FATHER Rector Tamerlane Lana, O.P. called on the University’s 5,575 new graduates to turn their minds to the needs of the country which needs “radical transformation.”

Delivering his homily during the traditional Baccalaureate Mass held at the University grandstand last March 19, the Rector urged the graduates to keep the “spark” of idealism alive.

“The glitter of gold, power, and pleasure could be irresisitible,” he said. “These are the forces that could easily extinguish rapidly the flame that comes from your youthful ideals that were refined and cultured in your adventure in the University.”

Fr. Lana further emphasized that studying in UST “does not only entail acquisition of knowledge or skills but also assimilation of values and virtues.” “The former is for the mind while the latter is for the heart,” he added.

The Rector also said “UST had equipped its graduates with the knowledge and values to make a radical headway” in society.

“Far from intending to spoil the joyful aspect of this celebration, I wish that you turn your mind to the country which undoubtedly needs a radical transformation, and excision, so to speak, of the cancer afflicting it, that is, the endemic poverty exarcerbated by corruption, immorality and the threats to people’s peace and security.”

The Rector directed the graduates’ attention to the “distressing” sight of “highly politicized, scandal-ridden, self-serving, and power-starved people running our government.” He added the people seemed to react to these antics with indifferences which, he said was “damning.” And, to use the words of Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, “plain crazy and stupid.”

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The Rector wondered, if UST had contributed to the country’s poor state of affairs.

“Many leaders have in fact passed through the portals of prominent universities, including UST, but look our country today,” he said. “And so where did we, educators fail?”

The Rector prayed for the graduates: “Lord, let the flame that comes from knowledge and virtues they acquired in this venerable University remain aglow so that they may remain responsive to your behest: ‘be a light to the world.”

After the mass, a music video by the Eductional Technology Center was shown. The heart-warming Filipino song sung to the tune of Still The Same by Joey McIntyre was interpreted by selected students from the different faculties and colleges.

James Dunca, former Central Student Council president and a graduating student from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, delivered the graduation speech.

Later, seminarian and Aquinas Award recipient James Abalejon led the graduates in reciting the revised Thomasian Pledge.

The recitation of the pledge was follwed by the pinning ceremony.

The ceremonies ended with a magnificent fireworks display that was accompanied by the singing of the UST Hymn. Billy Joe I. Allardo

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