THE VARSITARIAN’S 75th anniversary celebration will open with the first Jose Villa Panganiban Professorial Chair for Journalism Lecture on Nov. 21 at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex Auditorium.

Former UST Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. was chosen to give the lecture. Fr. de la Rosa, also a former Varsitarian Witness editor, was chosen for his achievements as a writer, educator, and religious.

The professorial chair, established in 1999 by the Varsitarian led by its then editor in chief, Christian V. Esguerra, is named after Panganiban, widely considered the founder of the Varsitarian who became a leading writer, lexicographer, linguist and director of the National Language Institute.

Along with the lecture is the opening of the exhibit to highlight the paper’s rich history that has produced the leading names in journalism and titans of Philippine literature.

In journalism: Jullie Yap-Daza, Jose Burgos, Francisco Tatad, Teodoro Valencia, Felix Bautista, Jose Bautista, Antonio Siddayao, Jess Sison, Antonio Lopez, Rina Jimenez-David, Neal Cruz, Fred Marquez, Mario Hernando, Alfredo Saulo, Alice Colet-Villadolid, and Eugenia Duran-Apostol are among its noted alumni.

In Philippine literature and the humanities, the Varsitarian proved to be the best training ground for the country’s best writers. National Artists F. Sionil Jose (Literature), Daisy Hontiveros-Avellana (Theater), and J. Elizalde Navarro (Visual Arts), Ramon Magsaysay laureate Bienvenido Lumbera, Paz Latorena, Wilfrido Nolledo, Celso Carunungan, Federico Licsi Espino, Rogelio Sicat, Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta, Renato Madrid, Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Norma Miraflor and Eric Gamalinda honed their craft during their stay in the Varsitarian.

Varsitarian alumni also distinguished themselves in public service and in other fields. There are the late Manila Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson, the late Manila Archbishop Artemio Casas, former Vice-president Emmanuel Pelaez, the late Sorsogon Gov. Juan Frivaldo, Sen. Francisco Tatad, former Philippine Medical Association president Dr. Vicente Rosales, Sr., and National Artist for the Visual Arts J. Elizalde Navarro.

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