On March 24, representatives of the University of the Philippines College of Nursing (UPCN), BS Nursing (BSN) Class of 1971 met with UP and UP Foundation, Inc. (UPFI) officials in the UP Board of Regents (BOR) Room at the Quezon Hall in UP Diliman for the signing of a deed of donation with an amount of PhP 1.5 million. This donation supports the establishment and awarding of the “UPCN BSN Class 1971 Professorial Chair” at the UPCN in UP Manila, to provide additional recognition and incentives to faculty members who demonstrate outstanding performance in their work.
UP President Angelo A. Jimenez, Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Wendell P. Capili, and UPFI Executive Director Edgardo G. Atanacio hosted the reception for the donor UPCN BSN Class 1971, represented by Betty Factora-Merritt, Antonia B. Magsuci and Marilyn Estrada Nartatez, and the UPCN officials led by UPCN Dean Sheila R. Bonito. With Bonito were Profs. Arnold B. Peralta, Jenniffer T. Paguio, and Josephine Cariaso, the heads of the Teaching, Continuing Education and Community Extension Services, and International Studies programs of the UPCN, respectively.
In her message, Factora-Merritt recounted fond memories of their college years and life in the UP Diliman campus, as the UPCN was relocated to the UP Manila campus only in the 1980s when the Health Sciences Center was created. “We woke up to realities that shaped our minds,” she said, as they were the “makibaka nurses” or activist students who joined the massive protests in the 70s.
Factora-Merritt said they are proud of their class for its commitment to serve humanity. She narrated what their university life was like, as they had been modest, young ladies coming from different parts of the country to take up nursing, and who properly wore their nurses’ Rayadillo uniform. She said they made sure their text books and journals were read, and their notes, neatly written down; and they considered the library, and UP Diliman, as their home. She added that group study sessions were where they “mastered the art of thinking big and deep”.
Jimenez acknowledged the UPCN’s role in training excellent nurses and in fulfilling its mission in teaching, research and public service. He highlighted the vital contributions of Filipino nurses here and abroad. He also praised nurses for becoming “a critical element of the cultural cement that binds Filipinos with other countries,” and stated that they should be protected, especially during wars and pandemics. He said the professorial chair is Class 1971’s gift to UP.
Bonito also expressed gratitude to the UPFI and Class 1971 for the professorial chair, which she said was a gift for the UPCN on the occasion of its 75th founding anniversary.
The proposal to create the UPCN by Julita V. Sotejo, the founder and first Dean of the college, was approved by the UP BOR on April 9, 1948.
The UPFI will manage the donation to assist the University in attaining its mission as an institution of higher learning.