UST PAID tribute to its exceptional graduates at The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (Total) awards last March 31, with the Rector calling this year’s awardees “Atlases” who carry the University on their shoulders.
“You are outstanding because you help other people look farther by offering your shoulders for them to stand on,” De la Rosa told the honorees. “You are Atlases—carrying all of us on your shoulders—and we are thankful that you have not shrugged us off.”
He added that outstanding people pose a danger “to people who make a virtue out of mediocrity.”
There were 15 awardees this year. Among them were Josephine Chua, retired first vice president of Metrobank and founder of Century Savings Bank (for the business category); Edgar Maranan, biotechnologist-scientist behind the rehabilitation of the Pasig River (ecological and environmental conservation); Jesusa Antiquierra, Master II teacher in Padre Gomez Elementary School (education); Emmanuel Lazaro Estrada, vice president and head of Globe Telecom’s Technologies Strategy (engineering practice); Joselito “Joel” Cruz, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Central Affirmative Co., Inc. and Signatures by Joel Cruz, Inc. (entrepreneurship and management); and Dr. Jesus Reynaldo Aquino, former president and CEO of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (health) and former Mayor of San Fernando, Pampanga (government and public service).
The honorees also included Dr. Cosme Ildefonso Naval, founder of the Philippine Implant and Refractive Surgery Association and the Congenital Cataract Foundation (health-medical); Dr. Ma. Stella Salgado-Evangelista, medical director and administrator of the Maple Manor Rehabilitation Center in Michigan, USA (humanitarian service); Alfredo Co, chairman of the Commission on Higher Education’s Technical Committee on Philosophy (humanities); Justice Zenaida Elepaño, former Supreme Court administrator (law and justice); Ruben Nepales, first Filipino member of the Hollywood Foreign Free Press (media); Maria Rachelle Gerodias, one of the country’s top sopranos and a topnotch opera performer (performing arts); Janice Hung, Wushu expert and the country’s representative to the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games (sports); and Lolita Savage, painter and international exhibiting artist (visual arts).
The 2011 Young Thomasian Achiever was Dr. Thomas Edison de la Cruz, a microbiologist and the country’s representative to the Asia Mycology Committee.
The screening committee was headed by retired justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez. Committee members were former environment secretary Elisea Gozun, engineer James Velasquez, Graduate School Dean Lilian Sison, Faculty of Pharmacy Regent Fr. Pompeyo de Mesa, O.P., Assistant to the Rector for Administration Pilar Romero, Malou Garganera, ethics director of the Philippine Association of Pharmacists in the Pharmaceutical Industry, College of Education Alumni Association president Emma Ruivivar-Yeung, and College of Nursing Alumni Association president Inocencia Ida Tionko.
The Total Awards is the highest honor bestowed by the University upon its distinguished alumni in recognition of “pioneering human endeavors, compassion for others, and commitment to their profession.” D. J. Magturo