SU concludes virtual 119th Founders Day celebration

SU concludes virtual 119th Founders Day celebration

Silliman University (SU) concluded its 119th Founders Day online celebration last August 31, 2020 with much gratitude to its faculty, staff, students, and the alumni for a successful celebration despite the challenges met along the way.

Dr. Betty Cernol McCann, SU president, expressed her gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the event: “Thank you to everyone who made our celebration’s hopeful energy ‘contagious’ and ‘infectious.’ We hope that the observance has been able to bring together the SU community and made each member feel that, while in-person events cannot be made on campus, the Silliman Spirit continued to animate the celebration.”

The SU Founders Day Committee considered the online celebration successful because of the alumni and students who participated by sending their greetings, including the video greetings from alumni chapters that were part of the Parada Sillimaniana video, and by watching and sharing the events online.

Activities for the celebration were held virtually, such as the yearly floral offering for Dr. David and Laura Hibbard; the conferral of Outstanding Sillimanian Awards and Heritage Builders; Parada Sillimaniana; Balik-Talent lectures of colleges and schools; the Hibalag Festival of the SU Student Government (SUSG); Silliman Performs; and worship services.

The virtual Parada Sillimaniana, which included video and photo greetings from SU offices and alumni from around the world, promotional videos of SU events, and performances from music groups in SU, was met with positive comments from alumni.

Dr. Ben S. Malayang III, former SU president, said that as an alumnus celebrating the 50th anniversary of their high school graduation, he is thankful for the “seal and spirit” that the University has displayed for this year’s celebration.

“The 119th Founders Day was a first of its kind and groundbreaking in many ways. Mostly online, we witnessed signature Founders Day events done by live streaming and through YouTube…The celebrations overwhelmed the dark shadows of a world in distress, and despite the equally first of a kind problems that, too, had to be faced, this was a historic display of Silliman creativity and grit,” said Malayang.

The online celebration of Founders Day also posed a challenge for the SUSG Committee on Student Organizations (ComSO), which leads the organization of the Hibalag Booth Festival.

Kayla Shahyn Desamparado, ComSO chair, said that the committee was encouraged by the SU Office of Student Services to push through with the virtual Hibalag festival. With the cooperation of student organizations, ComSO was able to hold events virtually through their Facebook page.

“[ComSO organized events] like SUturya, ComSOULmate, HibaLIVE and 11 Days of Sharing, but it was honestly the hard work, creativity, [and] team effort of the [student organizations] that brought life to #Hibalag2020,” said Desamparado.

Desamparado said she considers the Hibalag online festival a success, despite her belief that they “could have done better,” because the festival still served its purpose of connecting students and alumni.

Aside from the yearly events, SU utilized the online platform with new events, such as the virtual tour of the Anthropology Museum; the SU Elementary School Virtual Graduation Ceremony; the online launch of the SU Heritage Museum and the Laura Hibbard Room; and the Community Conversations on Conservation with US Ambassador Sung Kim, organized in partnership with the US Embassy, done in a Zoom meeting that was live-streamed on Facebook.

Moreover, instead of the yearly Miss Silliman pageant, a promotional video for the Miss Silliman Diamond Year was launched in preparation for next year’s pageant.

SU was able to virtually celebrate Founders Day by live streaming and uploading videos of the Founders Day events on its Facebook page.


Click here to view the 119th Founders Day Virtual Events.