FATHER Rector Tamerlane Lana, O.P. announced the University’s plan to make “radical changes” in preparation for the University’s quadricentennial celebration during the launching of the Thomasian Media Circle (TMC) last Dec. 12 at the Faculty Civil Law lobby.

Fr. Lana said a seven-story St. Dominic Hall will be constructed in place of the old gym and swimming pool. It will house the Faculty of Pharmacy, College of Science, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Commerce and Accountancy, Student Center, and Information Technology laboratories. It will also house a commercial center on the first floor and a big hostel on the seventh floor.

In addition, the Main Building will undergo major renovations that will transform the famous architectural and engineering showcase into a museum. In addition, UST is developing a vast track of land in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and another in General Santos City, South Cotabato as an experimental station.

“The development plans may appear grandiose, but not unattainable. And the sustained support of the generous alumni will hopefully propel the sights we have made,” Fr. Lana said.

The TMC is the gathering of Thomasian alumni in journalism and the media to help the University in its public relations campaign.

“In the years to come, especially in 2011, UST hopes (its media alumni) will help promote the University. People need to know what’s going on here. We have so many projects that need to be publicized so that generous people can extend their help,” Fr. Lana said.

He added that before, UST was not so keen in making its presence felt. It would only attract the media’s attention when negative events happen.

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Secretary-General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. explained that the idea of forming the TMC started during the University Athletics Association of the Philippines games last semester where there was an obvious lack of support on UST’s side.

According to former Senator Francisco Tatad, an alumnus of the old Faculty of Philosophy and Letter, it was a good thing for the University to finally reach out to those who could help influence the public’s perception about the school.

“(TMC) is the University’s chance to publicize what’s going on since it is so enclosed inside its four walls,” he said.

Among those present were Campaigns and Grey president and UST Prof. Ramon Osorio, Manila Bulletin associate editor Ramon Francisco, Manila Bulletin columnist Zorayda Sanchez, Family Today editor Peachy Yamsuan, Tempo columnist Nestor Cuartero, Philippine Daily Inquirer columnists Rina Jimenez-David and Neal Cruz, and Inquirer founder Eugenia Apostol.

The UST administration also plans to meet with Thomasian alumni in other fields to strengthen ties with them and their respective fields. It will be facilitated by the special committee on public presence chaired by UST Public Alumni Affairs director Anna Maria Ward. Elka Krystle R. Requinta

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