‘Choose and define what success means to you’

AB dean says Class of 2024 'pioneers' of hybrid learning
Artlets graduates of class 2024 participate in this year’s solemn investiture rites at the UST Quadrecentennial Pavilion. Photo by Jose Raphael Gonzales/ THE FLAME

FACULTY OF Arts and Letters (AB) Dean Prof. Melanie Turingan reminded Artlets graduates that they are the ones who would determine how their success will look like, as she praised them for hurdling trials as pioneers of the ‘new normal.’

In her speech during the AB solemn investiture on Monday, June 10, Turingan said members of class 2024 are the first ones to adapt to hybrid learning during their time at the University.

“You started your academic journey at home, facing your gadgets instead of experiencing the activities you have been looking forward to as college students. These are the types of events that will be remembered in the future because people adapted to a whole new world. And you, to our class of 2024 are its pioneers,” Turingan said.

Quoting American television host Stephen Colbert, Turingan said the graduates are “about to start the greatest improvisation of all, with no idea of what’s going to happen.”

“You may not be in control of this reality, but it is your turn to choose and define what success means to you,” she added.

Most students of the class of 2024 entered college during the height of the pandemic when schools were forced to shift to a full online set-up. It was only two years later, in 2022, when the University finally allowed the conduct of hybrid classes. 

The AB dean highlighted the historical significance of the pandemic, saying the graduates’ resilience and adaptability are memorable.

“As the future generations look back in their history textbooks, artificial intelligence or AI-generated applications or any other platforms, a certain page will catch their attention, one which is unique. It does not show images of notable personalities, conflicts or even wars. But rather pictures of men wearing face masks and face shields, and even holding quarantine passes,” Turingan said. 

“It is truly difficult to not have the same activities as students would do regularly, but these experiences are something that no one else will go through.”

Turingan expressed gratitude and pride for the graduating batch’s achievements despite the trying times. According to her, the transition from full online learning to hybrid classes has equipped the graduates with “lifelong education.”

“You, our graduating batch, made [Faculty of] Arts and Letters beaming with pride as you have successfully presented papers here and abroad, accepted as colors in prestigious institutions worldwide. You represented AB in key positions in local and central student organizations in the University,” the dean said. 

“You are embodied with a compassionate heart, equipped with empathy and integrity, with commitment to serve, with due diligence and respect and competence to rule the world guided with humility and fortitude,” she added. 

A total of 745 Artlets graduated during the AB solemn investiture held at the Quadricentennial Pavillion. About 77% or 568 students graduated with Latin honors.

UST will send off at least 7,795 Thomasians this graduation season. – with reports from Christian Querol

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