The Varsitarian’s top stories of 2023

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The year 2023 saw the launch of UST’s first fully hybrid academic year, the topping off of a revolutionary medicine building and the inauguration of the first structure beyond the Sampaloc campus.

The Varsitarian, celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, witnessed the University achieving notable milestones in international rankings and licensure examinations.

Join us as we look back on our top stories of 2023.

Alumni recall best years with Varsitarian in 95th anniversary

Joining the Varsitarian without having to enter its rigorous multi-stage exams. Using the telephone without having to pay 75 centavos. Lampooning a pope that resulted in expulsion and exoneration. 

These are some of the memories recounted by some “V” alumni of their time as staff members on Jan. 14 at “Valik-Varsi,” the Varsitarian Grand Alumni Homecoming staged in celebration of its 95th anniversary.

Prominent alumni recall best years with Varsitarian

CHEd allows HEIs to conduct off-campus activities

The Commission on Higher Education announces that higher education institutions (HEIs) are now allowed to conduct local off-campus activities without securing approval from the local government unit.

CHEd allows HEIs to conduct off-campus activities

UST embraces hybrid: No full F2F, fully online classes in AY 2023-2024 

UST is sticking to hybrid learning in Academic Year (AY) 2023 to 2024, according to the Office of the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs (OVRAA).

In a memorandum, the OVRAA says no full face-to-face (F2F) classes will be conducted in the University to take “advantage of the gains from enriched virtual mode of instruction (EVM), especially as a contingency plan when on-site classes are not possible.”

UST embraces hybrid: No full F2F, fully online classes in AY 2023-2024

CSC auditor resigns, decries ‘restrictive system’ for student leaders 

UST Central Student Council (CSC) auditor Dale Marollano resigns, citing what he described as a “restrictive system” that made him unable to render his vision for a “policy-driven student council.”

CSC auditor resigns, decries ‘restrictive system’ for student leaders

Golden Tigresses snap NU’s 20-game winning streak

The UST Golden Tigresses halt the 20-game winning streak of the NU Lady Bulldogs after prevailing in five sets, 25-23, 27-25, 17-25, 22-25, 15-11, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.

Golden Tigresses snap NU’s 20-game winning streak in five-set thriller

UST Junior High alumnus is 2022 Bar exams topnotcher

Czar Matthew Dayday of the University of the Philippines, who finished his JHS studies in UST, tops the 2022 Bar examinations with a score of 88.8083 percent.

UST Junior High alumnus is 2022 Bar exams topnotcher

UST tightens email use policy; student drive storage to be limited to 20GB

Thomasians are advised to remove non-academic files from their Google Cloud storage by May 17, 2023 as the Office of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) announces a stricter policy on the use of UST email accounts.

UST tightens email use policy; student drive storage to be limited to 20GB

UST, other Dominican schools to shift to Canvas

Starting Academic Year 2023-2024, UST starts utilizing Canvas after ending a deal with Blackboard, its learning management system (LMS) for two decades.

UST, other Dominican schools to shift to Canvas next academic year

Cinderella run: UST Male Tennisters capture 1st title in 12 years

The UST Male Tennisters complete their Season 85 Cinderella run and end their 12-year title drought after outlasting the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles, 3-2, in Game 2 of the men’s tennis finals.

Cinderella run done: UST Male Tennisters capture 1st title in 12 years

Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center inaugurated on UST’s 412th anniversary

UST inaugurates the UST-Dr. Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center, the first building erected on the Santa Rosa campus, on its 412th founding anniversary on April 29.

The building, named after its donor, Jollibee Group chairman and founder Tony Tan Caktiong, is the first completed structure outside UST’s Sampaloc campus.

Tony Tan Caktiong Innovation Center inaugurated on UST’s 412th anniversary

UST bags UAAP Season 85 general championships

UST collects a total of 336 points in the collegiate division built on nine gold, seven silver and three bronze medals. In the high school division, UST tallies a total of 217 points, obtaining eight gold medals, three silver medals and five bronze medals.

UST bags UAAP Season 85 general championships

Behind the framed photo that tugged hearts at Education graduation

The Solemn Investiture of the UST College of Education turns into a tear-jerker, as one faculty member put it, when the mother and sister of a Food Technology graduate went up to the stage on her behalf. They were carrying the framed graduation photo of Charlotte Denise Santiago, who died on May 11 after suffering from heart failure.

Behind the framed photo that tugged hearts at Education graduation

UST makes first QS world ranking jump since 2018, climbs to 801-850 bracket 

In the 2024 rankings released on June 28 (Philippine time), UST soars past the 800-1,000 bracket, where it had remained since 2018, and reaches the 801-850 bracket. 

UST makes first QS world ranking jump since 2018, climbs to 801-850 bracket

MyUSTe revamp: UST services consolidated in new student portal

The portal, available at https://myusteportal.ust.edu.ph, grants stakeholders easy access to a range of services, including admission, Thomasian Online Medical Services and Support (ThOMedSS), student affairs, car sticker registration, the MyUSTe student portal, surveys, and more.

Users can also check their USTET results, make seat reservations at the UST Miguel de Benavides Library, and utilize the services provided by the Office of the Registrar.

MyUSTe undergoes massive revamp; UST services consolidated in new portal

Growling Tigers get San Miguel Corporation backing

SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) agrees to boost UST’s basketball program in a move expected to improve the Growling Tigers’ chances of regaining UAAP supremacy. 

SMC sports director Alfrancis Chua announced the news during a team meeting of the Tigers at the Quadricentennial Pavilion attended by UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) Director Fr. Rodel Cansancio, O.P., and players and coaches of the men’s basketball team.

Growling Tigers get San Miguel Corporation backing

UST marks 700th anniversary of St. Thomas Aquinas’ sainthood

UST Central Seminary Vice Rector Fr. Napoleon Sipalay Jr., O.P., urges Thomasians to emulate St. Thomas Aquinas’ commitment to prayer and the Eucharist during the Mass commemorating the 700th anniversary of the University patron saint’s canonization on July 19.

UST marks 700th anniversary of St. Thomas Aquinas’ sainthood

Over 12,000 freshies enter UST in first pandemic-free academic year

More than 12,000 freshmen commence their Thomasian journey by walking through the Arch of the Centuries in a customary rite of passage on Aug. 4 and 5.

This year signifies the first academic year following the World Health Organization’s declaration of the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Over 12,000 freshies enter UST in first pandemic-free academic year

Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo receives S.E.A. Write Award from Thai royalty

Acclaimed writer and literature professor Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo receives the Southeast Asian Writers (S.E.A. Write) Award, a prestigious honor accorded to the region’s top litterateurs.

Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo to receive S.E.A. Write Award from Thai royalty

UST student population down nearly 5% 

A total of 41,554 students enroll in UST for the first term of Academic Year 2023-2024, lower than last year’s first-term tally of 43,631 when there were more online classes. 

After the enrollment period concluded on Aug. 15, the total number of students was 4.76 percent lower than the previous year’s total of 43,631 Thomasians enrolled in the first term.

UST student population down nearly 5%

Thomasian legacy in arts recognized in ‘Vision: Compendio’ alumni exhibit

The legacy of Thomasian alumni in the arts is recognized in a group exhibition featuring over 50 artists, at the Art Lounge Manila in Alabang and Ortigas on Aug. 18. 

The “Vision: Compendio” exhibit organized by the UST Atelier Alumni Association, Inc. showcased more than 90 works by Thomasian artists. 

Thomasian legacy in arts recognized in ‘Vision: Compendio’ alumni exhibit

UST breaks into 2024 THE World University Rankings 

The University earns a spot for the first time in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, placing third best among Philippine schools. 

UST tied for third with De La Salle University, after both placed in the 1,501+ bracket globally in the 2024 rankings released on Sept. 27.  

UST breaks into 2024 THE World University Rankings

UST Main Building mural gets makeover

Enhancing an iconic artwork is a painstaking process that requires a sheer amount of delicateness and meticulousness.

Such is the laborious case of UST Museum’s chief conservator, Prof. Bernardita Maronilla-Reyes, who has been on a mission that began two years ago to conserve Antonio Garcia Llamas’s four-panel mural titled “History of University of Santo Tomas,” which was painted from 1952 to 1954, located at the Main Building.

UST Main Building mural gets makeover

UST Henry Sy Sr. Hall topped off, set to ‘revolutionize’ medical education by 2024

The University on Oct. 7 topped off the Henry Sy Sr. Hall, a simulation hub and research center expected to “revolutionize” medical education by its completion in 2024.

The hall, which will house the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Simulation Research Center of the Faculty of Medicine Surgery, is about 40 percent complete and is expected to finish construction by June 2024.

UST Henry Sy Sr. Hall topped off, set to ‘revolutionize’ medical education by 2024

3-week Vatican synod tackles sensitive issues head-on

Aiming to become a “listening church,” Pope Francis’s “Synod on Synodality” gathers more than 400 delegates for three weeks to discuss hot-button issues hounding the Church, including admitting female clergy, accepting gay and lesbian Catholics, and ordaining married men.

3-week Vatican synod tackles sensitive issues head-on

New DA chief did not study in UST—registrar

Newly appointed agriculture secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. is not a UST computer science alumnus and did not pursue any undergraduate studies at the University, his camp and the Office of the Registrar clarify, disproving official documents published prior to his Cabinet designation.

New DA chief did not study in UST—registrar

UST defends title with undefeated run in UAAP men’s chess

THE UST Male Woodpushers sweep the FEU Tamaraws, 4-0, to finish their UAAP Season 86 men’s chess tournament campaign undefeated at the FEU Tech Gym on Sunday, Nov. 19.

UST defends title with undefeated run in UAAP men’s chess

3 Thomasian writers win in 71st Palanca Awards

Former literature student Patricia Shishikura (1st prize, Poetry) and UST alumni Iza Maria Reyes (3rd prize, Maikling Kuwentong Pambata) and Mike Maniquiz (3rd prize, Poetry) receive the prestigious Palanca award in a ceremony on Nov. 27 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay.

3 Thomasian writers win in 71st Palanca Awards

UST aces nursing board exams for 9th straight year

UST again notches a perfect passing rate in the licensure examinations for nurses, extending its flawless streak to nine years in the November 2023 cycle.

UST aces nursing board exams for 9th straight year

BLACKPINK-inspired Salinggawi places 3rd in Season 86 cheerdance

THE UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe pulls off a BLACKPINK-inspired routine to clinch bronze for the second straight year in the UAAP Season 86 cheerdance competition at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

BLACKPINK-inspired Salinggawi places 3rd in Season 86 cheerdance

‘V’ wins best website in 2023 Catholic Social Media Awards

The Varsitarian, the 95-year-old official student publication of the University of Santo Tomas, bags the Best Catholic Organization Website award during the 2023 Catholic Social Media Awards (CSMA) at the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu on Dec. 3.

‘V’ wins best website in 2023 Catholic Social Media Awards

Thomasian tops 2023 Bar exams; several UST grads in top 20

An alumnus of the UST Faculty of Civil Law tops the September 2023 Bar examinations, where the University was named the fifth best performing school among those with over 100 candidates. 

Ephraim Bie, who graduated from law school at the top of his batch and with magna cum laude honors, scored 89.2625 percent to lead the batch of new lawyers.

Thomasian tops 2023 Bar exams; several UST grads in top 20

UST dethrones NU to end 17-year title drought in women’s hoops

THE UST Growling Tigresses snap the dynastic reign of the NU Lady Bulldogs in UAAP women’s basketball, toppling them in Game 3 of the Season 86 finals, 71-69, and winning their first championship in 17 years at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 6. 

UST dethrones NU to end 17-year title drought

Antiwar songs at forefront of 2023 Paskuhan pyromusical show  

The pyromusical display at this year’s grand Paskuhan concert is an homage to peace amid worldwide tensions, incorporating popular antiwar songs in the seven-minute show.

What started as a Super Mario-themed display turned into an emotional show, featuring well-known antiwar songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Lennon and Plastic Ono Band’s “Give Peace a Chance,” and Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.”

Antiwar songs at forefront of 2023 Paskuhan pyromusical show

 

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