“YOU MAKE UST forever young.”

These were the words of Rector Fr. Rolando De la Rosa, O.P. to Thomasian freshmen during the traditional welcome walk last July 24.

De la Rosa advised the estimated 10,500 freshmen to develop their skills in college.

“The wings are the God-given talents that allow you to soar above your limitations,” De la Rosa said.

The traditional Thomasian welcome walk finally pushed through more than a month after the opening of classes, following cases of the influenza A(H1N1) virus on campus.

Public Affairs director Giovanna Fontanilla said the University decided to continue with the walk since the welcome rite is an important part of life of a Thomasian.

“This is a significant part of the Thomasian tradition. Many great Thomasian men and women passed through the Arch of the Centuries and we want the freshmen to experience it also,” Fontanilla said. “The welcome walk will instill a keen sense of pride among Thomasians and that they will graduate from a 400-year-old University.”

The welcome walk impresses upon freshmen students that they are now part of the Thomasian community, as symbolized by their entrance through the Arch of the Centuries.

It was first reported that the annual event may no longer be conducted after the A(H1N1) virus hit the University last month.

Despite the delay, freshmen still welcomed the idea of undergoing the “perennial Thomasian ritual.”

“The welcome was fun, even if we roasted under the blazing sun, we still enjoyed the event,” said Neil Tsai, a first year Commerce student.

“Passing through the Arch of the Centuries is a must for me because legend has it that if you pass through the Arch, St. Thomas Aquinas will guide you in your studies,” said chemical engineering major Marc Lester Tabafunda.

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Musikang Asyano

The event started with a freshmen parade followed by a Mass celebrated by De la Rosa. It culminated in an evening concert featuring bands Spongecola, Chicosci, and Sandwich. Darenn G. Rodriguez

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