“YOU ARE national treasures.”

That was the message of Rector Fr. Rolando De la Rosa, O.P. to UST’s Quadricentennial graduates in the baccalaureate mass last March 25.

“You are blessed as witnesses to the declaration of UST as a part of national history. Rightfully, you are called Quadricentennial graduates. You are not just Thomasians, you are national treasures,” De la Rosa said last March 25 at the UST Grandstand.

In January last year, the UST Main Building, the Central Seminary, the Arch of the Centuries, and the University’s open spaces were declared “national treasures” by the National Museum.

De la Rosa likened the graduates to survivors of Japan’s triple-whammy disaster of a 9-magnitude earthquake, a tsunami, and a possible nuclear meltdown.

“With the rigors of student life, unexpected tsunamis of frustration, a deluge of requirements, you have not only survived, but prevailed,” De la Rosa told some 7,700 graduates.

For the graduates, now is the time to fulfill their dreams after exiting the portals of the 400-year-old institution, he added.

De la Rosa also reminded graduates to thank their parents for being there through all the hardships of student life.

Leandro Santos, outgoing Central Student Council president, urged his fellow graduates to uphold Thomasian values in the workplace.

De la Rosa thanked some scholars who arranged a dialogue with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim about an ordinance banning the selling of alcohol near the University.

He said the dialogue led to the stricter implementation of the law against the sale of alcohol near the campus.

The Mass ended with the ceremonial placing of the time capsule in the UST marker at the España gate, followed by the traditional recessional parade at the Arch of the Centuries.

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The capsule, which will be opened after 50 years, contains the names of the Class of 2011 as well as the P200 UST commemorative bill, the UST commemorative coin, other Quadricentennial items, and news articles.

The following are the number of graduates per college: Faculties of Ecclesiastical Studies (128), Civil Law (62), Medicine and Surgery (437), Pharmacy (694), Arts and Letters (721), and Engineering (798), and the Colleges of Education (426), Science (585), Architecture (362), Commerce (859), Graduate School (326), Nursing (485), Rehabilitation Sciences (190), Fine Arts and Design (379), Accountancy (777), Tourism and Hospitality Management (393), and Conservatory of Music (59). Darenn G. Rodriguez

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