The year 2020 has been eventful, to say the least. Preluded by the Taal Volcano eruption in January and climaxed by a pandemic that has yet to subside, one may say it turned out to be like Lemony Snicket’s novel, “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

The Varsitarian looks back at its top stories from the year that’s about to close.

Dagohoy ends eight-year rectorship

“I have said a lot in the past eight years [but] allow me to just repeat the words of St. Paul: ‘I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy,’” Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P., eight-year UST rector, tells University officials during a testimonial luncheon marking the end of his eight-year rectorship on Jan. 15.

“It is an honor to serve Asia’s oldest university and to meet wonderful people like you. Love UST,” adds Dagohoy.

Dagohoy: ‘Pray for me and remember me with gladness’ 

UST gets Asean quality seal

The University becomes the second in the country to receive the Asean University Network (AUN) quality seal following the visit of AUN Quality Assurance assessors in 2019.

UST gets Asean quality seal

Faculty of Medicine and Surgery breaks ground for new building

The Faculty of Medicine and Surgery kicks off celebrations marking its sesquicentennial in 2021 with groundbreaking rites for the Saints Cosmas and Damian Simulation and Research Building.

Groundbreaking rites for new building kick off Medicine sesquicentennial

Taal eruption an ‘opportunity for ecological conservation’

College of Science Dean Rey Donne Papa says the eruption of Taal Volcano in January, which caused 39 deaths and forced 400,000 Filipinos out of their homes, should be a wake-up call for the proper conservation and management of Taal Lake.

Taal eruption an ‘opportunity for ecological conservation,’ says Thomasian biologist

UST imposes pre-lockdown measures

The University on Feb. 4 suspends some inbound and outbound activities as part of precautionary measures against the 2019 novel Coronavirus. UST also imposes precautionary measures such as mandatory temperature screenings and hand sanitizing at building entrances.

UST on alert vs nCov; students required to go through thermal checks 

Last day of (face-to-face) classes

A week-long suspension of classes in Manila from March 9 to 15, which will later become an indefinite ban on face-to-face classes, is imposed by Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Manila suspends classes; UST profs advised to hold online classes

UST shifts to Cloud Campus

UST announces on April 9 that it will continue online classes until the end of the second term of Academic Year (AY) 2019 to 2020 as a precautionary measure against the outbreak of Covid-19.

UST shifts to ‘self-paced’ instruction; online classes no longer required

Online classes in UST to resume; no failing marks this term 

Ang is named UST rector

Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. becomes the 97th Rector Magnificus of UST, succeeding Dagohoy.

Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. named 97th Rector Magnificus of UST

‘Enriched virtual mode’ introduced

UST announces on May 27 that it will shift to “Enriched Virtual Mode” in the first term of AY 2020 to 2021 where online and offline learning strategies will be utilized by faculty members.

UST: Classes on ‘enriched virtual mode’ next term


UST throws support behind ABS-CBN

UST expresses its support to ABS-CBN after House lawmakers voted to deny the media giant’s bid for a new 25-year broadcasting franchise. The University says: “We believe that ABS-CBN deserves to be given another chance to renew its franchise to continue its invaluable service to the nation and the Filipino people.”

UST shows support for ABS-CBN after House vote denying franchise

UST opposes anti-terrorism bill

UST joins other Catholic universities in opposing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 and urges the government to focus on the “deleterious effects of the Covid-19 pandemic” instead.

“We fear that people’s basic civil rights as enshrined in the Constitution will be rendered inconsequential when this becomes a law,” UST says in a statement.

UST opposes anti-terrorism bill

Tigers’ ‘bubble’ controversy

Defections decimate the UST Growling Tigers: CJ Cansino transfers to the University of the Philippines, Mark Nonoy and Deo Cuajao move to De La Salle University, and Brent Paraiso and Rhenz Abando become Letran Knights.

Former head coach Aldin Ayo resigns and is banished from the UAAP.

(Photo by Hazel Grace S. Posadas/The Varsitarian)

Giovanna Fontanilla, UST’s longtime public affairs chief, dies

Long-time UST Public Affairs Director Giovanna Fontanilla dies on Dec. 6 at the age of 62 after a heart attack.


Thomasians mourn death of Fontanilla, ‘ever smiling, welcoming face of UST’


‘Christmas can never be canceled’

UST mounts a virtual Paskuhan concert on Dec. 18 with a production that featured previous years’ performances alongside a fund drive for typhoon victims.

Virtual UST Paskuhan concert raises funds for typhoon victims


‘Pandemya’ is word of the year

Pandemya” is Sawikaan 2020’s word of the year, edging out other Covid-19-related words 2020, ayuda, blended learning, contact tracing, quarantine, social distancing, testing, virus and webinar.

‘Pandemya’ ang salita ng taon

Enriched virtual mode renewed for second term

UST will continue to utilize its “enriched virtual mode” of instruction in the second term of AY 2020-2021, the Office of the Secretary General announces.

UST’s ‘enriched virtual mode’ renewed for second term


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