THE PRIVILEGE of being a Thomasian doesn’t end once you receive your diploma and start your professional career—he forever carries the spirit and the valuable lessons.

One of the major infrastructure projects by the University for its Neo-centennial celebration is dedicated to its alumni. The Thomasian Alumni Center and Hostel is a testament that UST welcomes former students with open arms even years, if not decades, since their graduation.

The project began as a simple design competition, sponsored by architectural firm Aidea among Thomasian architecture students three years ago. The idea was to design a structure that would accommodate all alumni-related events and affairs. The site was to be located at the site of the old UST gym. It was envisioned to be the biggest of its kind by the time it was completed.

Among hundreds of proposed designs, the prototype of the group composed of Christian Darby Santos, Jesi Ling, and Weinard Tan stood out.

Aidea tweaked the group’s brainchild further, aresulting in a design that merged UST’s rich history with the technological advances of the present.

Abelardo Tolentino, architect and chief executive officer of Aidea, said the students collaborated with his firm to develop a design that would best suit the needs of the alumni and UST.

“It (Alumni Center) is a project that showcases the collaboration of alumni, students and the academe,” he said.

The design initially called for a two-story structure. But to accommodate the inclusion of function rooms, guest rooms, and ballroom halls, the proposed structure had to be raised up to six stories.

The Quadricentennial Pavilion

“I guess that due to the limited land available in the University, we had to maximize the use of the building. This resulted in several alterations to the plans,” Tolentino said. “I believe that the program worked for the better.”

Avant-garde but conservative

Paying homage to the rich historical value of the first UST gym, the architectural team retained the front and rear façade, which used to be the old gym’s vestibule. Inside, the gym’s staircase was not demolished as well. The structure’s aesthetics is apparently based on the old gym, albeit with a modern appeal, making the remnant elements not out-of-place.

“The Alumni Center is a modern interpretation of the classical language of UST’s campus architecture. The design represents the rich heritage and history of UST and expresses it in a progressive and modern language,” said Tolentino. “The existing gym’s façade were maintained to remind everyone of the past. “

The grand lobby will be able to accommodate alumni homecomings as well as different alumni-related activities. The ground floor will also allot spaces for a coffee shop, a time capsule, and a travel bureau. A grand staircase leading to the mezzanine will be used as an exhibition hall.

Meanwhile, the second floor will house the grand hall or ballroom, with a pre-function area for cocktails.

The Office for Alumni Relations, meeting rooms, and other offices are to be located on the third floor, where they may be easily accessed from every level.

The fourth floor will house multipurpose rooms, which would act as a supplement to the University’s classroom requirements, as well as meetings and assemblies.

'Mother of all schools'

Finally, the fifth level will house the hostel facilities of the building, which doubles as training ground for College of Tourism and Hospitality Management students. Facilities include one-bedroom and two-bedroom type studios, reception area, front office operations, and an executive lounge.

In addition, Aidea planned the building to accommodate vertical expansion, in case more spaces will be required in the future.

“The structures are designed to carry an additional 6 floors,” Tolentino said.


  1. Awesome design blending old traditions and new concepts. As a fund raiser, alumni should be able to buy inscripted bricks as part of a design around a fountain. Looking forward to the Center in my next visit to the university .

  2. To whom it may concern:
    We are planning/organizing our 45th reunion.
    The Thomasian Alumni was suggested for our
    reunion venue.
    Please email me contact nos. so I can
    inquire about logistics, availability,
    amenities, facilities for alumni from abroad,
    Thank you for your attention.
    Hideliza Tumang Tuason
    ChE 70

  3. Hi..
    Our batch, UST CE CLASS7, will celebrate our 40th Anniversary in November 15, 2017.. We would like to hold our momentous event in the Thomasian Alumni Center on said date from 11am onwards.. We are more or less 50 persons..

    Please give us details on:
    • Rental of the venue: function room or ballroom
    • Caterer
    • other info and requirements

    Thank you..

    Engr. Joylie Torres


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