FINISH LINE. A candidate for graduation from the College of Science rejoices upon passing through the historic Arch of the Centuries. The tradition capped off UST’s sendoff ceremony on May 24. (Photo by Mary Jazmin D. Tabuena/ The Varsitarian)

FACE-TO-FACE graduation ceremonies and Baccalaureate Masses will be held at the Sampaloc campus in June for the first time since 2019, the Office of the Secretary General has announced.

In a media briefing, UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said the University Crisis Management Committee headed by UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. had approved the conduct of the face-to-face (F2F) rites.

The in-person rites will be held for all graduates of batches 2020 to 2022 on the tertiary, post-Baccalaureate and graduate levels.

For the senior high school, only Batch 2022 will have F2F rites as Coronel said earlier batches already had virtual ceremonies.

Two Baccalaureate Masses will be held: one on Friday, June 3, at 4 p.m., for Batch 2022, and one on Saturday, June 4, at 4 p.m. for Batch 2020 and Batch 2021.

Solemn investiture rites will be held from June 6 to 30.

The send-off will include the traditional exit through the Arch of the Centuries, a custom that was conducted virtually via UST Minecraft last year.

The University will not stage a fireworks display, Coronel said.

“[T]he Baccalaureate Masses are planned to be as solemn and as austere as possible,” he said.

Each student will be allowed to have two guests during the graduation rites. All attendees are required to be at least fully vaccinated (two shots of two-dose vaccines or one Janssen shot).

Coronel said local graduation committees of each academic unit would conduct their respective virtual orientations among the participants of the F2F rites.

Should a surge prompt the government to prohibit schools from mounting in-person graduation ceremonies, Coronel said the University would reschedule the rites.

“Just in case magkaroon ng surge […] we will reschedule to the best possible schedule after that. So ngayon, buong June siya, baka maging July or kahit mag-opening na tayo ng [classes by] August, pwede pa naman n’un,” Coronel said.

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 1 until May 15, but experts have warned of a post-election surge.

The University is preparing for the attendance of the 4,722 graduates of Batch 2020, 2,553 graduates of Batch 2021, and those from the pool of 10,480 students who can complete their requirements for graduation to join Batch 2022.

The default uniform requirement for students in the Baccalaureate Mass attendees will be their Type A uniforms. Graduates will also be asked to provide their measurements for their togas.


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