Alumni Update Letter March 2014
Dear Fellow Sillimanians and Friends:
The month of March was a time to celebrate and be grateful, as parents beamed with pride seeing their children graduate. The heavy downpour did not dampen the jubilation felt in the air at the Gymnasium for the Commencement exercises. We at the sidelines felt nostalgic remembering how it was during our time.
The graduating International Students were recently honored by the University in a Testimonial Dinner at the University Guest House. Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, Silliman University President, gave an inspirational talk emphasizing the role of international students as a 2-way learning opportunity. International students on campus get the chance to learn from fellow Filipino students and vice versa.
Testimonials from Yuanhan Liu (Chinese), Davide Mupe (Congolese), Shanice Rae A. McSavaney (Canadian) and Mehdi Salemiseresht (Iranian) were all heartwarming and re-assuring that Silliman has developed within them competence, character and faith. These international graduates serve as Silliman’s ambassadors to their home countries, assisting the University in its international student recruitment campaign. The growing number of international students in the University has inspired the creation of the International Student Center last year. One of the functions of the Center, which is being managed by Mr. Moses Joshua B. Atega as International Student Adviser, is to oversee the needs of international students, including helping them process their documents with relevant government agencies. Silliman University is home to around 300 international students every school year. They come from 36 countries in Asia, America, Africa and Europe, and provide a rich mix of cultures, social orientations and faith perspectives.
The Alumni and External Affairs office will soon embark on a Graduate Tracer Survey (GTS). This survey will be used for research purposes to assess graduate employability and, eventually, improve course offerings of Silliman and other universities and colleges in the Philippines. Survey forms will be sent through e-mail and will cover graduates of 2011, 2012 and 2013. We seek your cooperation in filling out the survey form when you receive them. This survey is a joint undertaking with the University’s Research and Development Center, headed by Dr. Enrique G. Oracion.
The Silliman University Gratitude and Goodwill Ambassadors (SUGGA), led by director Dr. Elizabeth Susan Vista-Suarez, will be singing at a church service/concert on May 4, 2014, during the 9:45am and 6pm services, at the Bradford UCCP, Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City. This concert seeks to raise funds for Bradford Church’s continuing campaign for super typhoon Yolanda victims, particularly the rebuilding of the UCCP Madredijos church building in Bantayan Island, Cebu Province. The concert is a partnership between Silliman and Bradford UCCP. We invite our alumni in Cebu to come and support the concert. This will also be an opportune time to fellowship with alumni who are based in Cebu. According to Rev. Haniel Joses Taganas, Bradford Church Administrative Pastor: “The coming of SUGGA is quite timely as Bradford Church will be celebrating its 111th Founding Anniversary.”
SPES Benefits 80 Working Students this summer
Student assistants assigned to the different academic and non-academic units on campus are the recipients of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) during the summer term (April 7, 2014 to May 17, 2014). There is a total of 80 working students accepted into this summer program.
SPES is a joint undertaking among different government agencies, namely: the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Finance. SPES seeks to develop the skills and harness the potential of children who come from financially challenged families, in order to prepare them for industry work in the future. The program helps poor but deserving students pursue their education by encouraging their employment during the summer break, enabling them to earn some amount to subsidize their studies. Working students in Silliman have benefited from SPES since 2007.
Ticao Island – the perfect summer destination
If you have not decided where to go this summer vacation, we invite you to consider Ticao Island, one of the three major islands of Masbate province in the Philippines. The other two major islands are Masbate Island and Burias Island.
In 2007, Silliman University received a generous donation of a 467-hectare property in Ticao Island, Masbate, from the How family, through Mrs. Elizabeth How. This was made in honor of her husband, Mr. Paulino How, and son, Mr. Francis How, who studied at Silliman. The vast property boasts of white sand beaches, pristine waters as well as postcard-like sunrises. Ticao Island’s main attractions are the whale sharks and a reef called Manta Bowl, known for its rich population of manta rays. A coconut plantation covers a big portion of the donated property, and its primary forest and mangrove area play home to different bird species. There is also a considerable number of Brahman cattle as the area is richly blessed for cattle grazing.
Already in place in Ticao are educational, socio-economic and advocacy-related programs. A TESDA Training School was established in 2011 by Silliman in Ticao with the following courses offered: Agricultural Crop Production NC 111; Animal Production NC 11; Automotive Servicing NC 1; Carpentry NC 11; Masonry NC 11; and Security Services NC 1. The 4th batch of students will be graduating on April 30, 2014. Some of its graduates have landed jobs abroad. Silliman has also made available scholarships at the College of Agriculture to children of qualified families.
Those who wish to visit the island and avail themselves of the facilities of Silliman University, may get in touch with Prof. Santiago Utzurrum, Director for Off Campus Property Development ([email protected]).
IN MEMORIAM Atty. Mateo P. Francisco (LLB’65) on March 3, 2014; Atty. Victoriano B. Tirol, Jr. (MA’64, LLB’66) March 21, 2014; Doreen Dael-Cutillar (HS’89, BBA’93) March 28, 2014; Braulio R. Gargar (Biology Department Caretaker) March 28, 2014. If you know of any Sillimanian who is not on our memorial list, please inform us.
Thank you for always being there for dear old Silliman.
President Ben S. Malayang III has requested this office to update you regularly about the happenings on campus. We are also interested in knowing what you and your alumni chapters are doing.
Please keep in touch and update your file with our office if you have not done so. We would truly appreciate it. You may reach the President’s Office through this email address: [email protected] You may also contact the Alumni Affairs Office through this address: [email protected].
The Officers and Staff of the Alumni and External Affairs