The University of the Philippine Open University conducted its 19th Commencement Exercises on 25 July 2015 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna, with UP President Alfredo Pascual as the Commencement Speaker.
A total of 378 degrees were conferred this year to successful candidates in 2 undergraduate programs and 24 graduate programs. These graduates have successfully completed the requirements of their curriculum as of the Summer/3rd Trimester AY 2013-2014, 1st Semester/Trimester of AY 2014-2015 and 2nd Semester/Trimester of AY 2014-2015.
Fifty-four students have completed their undergraduate degree in Associate in Arts (49) and Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies (5), while 324 successfully completed graduate degrees in Graduate Certificate in ASEAN Studies (4), Diploma in Computer Science (12), Diploma in Environment and Natural Resources Management (13), Diploma in International Health (38), Diploma in Land Valuation and Management (9), Diploma in Language and Literacy Education (30), Diploma in Mathematics Teaching (5), Diploma in Research and Development Management (14), Diploma in Social Studies Education (4), Diploma in Science Teaching (7), Master of Arts in Nursing (9), Master of Arts in Language and Literacy Education (3), Master of Development Communication (67), Master of Distance Education (10), Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management (18), Master of Information Systems (38), Master of Public Health (1), Master of Public Management (24), Master of Social Work (3 ), Doctor of Communication (2), and PhD in Education (4). Three of the graduates made it to the Chancellor’s List while 19 to the Dean’s List.
In her welcome remarks, Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso, Chancellor of UPOU, mentioned RA 10650 or the Open Distance Learning Act, which recognizes UPOU’s expertise and leadership in Open and Distance Learning. She credited the graduates for being part of the community of scholars that had contributed to this recognition. As graduates of UPOU, UPOU graduates “share the responsibility of being the ambassadors of quality of this mode of teaching and learning.” Chancellor Alfonso encouraged the graduates to share the culture of open and distance e-learning with others. “In the end, what matters more is your ability to search for answers to your questions, your capacity to adjust to unexpected situations, and surmount whatever challenge life throws at you.”
President Pascual’s message as guest speaker focused on internationalization. “For me, internationalization is about adopting an international outlook and aspiring for global competitiveness. From the perspective of UP as the country’s one and only national university, I look at internationalization as a means to enhance the University’s capability to serve our country and people. It is a strategy to help us achieve our vision of UP as a great university that has assumed leadership in helping develop a globally competitive Philippines.” He cited some of UP’s major initiatives in internalization as well as UPOU’s contribution in this area as an open and distance learning institution. He congratulated the UPOU graduating class of 2015 and thanked the families of the graduates for all the support extended to the graduates.
Ms. Maria Rowena Raymundo (Master of Distance Education) graduated on top of her class with a GWA of 1.1. In her message on behalf of the graduating class, she expressed her overwhelming gratitude to the university, the teaching and non-teaching staff of UPOU, her fellow learners and the graduates’ loved ones. She encouraged her fellow graduates to pay forward what the University taught them and the subsidy extended to them by the Filipino people. “Our education was meant to hone our talents and skills, so that together with others, we can lead meaningful lives. Let us not waste what we have learned by keeping it in storage. We use it now, and we use it well. We use it well enough to make people sit up, take notice, and ask what university we have come from. In so doing, we make the University proud of us and become its best evidence of success.”
A 5-minute fireworks display was set-off during the recessional, after a resonating rendition of UP Naming Mahal by the UPOU Chorale. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)