Rector leads groundbreaking of new UST campus in Laguna

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UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. leads the groundbreaking ceremony for the soon-to-rise satellite campus of UST in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Photo by Michael Angelo Reyes.

A NEW UST campus will soon rise in Santa Rosa, Laguna, the first outside Metro Manila, with UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. leading groundbreaking rites on Sept. 10.

UST Santa Rosa will be a 40-hectare campus, twice the size of UST Manila and will be home to 20,000 Thomasians upon its completion.

“We are motivated to open a new campus because we want to provide our students [and] our faculties facilities conducive to learning,” Dagohoy said in his homily during the Eucharistic celebration at the site of the new campus.

Project architect Barbie del Castillo said the expansion would be a “huge undertaking” for UST in its bid to decongest the Manila campus, which houses some 40,000 Thomasians.

“[It] is a breath of fresh air, decongesting the Manila campus and moving away from the hustle of the big city,” del Castillo told the Varsitarian in an interview.

Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P., project head and director of the Facilities Management Office, said the first phase of the plan would involve the construction of the main building at the heart of the campus, laboratories, the church and priory, and transport terminals.

The first phase is expected to be finished by 2020, and will accommodate 5,000 students.

Dagohoy consecrated the Santa Rosa campus to St. Rose of Lima, co-patroness of the Philippines.

“On this year that we celebrate the 400th year anniversary of St. Rose of Lima, we dedicate this campus in her name, in the town that honored her memory,” Dagohoy said.

Dagohoy and other Dominicans present buried a time capsule — a “box containing blessed sacramentals, including a rosary, blessed salt, and the medal of St. Benedict, to symbolize the consecration of the 40-hectare lot to God,” UST’s Facebook page said.

“The Mass included an invocation of all Dominican saints and blessed and the holy angels to help protect the place from evil and to bless those who will later dwell in it for learning,” it added.

The University’s integration plan with other Dominican schools in the country and the construction of satellite campuses in Santa Rosa and General Santos City in Mindanao were announced by Dagohoy in his 2015 Rector’s Report.

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