UST WILL continue its Christian and educational mission amid an increasingly globalized and knowledge-based economy, drawing from a strong sense of continuity, the new Rector said as UST opened another academic year last June 4.
Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P., UST’s 96th Rector, pledged to build on the achievements of the past, saying continuity is essential to moving forward and carrying out institutional transformation.
“We do not immediately change structures laid down before us. We have to understand that they are there out of good intentions,” Dagohoy said in a speech following his installation to the University’s top post at the Santisimo Rosario Parish. “Rather than obliterating the memories of the past, we should build what is set before us.”
Continuity however is not synonymous to stagnation and complacency, and stability and dynamism do not exclude each other, he said.
Dagohoy said he would continue projects which are necessary, start ones that are responsive to present needs, and discontinue those that are no longer relevant.
Simbahayan, the centerpiece project of the Quadricentennial celebrations, will be kept alive as it can be used to enhance UST’s research capabilities, he added.
Recently, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) named the University a “zonal research center,” in recognition of its potential in the field of research. However, Dagohoy said more vitality and unity among research specialists were needed resolve societal problems.
“This (combining scientific analysis and practical experience) we can accomplish when we let go of our understanding that the different units in the University are like watertight compartments without interconnections or without any unifying nucleus,” he said, adding that Simbahayan could be at the center of the integration of environmental, medical, economic, and scholastic projects.
He expressed gratitude to his predecessor, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. for making the University “financially stable,” for establishing a sound organizational structure as shown by UST’s recent ISO certification, and for bringing the University back on the map of the global academic community.
“I thank him for the strong foundation on which we stand today,” Dagohoy said. “I am very much aware that I follow the footsteps of towering figures in the history of UST over the past four hundred years.”
He also thanked the Dominican professors of the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees for putting him at the helm of rectorship.
The installation rites, steeped in history and tradition underscoring the University’s 401 years of existence, followed the Misa de Apertura or the opening Mass of the new academic year, which was led by the papal nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto.
Secretary General Fr. Florentino Bolo Jr., O.P. read the appointment decree from the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries,
Dagohoy, wearing a blue hood on his black academic gown, then knelt before Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, O.P., the new prior provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines and vice chancellor of the University, reciting a profession of faith in which he vowed to uphold the teachings of the Church.
CHEd Commissioner Nona Ricafort and Timoner assisted Dagohoy in wearing the Rector’s Collar, which symbolizes authority from both the Church and State.
Vice Rector Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. and Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Research Clarita Carillo handed over to Dagohoy two ceremonial maces symbolizing the Rector’s spiritual and temporal powers.
The ceremony was witnessed by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, presidents of different universities and colleges, members of the diplomatic community, administrative officials, faculty members, support staff, alumni, and students.
Dagohoy was born on July 8, 1964 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. He joined the Order of Preachers on May 10, 1988 after finishing Accountancy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in 1985. He was ordained to the priesthood on Sept. 28, 1994 at the Sto. Domingo Church.
He obtained degrees in Philosophy from the Philippine Dominican Center of Institutional Studies in 1990 and Theology at the UST Faculty of Sacred Theology in 1993. He finished his Master of Arts in Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2000, Licentiate in Philosophy at the UST Faculty of Philosophy in 2011, and Doctorate in Philosophy at UST this year. Dagohoy was the former prior of the Santo Domingo Convent in Quezon City and the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas in UST. He was also a former rector of Angelicum College in Quezon City. Yuji Vincent B. Gonzales and B. D. Nicolas