Proud to be Sillimanian!
By Mr. Reuben N. Bokingo, Director, Office of Alumni and External Affairs
Being in a gathering of Sillimanians in the country and abroad makes me ask myself: Is this the Silliman Spirit that has brought us together?
It seems like an un-seen force has bonded us. It cannot be seen, nor can we smell or touch it. But certainly, being Sillimanians, we can feel it. We know it to be what it is. That is the Silliman Spirit.
What is this Silliman Spirit that we love to talk about? Are we referring to the “white lady” that many among us would speak of when sharing stories about our experiences at the Oriental Hall?
An attempt at defining it leads us to this: Silliman Spirit is “an atmosphere of personal closeness, warmth, friendship and concern. It is the thread that binds one Sillimanian to another, and at the same time a distinct mark that sets us apart from the rest.”
For many of us, the Silliman Spirit remains to be that force that draws us back to our Alma Mater with a thankful heart. Like a homing pigeon, many alumni after being away from the campus for a long time, never fail to find their way back home. Back to the comforts of “home”. Back to where we spent the best years of our lives. As they say, home is where the heart is.
We all possess, nurture and breed that Silliman Spirit within us. We share an atmosphere of closeness, warmth, friendship and concern for one another – regardless of gender, age bracket, culture, ideology or geographical location. It is that very Silliman Spirit that binds us together. It is some sort of a genetic strand that automatically tags us connected to an ever-expanding filial chain. It can very well be that unifying DNA sequence that gives us that unique identity, that natural warmth that draws one Sillimanian to another, like brothers and sisters.
The lyricist of the Silliman song, which we all know, captured that Silliman Spirit in each stanza. Many of us who have spent our educational years at Silliman University always light up when we see fellow alumni, or when we hear of anything new about our dear Alma Mater. There, that Silliman Spirit permeates… that personal link quite vague when described in words yet strong and pervasive to the heart.
As Silliman University celebrates its 114th year, our love for our Alma Mater must compel us to look forward to a future where we can come home, be thankful, give back and pay forward.
Let us all be proud to be Sillimanians. Let the Silliman Spirit live on.