UST Acting Rector Fr. Isaias Tiongco, O.P. on Friday lauded the 7,795 graduates of Batch 2024, calling them the “pandemic batch” for successfully completing their studies despite starting their university education without in-person campus life due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his homily at the Baccalaureate Mass held at the UST Grandstand and Open Field, Tiongco emphasized the numerous challenges encountered by the graduating class when they began their studies at UST during the health crisis.

“Pandemic batch, today is your day, today is your moment,” Tiongco said. “Entering the University of Santo Tomas in 2020, amid the uncertainty and challenges of a pandemic, you embarked on an academic adventure, unique, unprecedented, and unlike any other.” 

“The sudden shift to online learning, the absence of traditional campus life, and the need for constant adaptation tested your limits,” he added. “Yet, you rose to the occasion.” 

Tiongco encouraged the graduating students to carry the lessons learned during the pandemic along with the values instilled in them by the University.

“You are pioneers of a new era. You have demonstrated that education transcends physical boundaries and that the spirit of Thomasian excellence can thrive in any circumstance,” he said. 

“Carry with you the lessons learned during these challenging years, embrace change confidently, courageously face adversity, and passionately pursue your dreams,” he added. 

In her graduation message, Ierathel Tabuno, outgoing president of the Central Student Council (CSC), reflected on the experiences the students had been deprived of because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Over the four years of our college lives, we went through the irreplicable hardship of being the first ones to start our college journey fully online, shifting to hybrid halfway through, and finishing it on site here at the end,” said Tabuno, a graduating legal management student.

Tabuno’s message was followed by the imposition of the Thomasian Mission Cross, the Lumina Pandit or the Ceremony of Light, and the singing of the UST Hymn.

An eight-minute P-pop-themed pyromusical show featuring songs of P-pop bands SB19 and BINI capped the send-off rites at the UST Open Field. 

The recessional of the graduating students through the Arch of the Centuries concluded the event.

Breakdown of Batch 2024

UST sent off 7,795 graduates comprising Batch 2024.

The Faculty of Arts and Letters had the highest number of graduates with 900, followed by the Faculty of Pharmacy with 779 and the UST-Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy with 680.

The number of graduates for the other academic units is as follows:

  • Faculty of Sacred Theology – 37
  • Faculty of Philosophy – 15
  • Faculty of Canon Law – 7
  • Faculty of Civil Law – 129
  • College of Commerce and Business Administration – 612
  • Faculty of Engineering – 650
  • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery – 357 medicine graduates; 73 LEAPMed graduates
  • College of Education – 403
  • College of Science – 650
  • College of Architecture – 330
  • Graduate School – 200
  • Conservatory of Music – 54
  • College of Nursing – 252
  • College of Rehabilitation Sciences – 305
  • College of Fine Arts and Design – 410
  • Institute of Physical Education and Athletics – 60
  • College of Tourism and Hospital Management – 540
  • College of Information and Computing Sciences – 304
  • Graduate School of Law – 14 

The solemn investiture rites of the Faculty of Pharmacy on Saturday morning will mark the beginning of the month-long graduation ceremonies for each academic unit, culminating on July 1 with the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. with reports from Mabel Anne B. Cardinez,  Fernando Pierre Marcel B. de la Cruz, Nyah Genelle C. De Leon, and Janica Kate J. Buan


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