ALS Holds Online Conferment Ceremony for Class of 2020

July 23, 2020

Last July 19, the Ateneo Law School held an online Academic Degree Conferment Ceremony for its graduating students. Because of community quarantine due to COVID-19, the conferment ceremony, combining recorded and live segments, was held in lieu of what would have been the traditional commencement exercises. According to Dean Jose Maria G. Hofileña, however, the ALS still intends to hold an ‘on-site’ graduation ceremony for the students when the circumstances permit. Nevertheless, this event proved to be an occasion to mark an important milestone for the students.
 
In his live welcome address, Dean Hofileña stated that this was a day of thanksgiving for the students’ singular accomplishment and a celebration of courage for their plodding-on despite very great odds. Moreover, Dean Hofileña said that the ceremony itself was a testament to the tenacity of treasured traditions of the ALS.
 
After the welcome address by Dean Hofileña in the Rockwell campus, the scene shifted to the Church of the Gesu at the Loyola Campus for the Baccalaureate Mass. Fr. Primitivo Viray, Jr., S.J., Provincial of the Philippine Jesuits, was the main celebrant and homilist. Concelebrating the mass with the Father Provincial were Fr. Norberto Bautista, S.J., University Chaplain, and Fr. Ruben Orbeta, Jr., S.J., APS Chaplain. In his homily, Fr. Viray, S.J. shared that the lesson of the Gospel encouraged everyone to be patient despite the seemingly challenging times. He said that efforts, singularly or collectively, no matter how small, will eventually bear fruit like the good seed, the mustard seed, and the yeast mentioned in the Gospel.
 
In keeping with tradition, the Dean of the Ateneo Law School delivered his message to the graduating students. More than being known as the batch that had to experience a pandemic in the last leg of their law school journey, the Class of 2020, as Dean Hofileña described, will be enshrined more as the batch that ultimately stared down the challenge, endured, and emerged with the dream of becoming an Ateneo lawyer intact. Dean Hofileña then advised them to draw from this experience to plan and strategize for the bar exams. He stated that he had no doubt that the products of the ALS have what it takes to hurdle the bar exams. Looking further ahead, Dean Hofileña then went on to remind them to keep and nurture the values of being an Ateneo lawyer.  He urged them to be lawyers who “know that the law is an instrument to serve, and not the lawyer who wields the law as a weapon, or worse, who wields the ignorance of the law as a weapon.” (Read full text of Dean Hofileña’s message)
 
After the mass, to the tune of drums beating to “Go Ateneo!”, the audience was led into the Arete where the online Academic Degree Conferment Ceremony was to be held.
 
To start the ceremony, Dr. John Paul Vergara, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools, gave the opening remarks. Dr. Vergara hoped that, in the future, the Class of 2020 will not only remember that the world changed during their time, but that what each one did to help change the world for the better. (Read full text of VP Vergara’s Opening Remarks)
 
Dean Hofileña then proceeded to introduce Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, S.J., ADMU President, as the Keynote Speaker for the Conferment Ceremony.
 
“You are greater than your profession. You are a human person first who happens to be a lawyer, not a lawyer who just happens to be a person.” These were words uttered by Fr. Villarin, S.J. in his inspiring address to the graduating students. Further, he told the graduates, “Excellence in your profession is good. But not good enough. Magpakatao bago magpaka abogado.” (Read Fr. Villarin’s “Greater-Than” speech)
 
After the keynote speech, the Academic Degrees were conferred upon the graduating students by Fr. Villarin, S.J.
 
The much anticipated and exciting part of the ceremony followed next. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Atty. Maita Chan-Gonzaga, called out the names of each of the graduates. As each name was called, a live video of the graduate was shown for a few seconds. The graduates smiled, beamed with pride, showed a picture of their parents and family, and some even had flowers handed to them.
 
Ms. Rio Mei L. Uy was awarded Class Valedictorian. Ms. Dece Christine C. Fullache was awarded Class Salutatorian.
 
Then, as a surprise to the students, a touching video tribute by ALS faculty members was shown. The video showed each faculty member reciting lines of the poem, “Humayo Ka”, by Atty. Patty Sison-Arroyo. (See “Humayo Ka”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBOBFTuOhFY)
 
The ceremony concluded with the Song for Mary.
 
 

News Archive

  • ALS Holds Online Conferment Ceremony for Class of 2020
    Thursday, July 23, 2020

    Last July 19, the Ateneo Law School held an online Academic Degree Conferment Ceremony for its graduating students. Because of community quarantine due to COVID-19, the conferment ceremony, combining recorded and live segments, was held in lieu of what would have been the traditional commencement exercises. According to Dean Jose Maria G. Hofileña, however, the ALS still intends to hold an ‘on-site’ graduation ceremony for the students when the circumstances permit. Nevertheless, this event proved to be an occasion to mark an important milestone for the students.
     
    In his live welcome address, Dean Hofileña stated that this was a day of thanksgiving for the students’ singular accomplishment and a celebration of courage for their plodding-on despite very great odds. Moreover, Dean Hofileña said that the ceremony itself was a testament to the tenacity of treasured traditions of the ALS.
     
    After the welcome address by Dean Hofileña in the Rockwell campus, the scene shifted to the Church of the Gesu at the Loyola Campus for the Baccalaureate Mass. Fr. Primitivo Viray, Jr., S.J., Provincial of the Philippine Jesuits, was the main celebrant and homilist. Concelebrating the mass with the Father Provincial were Fr. Norberto Bautista, S.J., University Chaplain, and Fr. Ruben Orbeta, Jr., S.J., APS Chaplain. In his homily, Fr. Viray, S.J. shared that the lesson of the Gospel encouraged everyone to be patient despite the seemingly challenging times. He said that efforts, singularly or collectively, no matter how small, will eventually bear fruit like the good seed, the mustard seed, and the yeast mentioned in the Gospel.
     
    In keeping with tradition, the Dean of the Ateneo Law School delivered his message to the graduating students. More than being known as the batch that had to experience a pandemic in the last leg of their law school journey, the Class of 2020, as Dean Hofileña described, will be enshrined more as the batch that ultimately stared down the challenge, endured, and emerged with the dream of becoming an Ateneo lawyer intact. Dean Hofileña then advised them to draw from this experience to plan and strategize for the bar exams. He stated that he had no doubt that the products of the ALS have what it takes to hurdle the bar exams. Looking further ahead, Dean Hofileña then went on to remind them to keep and nurture the values of being an Ateneo lawyer.  He urged them to be lawyers who “know that the law is an instrument to serve, and not the lawyer who wields the law as a weapon, or worse, who wields the ignorance of the law as a weapon.” (Read full text of Dean Hofileña’s message)
     
    After the mass, to the tune of drums beating to “Go Ateneo!”, the audience was led into the Arete where the online Academic Degree Conferment Ceremony was to be held.
     
    To start the ceremony, Dr. John Paul Vergara, Vice President for the Ateneo Professional Schools, gave the opening remarks. Dr. Vergara hoped that, in the future, the Class of 2020 will not only remember that the world changed during their time, but that what each one did to help change the world for the better. (Read full text of VP Vergara’s Opening Remarks)
     
    Dean Hofileña then proceeded to introduce Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, S.J., ADMU President, as the Keynote Speaker for the Conferment Ceremony.
     
    “You are greater than your profession. You are a human person first who happens to be a lawyer, not a lawyer who just happens to be a person.” These were words uttered by Fr. Villarin, S.J. in his inspiring address to the graduating students. Further, he told the graduates, “Excellence in your profession is good. But not good enough. Magpakatao bago magpaka abogado.” (Read Fr. Villarin’s “Greater-Than” speech)
     
    After the keynote speech, the Academic Degrees were conferred upon the graduating students by Fr. Villarin, S.J.
     
    The much anticipated and exciting part of the ceremony followed next. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Atty. Maita Chan-Gonzaga, called out the names of each of the graduates. As each name was called, a live video of the graduate was shown for a few seconds. The graduates smiled, beamed with pride, showed a picture of their parents and family, and some even had flowers handed to them.
     
    Ms. Rio Mei L. Uy was awarded Class Valedictorian. Ms. Dece Christine C. Fullache was awarded Class Salutatorian.
     
    Then, as a surprise to the students, a touching video tribute by ALS faculty members was shown. The video showed each faculty member reciting lines of the poem, “Humayo Ka”, by Atty. Patty Sison-Arroyo. (See “Humayo Ka”:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBOBFTuOhFY)
     
    The ceremony concluded with the Song for Mary.