Thursday, February 21, 2008

Silliman Alumni News

Here's a letter
which I got from our SUHS Batch '78 Website.

Dear Fellow Sillimanian:

We say goodbye to 2007 by sharing with you a favorite line from the musical “Hairspray.” The play became one of the best films in 2007. The character Motormouth Maybelle played by Queen Latifah had the best punchline: “Oh, oh, oh... you can't stop today as it comes speeding down the track! Child, yesterday is history, and it's never coming back! 'Cause tomorrow is a brand new day, and it don't know white from black! 'Cause the world keeps spinnin' 'round and 'round, and my heart's keepin' time to the speed of sound... I was lost 'till I heard the drums and I found my way, 'cause you can't stop the beat!” The spirit in the University is somewhat like this, many changes are unfolding but “yesterday” is not a total “history” for so many positive points are being relived and preserved which feel like they are new gigs to our current generations of Sillimanians.

2008 started on a sad note with the death of Silliman’s longest-serving mission worker (since 1949) James A. Palmore on January 4. The nightly vigils at the Udarbe Memory Chapel became evening reunions for Sillimanians. The Palmore children, Billy Grey, David Alan, Paul and Shelley were all there. There were more gatherings after the funeral which became events for retelling the contributions of James and Mimi Palmore to Silliman’s life. These led to an idea Marietta which was launched in a special fellowship organized by Didil and Marietta Montebon at Plantasia, Maslog on January 12, to create avenues for “Sharing Vignettes of the Silliman Spirit.” During this fellowship in honor of the Palmores, we had fun listening to varied tales of Silliman life. Something like this will be organized in the next Founders Day.

The Weekly Sillimanian started this month a regular corner called IN RESTROSPECT featuring short recollections of our faculty, staff, students and retirees. Published so far were Dr. Angel C. Alcala’s recollection of the quality of teaching during his days at the Biology Department, Ernesto “Buddy” Ravello’s on the frolics of campus kids like him, Atty. Alexander G. Amor’s Weekly Sillimanian days as editor, and Dr. Samuel B. Gregorio’s pioneering works in rabies control in the university. Other alumni who wish to share their own vignettes on campus life may e-mail them to our office.

The spirit of gratitude continues with the induction of the United Sates Agency for International Development (USAID) into the Order of Horace B. Silliman on January 24. USAID Mission Director Mr. Jon Lindborg represented the Agency. In his acceptance speech, he took a personal note that he was born Presbyterian just like the University. Also appreciated was a video presentation made by Ian Casocot on the USAID contributions to Silliman University: $114,285 that made possible the establishment of 19 Family Planning clinics all over Negros Oriental in 1960 under the Silliman University Family Planning Research Office, the P1.5 million acquisition of two alternating current generators in 1975 servicing the Medical Center and the entire campus, the $1,275,000 for the construction of the modern library complex in 1979, and the $1M grant for The Silliman University Center of Excellence in Coastal Resource Management (COE-CRM) in 1996.

Another pleasant news early this year is about the Silliman University Library System being named the Most Outstanding Philippine Library of the Year (2007) by the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians (PAARL). The recognition was given on January 25 at a program held at the Jose Rizal University Auditorium on Shaw Boulevard, Metro Manila. This honor strengthens Silliman’s role as a leading academic institution in the country. It is the first library outside of Metro Manila that has been so honored, following the library of the Asian Development Bank, the International Rice Research Institute and the library of the Ateneo de Manila.

The alumni had a moment of pride and glory on national television when on a live telecast via ANC last January 23, the Silliman University Debate Society (SUDS) won a slot in the octofinal round of the “Square Off: The Asian Universities Debate Championship (AUDC).” Going against the University of the Philippines-Cebu, the Silliman team impressed the judges with new arguments on an old debate “This house believes that public elementary and high schools should use the vernacular as the medium of instruction.” Noel Valente of Silliman was adjudged Best Speaker.

Globe Dumaguete Manager Jacqueline V. Antonio, a Sillimanian, informed us that the distribution of the MySILLIMAN SIM did very well last year. In 2008, Globe expanded the availability of the exclusive SIM for Sillimanians to include the alumni. She said in an e-mail that the “primary feature is the call rate of P3.50/minute to ALL MySILLIMAN SIMs… and the text rate of .75 centavos/text to ALL MySILLIMAN SIMs.” Our alumni will be able to access a menu of school events and updates, and any office can have access to the MySILLIMAN SIM numbers of alumni in case there is a need to send a “text broadcast” to them. The SIM costs P99 only. Every SIM which the alumni group sells will mean an incentive of P20 for the organization.

IN MEMORIAM (from most recent): ENGR. EMMANUEL B. GREGORIO on January 30; NOE CABANAG on January 28; Butuan-based lawyer LEANDRO ECHAVEZ on January 27; NELIA ANITO on January 17; ATTY. JOVITO CAGAANAN on January 11; ENGR. JAMES PALMORE on January 4; ordained pastor ENGR. DANNY S. SERATE also on January 4; DR. IMELDA YARED FLORES on December 28; PROF. EMILIANO YGNALAGA, SR. on December 23; LUDY S. PEREZ on December 2; JO CHAN of SUHS ’55 on December 1; and LEILANIE NONADO-SITOY (Psychology ’86 Magna cum Laude) on November 12. If you know of a Sillimanian not in our memorial list, please let us know.

Thank you for always being there for dear old Silliman. Dr. Malayang has requested this office to regularly update you on events and activities on the campus and on what the University is doing to continue building up its tradition of excellent Christian learning. We are also interested in knowing what you and your alumni chapter are doing. Please keep in touch and update your file with our office if you have not done so. We would truly appreciate it. You may reach the President’s Office at: or our Alumni Affairs Office at: or

For a Greater Silliman,

Jocelyn “Jong” Somoza de la Cruz
SU Alumni and External Affairs

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