THE FACULTY of Arts and Letters (AB) marked its 120th founding anniversary with a grand gathering of its alumni held Tuesday at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building Grand Ballroom.
Faculty Regent Rev. Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. encouraged the faculty members, Artlets and alumni to continue being “truly” grateful to the Faculty that has served as their home in the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
“When a certain person is grateful, then that person offers his eyes, offers his hands, and offers his heart to the many things that he can do, also to the many things that he can receive,” Aligan said in his homily.
The three-time Faculty regent also challenged the Artlet community to share what they learned from the Faculty.
“When the student is grateful to his alma mater, or to the Arts and Letters or to the Philosophy and Letters, then the student would try to say, ‘what can I do to help? What can I do to share? What can I do to perpetuate the memories of what I had been?’” Aligan added.
Established during the Spanish era in 1896 as the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, the Faculty then merged with the College of Liberal Arts in 1964 and became known as AB today.
Dean Michael Anthony Vasco highlighted the achievements of AB at present, citing the Faculty’s program accreditations, faculty member and student awards, and international relations.
“Indeed, what was once known as the ‘little big college’ at UST has become the premier liberal arts college in the country today,” Vasco said.
AB has three programs that are Centers of Development—Communication Arts, Journalism, and Literature—while its Philosophy program is a Center of Excellence. Artlets have also dominated the annual UST Student Awards for the last three years.
Among the participants in the celebration were former deans of the Faculty, Dr. Belen Tangco and Dr. Magdalena Villaba.
Also present were current department chairs, Assoc. Prof. Josephine Placido, Asst. Prof. Jose Arsenio Salandanan, Assoc. Prof. Lino Baron, Assoc. Prof. Dennis Coronacion, and Prof. Joyce Arriola, who delivered a lecture titled “Philosophy, Letters and the Liberal Arts in UST, 1898-1941 Classical AB through the American Way.”
The lecture revisited the history of the Faculty as it overlapped with events during the American colonial period and the transformations it took to become what is now known as AB. F MIKKAH F. FACTOR