SU to renovate Alumni Hall
Silliman University has long recognized the important role the alumni play in the life of our dear institution. Consistent with such recognition, the University plans to convert the present Alumni Hall into a spacious and contemporary building that will serve as a more comfortable “home away from home” for the alumni while in Dumaguete City. The new building will include office space for the Silliman Alumni Association Inc. (SAAI) so that it can better serve the needs of the alumni and the wider Silliman community.
Once completed, SAAI may continue to avail of the improved facilities as it works with the University in expanding alumni chapters around the globe and strengthening alumni support for their alma mater.
In 2019, the Board of Trustees of the University instructed the Administration to begin the process of planning for a new and better Alumni Hall. Mindful of its legacy, the overall exterior design of the new building is to be consistent with the original design of the Alumni Hall. However, due to the uncertainty brought about by the covid-19 pandemic, the development plans have been put on hold as the University has given priority in utilizing its critical resources for online distance learning of its students.
The plan of the SU Administration to remodel and improve the Alumni Hall Dormitory has long been shared and discussed with the SAAI. Observing the official channel of communication, a formal letter, dated September 11, 2020, was sent to the SAAI Board and its President reiterating the plan of the University. When the situation normalizes and the plans in place, the Alumni Hall Dormitory will reopen and will be managed by the University.
The Alumni Hall was initially erected in 1950. Silliman alumni in the Philippines and friends from the United States provided the University funds for the construction of the building. Upon its completion in 1956 and until 2006, the Alumni Hall Dormitory was managed and operated by the University through its Office of Alumni and External Affairs. In 2006, SAAI entered into a 10-year contract with the University for the lease of the building and it began managing the Alumni Hall Dormitory. The lease was extended for four years which ended on May 31, 2020. However, as early as March 2020, SAAI suspended operations due to community quarantine and travel restrictions.
After the termination of the lease extension, SAAI conducted an inventory of the assets in the Alumni Hall. Based on the inventory list given by SAAI on August 22, 2020, the listed assets are not among those in the list of properties belonging to the University. Thus, SAAI was given clearance to transport the assets out of the campus. The University trusts the collective wisdom of the SAAI Board on how the assets it acquired during the period of its lease and utilized in the Alumni Hall are preserved or disposed.
To note, the University has undertaken major repairs to the building including reinforcing its structural support. Unfortunately, over the course of time, the weight of the toilets and baths has resulted to sagging beams and leaking water to the ceiling of the ground floor. Termites have also infested the building thus the need to rebuild.
The Alumni Hall is an exceptional benefaction to the University from alumni and friends. The University reiterates its commitment, as do several loyal Sillimanians and benefactors, to preserving this gift so that many may take the pleasure of returning to their “home away from home.”