UST Alumni Gala in America set for July 2024 in SF

San Francisco – Lumina Pandit is Latin for “Spread the Light”. Inspired by Saint Thomas Aquinas and one of the benchmark events of the University during its quadricentennial celebration in 2011, Thomasians USA, the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association in the United States, is staging an alumni homecoming event on July 6, 2024.

Initially planned to be held at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the supposed April 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rising from the pandemic hiatus, Thomasians USA will be holding the gala dinner at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco on July 6, 2024, Saturday night – the choice of venue being a salute to our rich heritage as a royal university under the patronage of the Spanish crown, since the university’s establishment in 1611.

Apart from the huge number of Thomasian alumni now living in the United States, University of Santo Tomas enjoys great ties with the U.S. not only due to the University hosting American dignitaries, from General Douglas MacArthur (UST Doctor of Laws, 1945, honoris causa) to Secretary Hillary Clinton, but also due to the University’s bittersweet past as internment camp for thousands of Americans during the Second World War, when the Japanese occupied the Commonwealth of the Philippines. One may also remember that during the American occupation of the Philippines, UST was the oldest university under the American flag, as UST predates Harvard by a quarter of a century.

Since 1987, Thomasians USA has been actively engaged in efforts of the Filipino community in the United States towards educational empowerment and civil rights, with most of its years under the tutelage and leadership of renowned Filipino American civil rights leader, alumna and former UST Sociology department chair, Prof. Alice Peña Bulos, until her passing in 2016. Under the helm of succeeding alumni presidents: academic Amelia Fernandez (2016-2017), architect and urban planner Joseph Palafox (2017-2019), and model and entrepreneur Jeffrey Manalang (2019-present), Thomasians USA has continuously evolved and grown its network of community partners and alumni alike in the fields of business, academe, and public service, among others. From a government-recognized non-profit based in the United States, Thomasians USA has recently been recognized as the official arm of the University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association in the United States. Efforts have been made to also establish official arms in Canada and other North America countries with significant alumni presence.

Apart from the continuing project to support deserving scholars and perform donation drives for disaster-stricken areas in the Philippines, Thomasians USA heavily lobbied and supported the California State Legislature’s resolution to rename a state highway in California, stretching long as Metro Manila’s Sucat Road. The scenic state highway set a stone’s throw away from the Pacific Ocean was unveiled in 2022 as the Alice Peña Bulos Memorial Freeway.

Among others, UST alumni making waves in the United States include Golden Globe awardee Gini Cruz Santos, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 2018 Honor Awardee Engr. Benjamin Saldua, Telly Award winning host and singer Enteng Evangelista, University of Las Vegas Nevada (UNLV) med-school dean Dr. John Fildes, Scottish Rite 33rd Degree Masonic leader Froilan Ancheta, and musical theatre actress Lora Nicolas Olaes who co-produced the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Here Lies Love.

A night of food, music, and entertainment, the 2024 gala of Thomasians USA is open to the public and encourages participation of non-alumni friends and family members and civil society. The event also coincides with other significant events celebrated by the Thomasian community this year, most notably, the opening of the academic year for the University of Santo Tomas campus in General Santos City, Mindanao. As of now, the University of Santo Tomas system operates four campuses: UST Manila, UST Angelicum Quezon City, UST Legazpi, and UST General Santos. Two more campuses are in the pipeline with the integration of the Angelicum campus in Iloilo City and the establishment of UST in Santa Rosa, Laguna. (Thomasians USA)

The Filipino-American Community Newspaper. Your News. Your Community. Your Journal. Since 1991.

Copyright © 1991-2024 Asian Journal Media Group.
All Rights Reserved.