GRADUATION is necessary so as not to be too familiar with the surprises life has to offer, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., Rector of UST, reminded the “Neo-Centennial Batch” at the Baccalaureate Mass last March 23.

While associated with separation, graduation is important since “familiarity breeds contempt,” the Rector said.

“No matter how familiar we are to each other, we can never completely know each other. No matter how extensive our knowledge is of a person, he should remain a mystery to us,” De la Rosa told an estimated 7,600 graduates at the open field in one of his last official acts before resigning from the rectorship. “Being together for so long a time makes [us become] too familiar with each other to the point [that we] would no longer stand each other…Chances are [our] intimacy will generate [our] familiarity that will make [us] take each other for granted.”

“Authentic relationship must always maintain a degree of reverence and mystery. Even in our personal relationship with God, we can become too familiar with Him. We no longer fear him and we take him for granted,” he added.

He invited the graduates to build lasting relationships that will balance love and respect and justice and charity.

The Neo-centennial graduates were given University pins, which symbolize Thomasian formation and continuous mission, and “mission crosses,” which signify their mission in life outside UST.

“Let [the University pin] be your shield as you venture through life outside the University. Let it remind you of the ways of St. Thomas who upheld the truth and remained spirited in life’s struggles and trials,” Assistant to the Rector for Student Affairs Evelyn Songco told the graduates.

The Lourd of the crazy planets

De la Rosa reminded the graduates to live in faith, hope, and love—virtues symbolized by the “Tria Haec” atop the Main Building—to be union with God.

“Remember not only to build your careers, build your families, or build houses … as Thomasians, you have to do this, as you are impelled by faith, propelled by hope, and compelled by love,” he said.

The Mass was capped by a six-minute pyromusical display, followed by the “ceremony of light” and the traditional recessional parade toward the Arch of the Centuries.

The following are the number of graduates per faculty and college this year: Accountancy (970), Architecture (310), Arts and Letters (940), Civil Law (83), Commerce (799), Ecclesiastical Faculties (99), Education (444), Engineering (1,369), Fine Arts and Design (391), Graduate School (61), Medicine and Surgery (490), Music (53), Nursing (456), Pharmacy (623), Rehabilitation Sciences (159), Science (578), and Tourism and Hospitality Management (390). R. L. Antonio and B. D. Nicolas


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