A FORMER dean of the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts (CAFA) was named Most Outstanding Professional of the Year in the field of Architecture by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

Yolanda Reyes, CAFA dean from 1991 to 1999, received the award last June 20 at the Manila Hotel, after being recommended by her colleagues for her valuable contributions to the field.

Other Thomasians who had received the award were Leandro Locsin in 1978 and Cesar Canchela in 2007.

An architect and environmental planner specializing in architectural designs and facility planning, Reyes won the Award for Architecture in Design Excellence in 1996 from the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) for the exceptional landscape and structural design of the Caleruega Dominican Retreat House in Nasugbu, Batangas.

In the UST campus, she designed the Beato Angelico building, which houses both the College of Architecture and the College of Fine Arts and Design that separated in 2000, and the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex (TARC).

Reyes, who finished architecture in UST in 1975, said that her stay in the University, as student, faculty member, and dean helped her achieve several awards and recognitions.

“The priests in the University gave me several breaks. They offered me projects like the Caleruega, TARC, the Beato Angelico building, and the renovation of the UST Hospital façade,” Reyes said.

It was also during her term as CAFA dean when the college was recognized as a Center of Excellence in Architecture by the Commission on Higher Education in 1999.

Reyes advised Thomasian architecture students to be passionate and honest in their chosen profession.

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“To be an architect you have to love the profession and to be honest to your designs as well as with your clients,” Reyes said. “If they will practice (architecture) in the future, I hope they will also practice professional ethics such as scheduling of fees, treating clients and colleagues well, and being active in the professional organization, which is UAP.”

Reyes is the first lady chairperson of the Architects Regional Council Asia (ArcAsia), the umbrella organization of government-recognized architecture institutes from 17 Asian countries and also the first lady national president of UAP, a member institute of ArcAsia. Reyes in now the chairman of the UAP Foundation.

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