With a lot happening in the world lately, it wouldn’t hurt to celebrate milestones and anniversaries to look back for a while and be grateful for the things that people could hold onto during these trying times. 

The UST Engineering Alumni Association, Inc. (USTEAAI) held their first ever grand alumni homecoming with an awards night theme called “The First Global zoomUSTahan” last February 13, 2021 via Zoom Webinar. The program started as early as 8 in the morning to accommodate Thomasian engineers from different time zones.

Current Faculty of Engineering Regent, Rev. Fr. Robert L. Luanzon, O.P., SThD, DL, presided over the Thanksgiving Mass followed by the program proper. Participants were welcomed by USTEAAI, Engr. Jason Ong, though his very touching pre-recorded message taped at the UST BGPOP Grand Ballroom where the actual homecomings happen before. “When the going gets tough, the Thomasian gets going,” he said in his message as he encouraged his fellow engineers to be strong during this pandemic.

The masters of ceremonies were Engr. Rocel Pioquinto and Engr. Jervin Nava. Both are alumni of the Faculty of Engineering and currently teaching for the college. They introduced the incumbent dean, Prof. Philipina A. Marcelo, PhD. 

“I think the success of any school can be measured by the contribution the alumni make to our national life,” quoted by Dean Marcelo from John F. Kennedy as she shared how the Thomasian engineers helped the university in providing telecommunications assistance to its students in their online classes. In her short report, the aid had made a great impact for UST to connect to its students and continue providing the quality education it can give during the onslaught of the pandemic. When there’s a shortage of PPEs, they were also able to produce 5,000 face shields through the university’s 3D printers in 6 weeks and send them all over the country. Professors were able to come up with technology such as the LISA Robot to help healthcare workers lessen contact with patients. Through the financial help of the alumni and the association, scholars were still able to continue their education and graduate on time. The Faculty of Engineering and the university have been confident in pushing these causes because of the powerhouse of Thomasian alumni engineers backing them at every step of the way.  Dean Marcelo thanked everyone for their generosity and contributions which surely proved the commitment, competence, and compassion of Thomasian alumni engineers. 

Alumni Relations Director, Asst. Prof. Fredeswindo R. Medina, MACHs, also has a message to the association that continues to break barriers and reach milestones every year through their members’ achievements. He commended the USTEAAI for being innovative not only in their chosen field but also in celebrations like this. “No matter how challenging the situation is, the USTEAAI will continue to find ways to serve its purpose and fulfill its mission,” he added as he wished them to enjoy the virtual celebration.

Each jubilarian batch prepared a number to be presented to everyone. Video compilations of throwback and recent photos were shown by batch 1991, 1996, 1981, and 1986. The Class of 1991 shot a short film about their lives during the pandemic from work-from-home blues, online classes teaching, online selling, Tiktok videos, and other mundane activities that they do to kill time during quarantine. Other batches made dancing videos with music from their respective eras like Spice Girls, APO Hiking Society, Jim Croce, Beatles, Hotdog, Beach Boys, and Village People. Each hit song took everyone to the past and remember their old school days in college.

The jubilarian presentation was followed by a live raffle draw hosted by USTEAAAI President Engr. Ong and Vice President Engr. Rommel Diño. Prizes such as commemorative mugs, watches, golf umbrellas, San Miguel flavoured beer cases were given to participants who got picked during the draw, and one lucky Thomasian engineer won a grand prize of 20,000 pesos. 

At the end of the program, Engr. Ong promised that the celebration would not be the end and he hoped to see his fellow Thomasian engineers in person when social gatherings are permitted again.