The UP Open University (UPOU) paid tribute to outgoing UP President Alfredo Pascual and his team on January 24 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna. It is the first in a series of tributes to the 20th UP president, who will turn over the post to incumbent UP Diliman College of Law Dean Danilo Concepcion.
The hashtag in the event title “#Pasasalamat” captured UPOU’s distinction as the open and distance e-Learning constituent university (CU) of the UP System. In her opening message, UPOU Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria acknowledged that Pascual had “challenged UPOU to aim higher and maximize its distinctness from the other CUs.” She also said that “UPOU is lucky” because of the support it has received from the UP administration, such as funding for infrastructure projects as well as for other academic and administrative initiatives.
The program included the presentation of a tribute video, which showed UPOU’s appreciation of the administration’s strategic thrusts and its gratitude to Pascual and his vice presidents, both current and former. There was a black light hand performance by The Shadowy Group, where members formed the words, “salamat,” “gracias,” “arigato,” “grazie,” “thank u,” and “PAEP.” The COS Band performed four songs: “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Twist and Shout,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” the last of which Pascual sang along to.
Pascual was also given a plaque featuring the UPOU Oblation, a tablet containing the tribute video and a collection of his photos, and a portrait of himself.
In response, Pascual thanked UPOU for the tribute, but said that more than the event, he was “most thankful for UPOU’s active participation in and contribution to the administration’s efforts to lead the UP System and community towards greatness in the 21st Century.” He thanked the current and former UPOU leaders for being “reliable and key partners . . . in the development of this country’s first and only national university.”
He also said that since he began his term as UP president in 2011, he has “always recognized UPOU as the university of the future—not only as the leader of innovative, creative, and technologically-advanced teaching and learning in UP, but also the embodiment of accessible, open, and inclusive UP education.”
Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, Bandalaria’s predecessor as UPOU chancellor, formally closed the program by also paying tribute and expressing gratitude to the Pascual administration. “I am really happy to say that we will still be continuously working with you, supporting you in your continuing advocacies and your resolve to help [UP] in its path to exemplary teaching, research, and public service.”
To view more photos of the event, please click through the album below.