A Theology student leads this year’s batch of Rector’s Academic Award recipients after obtaining the highest general weighted average (GWA) for the school year.

Seminarian Wenifredo Padilla, O.P., the University’s lone candidate for summa cum laude, obtained a GWA of 1.15 to become the valedictorian among valedictorians of UST batch 2003. Sem. Padilla was vested the Rector’s Award last March 18 during the Student Awards Day at the St. Albertus Magnus Auditorium.

The Rector’s Academic Award is given to graduating students with the highest GWAs in their respective faculties or colleges.

Guest speaker Arlene Maneja, topnotcher of the 2002 bar exams and last year’s recipient of the prestigious Thomas Aquinas Award, told the honorees that despite their achievements, they should not abandon the ideals and moral values the University has instilled in them.

Moreover, Maneja said the awards received should inspire them to reach greater heights.

Aside from Padilla, the other Rector’s Academic Award recipients were Varsitarian associate editor Sem. Eldric Paul Peredo (Faculty of Philosophy), Cesar Santamaria, Jr. (Faculty of Civil Law), Emmy Lisa Oh (Faculty of Medicine and Surgery), Maria Joanne Paula Manlapig (Faculty of Pharmacy), Varsitarian Circle editor Myra Jennifer Jaud (Faculty of Arts and Letters), Carlo Isidro (Faculty of Engineering), Abelyn Methanie Laurito (College of Science) whose average of 1.219 was second best, Gerard Michael Dy (College of Architecture), Dexter Glenn David (College of Commerce and Accountancy), Mary Rose Ramos (Conservatory of Music), Jasmin Dujali (College of Nursing), Allan Louie Cruz (College of Rehabilitation Sciences), Miguel Francisco (College of Fine Arts and Design), Angela Farrah Espejo (UST High School), and Elaine Anne Villegas (UST Education High School).

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Apart from the Rector’s Academic Award, the Quezon Leadership Award, the Benavides Achievement Award, Pope Leo XIII Communitarian Award, and the St. Dominic de Guzman Award were also given to students and University organizations.

The Quezon Leadership Award recipients were Sem. Carlo del Rosario (Philosophy), Central Student Council president Irvin Joseph Fabella (Civil Law), Ban Joseph Ang (Pharmacy), Kathrina Repol (Arts and Letters), Catherine Lajara (Education), Jaymie Claire Ang (Science), Mary Ann Jillian San Juan (Architecture), Sheraldine Pasillos (Commerce and Accountancy), Ryan Manal (Music), Jeffrey Lazaro (Nursing), Marylew Marcos (USTHS), Evangelyn Grace Matias (USTEHS), and Arnel Cruz (Office for Student Affairs).

The Quezon Award is given to students who have led and organized activities that have contributed to the welfare of students.

Meanwhile, the Benavides Achievement Award honorees were Sem. Allan Louise Cacho (Philosophy), Dong Hyeon Jeong (Arts and Letters), Germaine Lisa Ang (Engineering), who received the award for the second straight year, Marlon Sevilla, Jr. (Education), John Patrick Anthony Buensalido and Karen Cheung (Architecture), Teddy Quizado (Commerce and Accountancy), Joseph Mirandilla (Music), Mark Ramsel Salvatus III (Fine Arts and Design), the Girl’s Swimming Team and Taekwondo Team (USTHS), Sarah Asher Geronimo (USTEHS), and Tshomlee Go and the Men’s Judo Team (Institute of Physical Education and Athletics).

The Benavides Award is given to students won in regional, national or international competitions, conferences or congresses.

Meanwhile, the Varsitarian was among the 15 recipients of the first-ever St. Dominic de Guzman Award for Outstanding Teamwork. The paper was cited for organizing the annual Inkblots: UST National Campus Journalism Fellowship, Ustetika Campus Literary Awards, Pautakan Intercollegiate Quiz Contest, and most especially the 2003 Valik-Varsi, the Grand Diamond Jubilee Alumni Homecoming of the Varsitarian. The paper was also cited for publishing “Heaven’s Kitchen” and “The UST Varsitarian Campus Press Stylebook”

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Twelve organizations were also feted with the Pope Leo XIII Community Development Award. Arts and Letters senior Mark Anthony Abenir was the only recipient of the award in the individual category.

On the other hand, the Pope Leo XIII is conferred on a student or a group of students for outstanding involvement in community development programs.

Meanwhile, the UST Singers were given a special sitation for continuously reaping honors for the University by winning international choral competitions.

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