UST RECTOR Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. lauded The Varsitarian for bringing “pride and honor” to the University as he greeted the publication on its 95th anniversary.

In a recorded message, Ang said the publication brought inspiration to the Thomasian community with the “love and service” it has rendered over the years.

“Ang tatak Varsi ay tatak ng tibay at husay na sumasalamin ng 95 taon ng makalidad na pamamahayag o campus journalism na naging lunduyan ng kasanayan at kahusayan para sa mag-aaral ng UST na minsa’y nangarap ding maging katulad ng mga batikang personalidad sa kasaysayan ng pamamahayag sa Pilipinas,” the Rector said.

“As sons and daughters of this four-centuries-old institution, you brought pride and honor to UST for what you have achieved. You inspire the Thomasian community with the love and service you have rendered to our country and your commitment to giving back to society,” he added.

In 1928, the Varsitarian was established by lexicographer-writer-teacher Jose Villa Panganiban, the first director of the National Language Institute (now the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino).

Originally set up so that students, according to the paper’s first editorial on Jan. 16, 1928, could have “something to write on,” the Varsitarian has become the oldest Catholic campus paper and the most influential student publication in the Philippines.

To celebrate its 95th anniversary, it held a grand alumni homecoming on Jan. 14, 2023, at the Blessed Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building (Thomasian Alumni Center), which was attended by some of the most prominent Varsitarian alumni, including former UST rector and Commission on Higher Education chair Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., communications scholar Crispin Maslog, former Sen. Francisco Tatad, award-winning fictionist-essayist Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, renowned artist Remedios Boquiren, Manila Bulletin columnist Nestor Cuartero, Associated Press chief correspondent in Manila Jim Gomez, award-winning poet Vim Nadera, former presidential political adviser Ronald Llamas, BizNewsAsia President Tony Lopez, and musician and broadcast personality Lourd de Veyra

“We hope that this act of returning home would also be an opportunity to renew, rekindle, and reinvigorate the hallmarks of your Catholic identity through which you are empowered to perform our prophetic obligation – to live in truth and to work for a just, peaceful, and harmonious society. Congratulations on your 95th anniversary and happy homecoming,” Ang said.

In his message, UST Vice Rector Isaias Tiongco, O.P. commended the publication for “its continuing commitment to the formation of the social, the intellectual, spiritual, and artistic consciousness of the Thomasian studentry and the community at large by providing free rein to creative expressions following journalistic and aesthetic tenets, and upholding universal human values.”

“It is my ardent hope the Varsitarian, led by its editors in chief and guided by its advisers and mentors, especially from among its alumni, may continue to be the seedbed and haven of future generations of responsible Thomasian writers,” he said.

Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. urged Varsitarian staffers to embody the University motto Veritas in caritate (truth in charity) as competent, compassionate, and committed Thomasians.

“Let the ideals of truth, integrity, and justice that you once championed as campus journalists remain always with you as you engage in your professional fields,” he said.

Quoting eminent Thomasian historian Fr. Fidel Villarroel, O.P., UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel O.P. said the Varsitarian was among the three publications of the University regarded as the “modern-day tria haec,” along with Unitas, the oldest extant university-based academic journal in the country, and Boletin Ecclesiastico de Filipinas, the official interdiocesan bulletin of the Philippines.

“The Varsitarian has been responding out of love for 95 years, such a milestone will lead us to a five-year preparation for its centennial. Continue spreading love through information…Congratulations, Varsitarian, happy 95th anniversary. Onwards, to the centennial. God bless you,” he said. with reports from Karis Tsang


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