The UST Faculty of Arts and Letters opened its 125th anniversary celebration with a Eucharistic celebration on Monday, April 19, with the celebrants reflecting on the mission and contributions of the country’s oldest liberal arts college.

Artlets Regent Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P. presided over the Mass.

“Siguro kung walang pandemya ngayon maririnig natin ang ingay ng AB sa buong University. Ang laki ng kontribusyon ng AB sa ating University. Galing diyan ang mga peryodista, artista, pati na mga aktibista. Lahat ng nagbibigay buhay sa ating University, most of them ay nanggaling po sa Faculty of Arts and Letters,” he said.

Artlets alumnus and UST Communications Bureau Director Fr. Christopher Jeffrey Aytona, O.P. delivered the homily.

“As we celebrate another milestone in the history of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, for the past 125 years, we have, indeed, been beneficiaries of God’s unending grace,” he said.

Above all these, we direct our students to the sublime truth, who satisfies all our needs – God! Let us not forget that the principal purpose of Catholic, liberal education is still to form disciples — people who know Christ, follow Christ and make Him known. Not excellence in education, as important as that is; not equipping students to have successful careers, however valuable that may be, but forming disciples.”

The Faculty of Arts and Letters, which used to be the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters (or Philets), is the University’s most diverse tertiary academic unit, offering 13 bachelor’s degree programs in 10 departments. It was designated by the Commission on Higher Education as a center of excellence in philosophy, while the literature, communication and journalism programs are centers of development.

Founded in 1896, it has produced National Artists, including Nick Joaquin, Bienvenido Lumbera, Cirilo Bautista and F. Sionil Jose, as well as media practitioners, philosophers, linguists, and historians.

According to the Faculty’s Facebook page, the quasquicentennial celebration will be celebrated with activities until April 2022, including academic conferences, alumni lectures, awards and competitions and outreach programs. J.B. Martinez


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