May 3, 2018 was the culmination of UP Cebu’s centennial celebrations, which carried the theme “Unang Siglo: Halad sa Katawhan, of Academic Excellence and Public Service”. The day saw the unveiling of a “gratitude wall” for UP Cebu donors, the inauguration of the UP Presidents’ markers at the new Oblation Square, awarding ceremonies for constituents, and a grand centennial “cookout” out in the open.
UP Cebu unveiled the stone markers for all UP Presidents with former UP Presidents or their representatives attending. They were Presidents Alfredo Pascual, Francisco Nemenzo, and Engr. Jose Paolo Soriano for his father Emmanuel Soriano. Presidents Edgardo Angara and Emil Javier sent messages. Performances making use of multimedia and dinner in the Performing Arts Auditorium and Lobby, and the awarding of the Centennial Gawad Chancellor to outstanding constituents also marked the event.
Earlier in the day, UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro unveiled the Gratitude Wall in the Administration Building, with UP Law Class ’86–the first to respond to the centennial fund-raising with a P1-million donation–assisting the chancellor. The program had Grace Javier Alfonso delivering an artist talk on her design of the newly installed Guillermo Tolentino’s Oblation. Likewise installed was a small amphitheater to replace the old plaza in front of the Administration Building.
The day ended with a grand centennial cookout out in the open, where UP Cebu officials and constituents enjoyed a picnic, concerts, fireworks, and an Oblation Run with their guests.
Faculty Regent Patricia Arinto, Regent Frederick Mikhail Farolan, Vice President for Administration Nestor Yunque, Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Dalisay Jr., UP Open University (UPOU) Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria, former UPOU Chancellor Grace Javier Alfonso, UP Los Baños Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, and former Assistant Vice President for Development Jaime Caro attended the day’s celebrations; as did Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and his wife Jobelle, Mandaue City Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, and Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmeña. They were joined by officers and members of the UP Cebu Alumni Association led by Atty. Ria Espina, and the UP College of Law Batch ’86.
It has been 100 years since UP Cebu’s founding as a regional unit of UP Diliman on May 3, 1918, in the Warwick Barracks built for the American military at the port area of the then town of Cebu. It is thus the oldest UP campus outside Luzon. It was closed down a few times and then became part of UP Visayas. In 2008, it was the venue of the signing of the new UP Charter or RA 9500 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. UP Cebu was granted full autonomous status and converted into a constituent university (CU) on October 27, 2016, making it the youngest of the eight CUs of UP.
“It might be providential that the conversion of UP Cebu to a full CU had to happen at the eve of our centenary. We did not mind the waiting, considering all the generous support we were blessed with in recent years, consisting of both infrastructure and non-infrastructure, like the substantial and continuing research funding from different government agencies for the past five years, foremost of which comes from the Department of Science and Technology,” Liza Corro, UP Cebu College’s last dean and UP Cebu’s first chancellor, said. “There is a lot of construction still ongoing.”
She said the support inspires the CU to do better living up to a vision as lead university in research, creative design, ICT-driven innovations, responsible governance, and community service in Cebu and “the global world”.
UP is a current Commission on Higher Education Center of Excellence for Information Technology and Center of Development for Environmental Sciences. It is also home to the Central Visayas Studies Center, a Lidar workstation, a creative digital media production facility, a fabrication laboratory, a technology business incubator, and entrepreneurial co-working spaces and resource center.
In the month before the culmination day, UP Cebu held centennial celebration activities in its Lahug and South Road campuses, conducted the Centennial Faculty Research Forum and an academe-industry forum on innovation in digital age, launched a roster of new government-funded research and development centers and projects in a new building, mounted a grand alumni homecoming, and opened an exhibit of 100 art works by UP Cebu alumni artists and friends at its Jose T. Joya Gallery.
More photos of the centennial day can be viewed at https://www.up.edu.ph/index.php/in-photos-up-cebu-unang-siglo-celebration/. Related stories are at https://www.up.edu.ph/index.php/up-cebu-inaugurates-new-rd-centers-and-projects/ and https://www.up.edu.ph/index.php/up-cebu-affirms-artistic-relevance-through-exhibit/. (Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO)