Alumni Letter April 2012

Alumni Letter April 2012

Dear Fellow Sillimanian:  

“After the war, in a letter he had written me, one of my former students at Silliman University, touched upon that period of our history which we called “the war years.” 
“He wrote:
‘“There was uncontrived courage in those who were part of the resistance movement in Negros Island. They knew depths of fear and heights of glory. And through it all, there shone this unique something-this special relationship-warm as blood ties-between Filipinos and Americans, who, at some glorious point in time, fought together, braved the same hardships together, as members of one family.”’
– Robert B. Silliman, Pocket of Resistance; Guerilla Warfare in Negros Island, The Philippines (Philippine Edition, 1980), who was stranded in Negros Island during the Japanese occupation and served as Deputy Governor of the Sixth Civil Administrative District of the “Free Negros” Government.

In 1999, Ms. Tawny Ryan Nelb, former president of the Historical Society of Michigan and holder of a degree in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in American History from ImageSouthern Connecticut State University, corresponded with the Silliman University Centennial Commission as she had this grant to write a book on the missionary work of Professors Emeritus Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman. We gave her the contacts of the Silliman children:  Mrs. Emma Cole-Teves, Mrs. Eleanor Funda-Sardual and Mr. Fred Dael who shared much exchange with the author.  We would have wanted this prominent writer of history to be the Guest of Honor at the 107th Founders Day (2008) when we named the Silliman University Main Library in honor of the couple who helped produce excellent students like the National Artist Edith Lopez Tiempo and Davao’s Ford Learning Center President Aida Rivera, among others, but Nelb was not available at that time. Nelb’s discovery of the Sillimans was part of the fruitful years she had as archivist of the Alden B. Dow Archives. The Dow Foundation had been the biggest supporter of the undertakings of Robert and Metta at Silliman. It was the huge Dow donation that made the rehabilitation of Silliman University from the ravages of World War II possible. It was for this generosity and much more that the Dow Foundation was enlisted in the Order of Horace B. Silliman during the 2009 Tipon in Orlando, Florida – the Order is the University’s highest expression of gratitude. The book was published by Amazon in February and is available on Kindle.

The 2004 Outstanding Sillimanian in the field of Theater Arts, Rufino “Junix” Inocian, played the role of Gabriel John Utterson, Dr. Henry Jekyll’s lawyer and most loyal friend in Repertory Philippines’ staging of the musical “Jekyll and Hyde” at Onstage Theater, Makati City on April 15. A theater follower made a shout on facebook, “I love the muted intensity of Junix 's Utterson. He was so successful in giving the character the prominence and integrity as the man of conscience without the traditional orator's presence-so cool indeed!” Junix helped the viewers see the good side of the Imagecharacter that was alternately played by rock artist Jet Pangan and theater director Michel Williams and later moving to the dark side as Edward Hyde. (In photo: Junix Inocian in the middle with Michael Williams and Jet Pangan). The London-based veteran stage actor was on a balikbayan visit to the Philippines. 

Silliman University leads among Philippine universities in accreditation year after year from two of the country’s major agencies, the Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities-Accrediting Agency Inc (ACSCU-AAI) and the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU). The ACSCU-AAI granted Level IV, the highest accredited status, to five graduate degrees: Master of Arts in English, Master of Arts in History, Master of Arts in Sociology, Master in Public Administration and Master of Science in Nursing, While the following undergraduate courses received PAASCU’s Level IV accreditation status: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Mass Communication, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Secondary Education and Elementary Education.  From April 2012 to April 2016, Level IV accreditation will be enjoyed by the academic programs mentioned as it signifies excellence in curriculum, facilities, faculty, linkages, instruction, research and extension. With these achievements, Silliman remains as the country’s highest in number of accredited programs.

Alumnus Dr. Al B. Fuertes of George Mason University, the prime mover in the establishment of the peace programs in Silliman University, will be delighted to know that the seed he had planted is finally growing with the offering of the degree of Master in Peace Studies effective June 2012.  Social scientists and Peace advocates will have options for specialization in the following areas: Peace Education and Culture of Peace, for school-based peace program movers; Conflict Transformation for community peace workers; and Managing Development and Peace-building Programs, for peace development workers.

Silliman University and the United States Embassy in the Philippines (which gave a workshop grant) welcomed eleven literary artists as fellows to the 51st Silliman University National Writers Workshop on April 30 at the Silliman University Rose Lamb Sobrepeña Writers Village in Camp Lookout.  The Workshop will end on May 18, The fellows came from the following universities: Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Manila, Philippine Normal University, San Carlos University in Cebu, University of Santo Tomas, UP Diliman, UP Mindanao, National University in Singapore and Silliman University.  Dr. Rowena Tiempo-Torrevillas is Workshop Director-in-Residence, and Dr. Evelyn Mascuñana, Chairperson of the English and Literature Department, is Workshop Coordinator.

IN MEMORIAM: Former student of Silliman University Glenda Teves Belo, a registered nurse, on April 6, and Rev. Daniel R. Nebres (Theology 1956, M. Divinity) 1966) on April 18.  If you know of any Sillimanian who is not in our memorial list, please inform us.

Thank you for always being there for dear old Silliman.              

President Ben Malayang has requested this office to update you regularly about 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


cc: Dr. Ben S. Malayang III