“Pandayan ng Bayan” (The Country’s Forge)—this is the theme for this year’s alumni events.
The annual Alumni Council Meeting (ACM) was held on August 23 at Ang Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman, and, as traditionally practiced, UP graduates gathered in the annual General Alumni Homecoming in the same venue on August 24. Both events were organized by the UP Alumni Association (UPAA).
The ACM features resource speakers from the roster of UPAA awardees. Their presentations provide the bases for the Council resolutions that help guide UPAA initiatives.
This year, the speakers were Ambassador Edgardo B. Espiritu, Most Distinguished Alumnus, and Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. Dela Peña, a recipient of the Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award. Espiritu talked about fighting corruption while Dela Peña discussed the country’s initiatives toward scientific development.
As he did last year, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion took the opportunity during the ACM to provide a few updates on the numerous development projects of the University. These include: the soon to be finished Student Union Building; the completed restoration of the Oblation Plaza; the construction of Philippine General Hospital Diliman; the completion and utilization of the Epsilon Chi Wellness Center; the construction of the Shopping Center; faculty and staff housing plans; the renovation of dormitories; plans for a bigger Balay Atleta; the renovation and upgrading of infirmaries; and, the new UP ID, which he said may be made available to alumni in the future.
Concepcion also shared the good news of UP’s climb in the London-based Times Higher Education list of top universities in Asia for 2019. UP went up 61 notches, breaking into the top 100 for the first time at 95th place from last year’s 156th, which also made it the fourth best university in Southeast Asia. He also said something that elicited the loudest cheer from the Council. Concepcion reminded them of what he said last year: that the UP men’s basketball team would become UAAP champions during his term.
The next day’s homecoming was a more relaxed, less serious gathering. It was divided into four parts. First was the opening, where the Alumni Council resolutions were presented and speeches were delivered by Concepcion and UPAA President and Alumni Regent Reynaldo C. Laserna.
The second part of the Homecoming program was the Alumni Awards ceremony and the third part was dinner.
The fourth and final portion of the program was the alumni’s time to let loose with performances by Baihana, and the diamond, golden, ruby, and silver jubilarians.