Alumni return home for CAS 25th anniversary launch

Alumni return home for CAS 25th anniversary launch

by Lorenz Visco on August 7, 2013 - 10:29 am

“What you’re learning might not make sense now, but someday they will.”

These were the words of Anton Huang at the student-alumni get-together during the launch of the CAS 25th Anniversary celebration last July 19. He was one of the three alumni invited to share what they experienced while in CAS. To students, this may seem cryptic, or perhaps vague. For alumni, however, this message alludes to the four or five years they spent in UA&P, and why they came back for the 25th Anniversary.

Fr. Ted during the thanksgiving mass. Photo by Vhin Daz

The CAS 25th Anniversary started fittingly with a holy mass celebrated by UA&P alumnus Fr. Ted Santiago as thanksgiving for 25 years of cultivating the liberal arts in each CAS student. During the mass he pointed out “gratitude is shown by repaying the favor we received,” adding that everyone from the faculty to the non-teaching staff who put themselves out for the University should be thanked. “When we give thanks to them, we will be giving thanks to God himself,” mentioned Fr. Ted.

CAS students afterwards had a glimpse of how it all was years ago as three alumni harked back to their experiences when they roamed the halls of CAS and their effect on them in their professional life.

(L-R): Dr. Joem Antonio, David Leechiu, Anton Huang. Photo by Vhin Daz.

Anton Huang, an alumnus of the pioneer batch of CAS who is now EVP of Rustan’s, shared, “CRC was the first to allow interaction with teachers and promote leadership,” referring to the mentoring program we still have today. In retrospect, he also observed that this interaction translated into the ability to develop and manage relationships. “People who are able to lead specialized people are those with liberal arts education,” revealed Huang.

Another alumnus, David Leechiu, a 1994 graduate of the Entrepreneurial Management Program who is now the international director of Jones Lang Lasalle in the Philippines, told the students that taking the readings seriously and assimilating them when he was a student enabled him to manage bigger decisions during his career. “Liberal education helps you take seemingly unrelated bits of information, step back and then make sense of them,” Leechiu pointed out.

Dr. Joem Antonio, on the other hand, shared a quote by his mother when he was steadily gaining interest in theater: “This is getting really expensive, why don’t you just write?” Thus began his adventures as a writer. However, despite his increasing interest in writing, he still chose to take up History for his master’s degree. “To find stories,” he said. And great stories he found indeed, winning him five Palanca awards, four of which he gained before he obtained his doctorate.

Dr. Villegas and Dr. Mariano during the Alumni talk with the CAS deans. Photo by Vhin Daz.

In the other get together—with UA&P President Jose Maria Mariano and CAS Dean Atty. Delia Tantuico—the alumni got updates, ranging from the current additions to the school courses as well as the on-going construction of the Parking and Sports Building. Referring to future campus projects, Dr. Mariano asked the arts-oriented alumni to help the University formulate an arts development program, in anticipation of a planned theater-ready multipurpose auditorium.

During the program at Li Seng Giap auditorium, Dr. Mariano also appealed to both students and alumni to create a partnership with the University to better achieve its vision for the 50th anniversary in 2017-2018.

A stirring feature during the program was the tribute given by Admissions Director Anthony David and Mrs. Cory Claudio, head of the CAS 25th anniversary celebrations committee, to two selfless individuals who were responsible for setting up CAS in its the earliest years—the late Mrs. Cora Aseniero and the late Mrs. Virginia Olaño. Mrs. Aseniero was VP for administration, managing director for finance, and college secretary; Mrs. Olaño was simultaneously the first registrar and admissions officer when CAS first started in 1989. She was also, among others, director for student affairs, and member of OpCom and council of deans.

Dr. Mariano cutting the ribbon for the CAS 25th photo exhibit. Photo by Vhin Daz.

A highlight of the affair is the photo exhibit along the CAS ledge showing different batches of CAS, past faculty members, events such as reunions and performances in Dizon Auditorium, and even the construction of the buildings and facilities still in use today. Those snapshots brought laughter and wonder at the changes wrought by the passing of years as well as memories of good times. As the ribbons were cut, guests were treated to a resplendent fireworks display, a herald of a year of blazing celebrations.

“I hope the alumni will continue to come home.” said Atty. Tantuico during the program. And come home they will, year after year, to the school that has taught them the value of learning that they have applied in their careers and lives, not only turning them into successful professionals, but consummate individuals as well.


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