 years—during the 2016 Solemn Investitures held Monday.
AB yielded one summa cum laude, 17 magna cum laudes, and 131 cum laudes out of 973 graduates.
Leading this year’s Artlet graduates is Behavioral Science (BES) major Zheanne Amira Dantis who was given the Rector’s Academic Award after obtaining a general weighted average of 1. 149.
BES also produced seven magna cum laudes, namely: batch salutatorian Pamela Mae Sioson, The Flame Editor in Chief Arnel Arevalo, Erika Vivienne Flores, Yvainne Liwag, Maybelle Joy Nuñez, Viviene Grace Olaguer, and Ira Guinevere Ordoñez.
Bahama Mirachylle Josue of Asian Studies, Ma. Sarah Perez of Communication Arts, Hillary Ynna Laqui of Economics, John Dominic Chua and Laiza Ysabelle Rodriguez of English Language Studies, Edrea Jean Ramirez and Arianna Laine Sarmiento of Legal Management, and Karol Castillo, Mary Grace Mangahas and Veronica Michelle Moreno of Sociology were the other silver awardees.
Speaking before the audience, Dantis expressed her gratitude to the Artlets who persevered despite being “stereotyped, underestimated, and branded as inferiors.”
“We were confined with the bounds of the arts, yet we freed ourselves from those manacles. We did not succumb to the limitations forced on us. Ablaze with passion and abound with God’s grace, we reaped [and] we rose above and beyond,” Dantis said.
She added that their journeys do not end in graduation, but the celebration signifies the beginning of their quests.
“While our stories are yet to be completed, I hope that you take the path where He leads you, according to your respective fields. […] Our perception of success will change as we continue to grow and progress,” Dantis said.
Furthermore, Vice-Rector for Religious Affairs and Commencement speaker Rev. Fr. Filemon Dela Cruz Jr., O.P. said this year’s graduates would leave the University at a time when there is a strong clamor for change.
“I urge you, my dear graduating students, when you go and leave the portals of the University, don’t bring only your diploma, or your things. Bring your Thomasian education with you,” Dela Cruz reminded the graduates.
He also called on the graduates to turn to the Gospel to have a better understanding of change.
Dela Cruz dubbed this year’s graduates as the “Double Jubilee Batch” as their graduation coincided with the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Dominican Jubilee Year.
This year’s percentage of Latin honor recipients at 15 percent is slightly higher than last year’s 13 percent or 125 awardees out of 982 graduates. F – MARIA KATRINA T. HALLARE