WITH hopes of attaining a more comprehensive journalism education, the UST ArtLets Alumni Association, Inc. launched the Center for Journalism Excellence last Nov. 30 during the 40th anniversary celebration of the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) at the Polkabal and Pandango Ballrooms of the Manila Hotel on Roxas Boulevard.

In his introductory speech, BizNews Asia publisher and ArtLets Alumni Association vice-chairman Tony Lopez told some 500 ArtLets alumni that the Center aims mainly to “put more journalism in the ‘excellent’ things” today.

“(It’s because) there is very little journalism in the excellent (high-technology) things that we do,” Lopez said.

“The competition is becoming ferocious,” he added. “That’s why we need to keep up with the challenges through this Center.”

Lawyer Joey Lina, ArtLets Alumni Association chairman and former Department of Interior and Local Government secretary, told the Varsitarian that the Center would highlight Journalism in the Faculty of Arts and Letters.

“It will provide the equipment which can be utilized to hone the skills of the (Journalism) students,” he said.

To finance the establishment of the Center, the ArtLets alumni will be conducting several fund-raising projects, which Lina projects to collect some P12 million from the alumni.

Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Dr. Belen Tangco said that the Center will offer scholarships, seminars, certificate courses, and curriculum review in Journalism when its operations start next year.

The idea of the Center was conceptualized by Press Undersecretary Alice Colet Villadolid and Prof. Roger Buhay two years ago. They then presented it to Lopez, who gave his support for the project.

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Lina said that the details of the Center, such as the directorship and the site, are still being “ironed out.”

Meanwhile, 16 alumni were given recognition for their achievements in different fields during the event. Among them were GMA-7 broadcast journalist Arnold Clavio for broadcast media, filmmaker Gil Portes for culture and the arts, and Artlets professor Dr. Alfredo Co for Philosophy.

Other noted alumni who graced the event were Manila Standard editor in chief Julie-Yap Daza and TV host Butch Francisco.

Executive secretary Eduardo Ermita also attended in behalf of President Macapagal-Arroyo. John Rheeno T. Cabangcalan and Mary Elaine V. Gonda

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