A NUMBER of diplomats and a top businessman visited the University in the past two weeks to forge partnerships with the oldest university in Asia, barely two months before the grand Quadricentennial celebration in 2011.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. went to UST last November 23 to talk about a “fruitful collaboration between UST and the United States of America.”

In a luncheon meeting with Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Thomas vowed to actively participate in the upcoming activities of UST.

“We are going to ask Father [De la Rosa] in what way he would like us to participate, then we will evaluate that and give a response,” Thomas said in an interview.

Iraqi Ambassador to the Philippines Wadee Al-Batti also came to UST last November 25 for a courtesy call to Father De la Rosa.

“I wish I would see more and more Iraqi people in [the University of] Santo Tomas, and we would see more and more from Santo Tomas in Baghdad,” Al-Batti said.

Last November 22, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo went to the University to get an overview of preparations for the Quadricentennial festivities.

“This is a great historical event. UST has been at the forefront of our history and it should be credited for producing national heroes,” Romulo said.

Thomas and Romulo were given separate tours by Father Rector to the Lumina Pandit exhibit at the Miguel de Benavides Library, while Al-Batti was given a tour of the Museum of Arts and Sciences.

Meanwhile, businessman Manuel Pangilinan had a dinner meeting with De la Rosa last November 17 to discuss the Quadricentennial celebration.

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Pangilinan, who heads companies like the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Smart Communications, Inc., and the Associated Broadcasting Co. (ABC), said it was a good thing for the University to undertake social intervention projects, such as Simbahayan, wherein UST will rehabilitate 400 villages.

Pangilinan, an alumnus of San Beda College and Ateneo de Manila, also praised Thomasian graduates, especially in the fields of engineering, medicine, and nursing for their “excellent performance.”

“We are very happy on how they perform and we would like to employ more graduates from UST,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan’s top executives, including Thomasian alumni Beth Lui, president of PLDT information technology unit ePLDT; lawyer Rey Espinosa, president and chief executive officer of ABC; and Helen de Guzman, first vice president and comptroller of power utility Meralco, also joined the meeting.

Alumni Relations Director Michael Angelo Malicsi said Pangilinan will donate to the University. Ana May R. Dela Cruz, J C. V. Garcia, Jennifer M. Orillaza and Darenn G. Rodriguez

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