On its diamond jubilee anniversary celebration, the University of Santo Toman-Legazpi – the Premier Dominican University of Bicol, proudly showcased its four hundred eighty-two graduates at the university’s 75th Solemn Investiture held on June 16, 2023 at the UST-Legazpi Dome with the theme: “Vita Gratitudinis: Celebrating the Enduring Thomasian Tradition”.

This year’s graduates came from the university’s three Tertiary Colleges, College of Law and Graduate School. The College of Arts, Sciences, and Education (CASE) presented seventy-three graduates; the College of Business Management and Accountancy (CBMA), one hundred seventy-nine; the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Fine Arts (CEAFA), one hundred twenty-six; the College of Law (COL), eighty and; the Graduate School (GS), twenty-four.

Quisha Rose A. Amores, Cum Laude of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Marketing Management delivered the Address of Petition to which Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, OP, STL, PhD, the university’s Rector and President, responded through the conferment of the degrees.

The said university leader also delivered the much-awaited Rector’s address centering on a life of gratitude that truly inspired every Legazpi Thomasian graduate this year.

“Education is one indispensable way of making our life more attractive intellectually, emotionally, and morally,” Fr. Arceo said in his speech.

The elegance that education gives us, according to Fr. Ernie, is deeper, broader, higher, and more lasting than the beauty of the body.

“And we hope that in so many ways, you have acquired beauty of character, beauty of soul in the university with the help and inspiration of your teachers and classmates,” he said.

The reverend father of the university also asked the graduates to approach the Lord and honestly tell Him, “Lord, thank you for the beautiful life you gave to me. Now, through the help of my parents, teachers, classmates, and friends, I have made it even more beautiful and worth living. Thank you.”

Meanwhile, UST-Legazpi is also proud to present its top awardees for this school year. Five Bene Meritus from the Graduate School, one Academic Distinction from the College of Law, and thirty-three Cum Laude from the Tertiary level with one Magna Cum Laude.

On the other hand, Irish C. Clavecillas-Jadie, CPA, Bene Meritus awardee, from the Master of Business Administration (Plan A) Program led this year’s Pledge of Loyalty.

And as a tradition of inducting the graduates as members of the General Alumni Association (GAA), Engr. Dennis Aranaz, GAA President, officiated the Oath of Membership to the Alumni Association.

Mary May A. Tang, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and the 2023 Magna Cum Laude, also the recipient of the Loyaltee Award delivered this year’s Address of Thanks.

“We are here today to celebrate a momentous occasion as we say goodbye to one of the phases in our lives and welcome a new one,” said Tang as she opened her speech.

Mary May, at first, thought that the path she took in college is something like a pavement in which everything is already laid out for her, but she realized that the reality is very far from it.

“I remember those times when we had to transition from face-to-face classes to online classes due to the pandemic and one thing that would define those moments is that not only was it difficult, but it was also discouraging,” she said.

The constant power outage, slow internet connection, lack of social interaction, and the number of students in her class dwindling have certainly brought uncertainties, dilemmas, self-doubts, struggles, and fear.

“There were even times when we felt like giving up and being pessimistic about every future outcome and because of that, we have even asked ourselves so many questions such as “ Hala, makakagraduate pa ba ko?”, Tang added.

Although there were times her batchmates had questioned themselves, Mary May believed that it doesn’t mean that they have given up.

“And wow look at us now! at this very moment, we are able to witness where we have survived and overcome a stressful phase in our lives. That is why you guys should give yourselves a pat on the back and say to yourselves ‘I did a good job'”, she encouraged her co-graduates.

In the end, the 2023 Legazpi Thomasian Magna Cum Laude congratulated the Class of 2023 for trying their best to get through the battles they championed, for enduring all the hardships that came their way, for continuously believing in themselves that they can do it, and for not giving up.

In other news, UST-Legazpi’s College of Health Sciences and its graduating class are not a part of this Solemn Investiture as the schedule of their internship vital to their curriculum did not fit the academic calendar of the university. CHS’ exclusive Solemn Investiture is set to happen in July 2023.

Copyright 2019. University of Santo Tomas - Legazpi