Greetings to all Augustinian Alumni!
It is not surprising to know why the set of officers of our Alumni Association for 1998-2000 still holds office even up to the present. Not only that the association is not interested in changing its leadership but also because the association finds trust and confidence in the leadership of Atty. Jose Espinosa III. When asked about staying in office for another term, the officers said that they consider it a very meaningful accomplishment to sustain what they have started up to year 2004, when our Alma Mater will be celebrating its centennial year.
Talking about USA Alumni Homecoming 2000, on July 27-29, as far as the officers were concerned, we have achieved something and we were able to make some changes in the previous International Homecomings of 1985 and 1990. We have to thank the University Administration, especially our new president, Rev. Fr. Rodolfo Arreza, OSA who is also the association's spiritual adviser. When Fr. Arreza assumed office as the new president, he is always supportive of our activities and is very active in our meetings. He rarely missed them. Also, I shall not fail to recognize the efforts of Rev. Fr. Mamerto Alfeche, OSA, our past University president, who helped us a lot in the invitations of the alumni to the Homecoming 2000. During his travels outside of the country, Fr. Alfeche was able to reach out to our fellow alumni abroad. Also my gratitude to all those connected with the University like the deans of the different colleges who helped us implement the program of activities in their respective colleges like the Professional Lectures of invited alumni speakers and lecturers and for organizing alumni associations in their respective colleges.
However, in spite of the efforts of many of us in the association, we still receive feedback from some alumni that many of our local alumni missed attending the Homecoming 2000 because of poor information dissemination. They thought that much attention was given to the alumni abroad. The reality of the whole thing was that in the homecoming preparation, we gave more attention to local alumni the reason why those from abroad came on their own without any committee in charge of meeting them at the airport but their families. Anyway, your humble information coordinator took note of those who were present during the previous two homecomings in 1985 and 1990. We have quite a number of past presidents who even attended the culminating activities of the homecoming. They were past Presidents Fred Yapjoco, Frauleine Peņasales, Manuel Villa, Jr., Ricky Castro, Larry Ong, Jose Sanson, Linda Patag Hoblitzel, Marietta Jayme, and the still active past presidents Lito Doran, Aurelio Ampig, Ramon Cua Locsin, and Arturo M. Faro who is now the elected president of the American Association of Western Visayas.
What was good to note was the presence of some of our alumni who made a name for themselves in the business and professional world like Rogelio and Imelda Florete and Willy Segovia.
What was also noteworthy was the unending support of the alumni leaders abroad like past presidents of Midwest Chapter based in Chicago, Presidents Edith Mijares Ardiente and Nestor Ardiente, Roger and Mila Protacio Peņasales and Tante Tagamolila. Also very supportive to the association were the past presidents of Southern California USAAA, Shirley Arboleda Corpus and Dennis Jardiolin and the current president of USAAA Southern California Archie del Rosario who brought back to the US the PhP100,000.00 (tax free) grand prize of the Alumni Grand Raffle Draw to the winner Dione Nemenzo, one of the past presidents of the association. Thank you to all alumni who attended the Homecoming 2000 most especially the local alumni members of the different committees. I would also like to make mention the Office of the Assistant to the President for Media Affairs who up to this time continues to provide the USAAA a space in the Communitas to feed all Augustinian alumni everywhere with updates about the alumni association here in the Philippines especially here in Iloilo.
The year 2000 is a year of some accomplishments for some of our alumni. My heartfelt congratulations to Ma. Theresa G. Gatungay, a cum laude and the very first topnotcher of our USA College of Nursing in the recent Nursing Board Exam. She is also an alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences, a magna cum laude in Biology in 1991. I would also like to congratulate Lerma de la Llana Paris for being a service awardee of PAMET. My congratulations, too, to Jigger Latoza, the now director of the USA Coordinating Center for Research and Publications, and to Gregg Lozada, our former USAAA scholar, who was recently chosen as one of the 4 Rotary Group Exchange scholars by the Rotary Club District 3850. He will be off to Singapore this coming April 2001. To our alumni of the Associate in Science(Pre-Dentistry) who successfully hurdled the licensure examination early this December 2000: Doctors of Dental Medicine Michael Borro, Glory Dee Baustista, Albert Chester Grijalvo, Anabel Galanto, Romela Loreno, Maria Aurora Perez and to those whose names I missed to mention, keep up the good work!. To all board passers of the Engineering Board and the CPA Board Exams, especially to the topnotchers, congratulations. We are very proud of your accomplishments. When you will be able to redefine what it means to achieve a meaningful accomplishment, it helps you stay in your path.
Because the USA Alumni Homecoming 2000 was a preliminary activity to a much bigger celebration of our Alma Mater's Centennial Year in 2004, we, in the USAAA, would like to invite our fellow Augustinian alumni to think about ways to help in the preparation for this momentous celebration.
Go Golden Eagles and Soar High For Your Alma Mater!