TAU honors Graduating Class 2020 with virtual celebration amid the pandemic


As the academic sector was in compromise when the pandemic paralyzed the world’s economy last mid-March, the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) nationwide remain resilient as they honor this year’s batch of graduates amid the crisis.

With this year’s theme, “Leading Sustainable Development in the New Normal,” the Tarlac Agricultural University’s 74th Commencement Exercises celebrated the success of 932 graduates through a simultaneous livestreaming via TAU Facebook page and TAU official website at 6 PM of August 7.

When the national and local government units suspended the face-to-face classes in the middle of the second semester due to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Central Luzon, the TAU’s academic community raised the issues and predicaments they encountered amidst the crisis. With the strong call from the students regarding their lack of resources and capability in engaging to online classes, the TAU Academic Council released guidelines in adjusting the online classes to flexible learning so students could still complete their remaining requirements for the semester.

 After providing the students ample time to complete their requirements through flexible mode until June 30, the TAU Academic Council convened via Google Meet on July 13. With a successful deliberation, the Council approved the graduation of 931 candidates with four magna cum laudes and 10 cum laudes, one (1) graduate with high honors and 23 graduates with honors in the certificate courses, and eight (8) graduates with high honors and 89 with honors in Senior High School.

To commence the virtual graduation ceremony, the Deans of the six Colleges have presented the graduates to the University President, Dr. Max. P. Guillermo, for the official conferment of their degrees. In response, Dr. Guillermo affirmed the conferment of 160 Junior High School completers, 126 Senior High School completers, 282 graduates with baccalaureate degrees, 356 graduates with certificate courses, and seven (7) graduates with master’s degrees.

As introduced by President Guillermo, the guest speaker of this year’s commencement exercises was the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Commissioner and the Chairperson of the TAU Board of Regent, Dr. Ronald L. Adamat, who extended his congratulatory address to the graduates virtually. In his message, Dr. Adamat commended the graduates and their parents for successfully achieving a milestone despite the great upheavals the world is enduring at present. Dr. Adamat said that the graduates’ achievements, despite the threat of COVID-19 pandemic, should be honored and celebrated.

In his speech, Dr. Adamat asserted that the TAU graduates are already prepared for embarking a new journey and that is to be part of the country’s workforce and nation-builders. He also reminded the graduates to bring pride and honor to their alma mater, the Tarlac Agricultural University, and “be ready and willing to effect change in our communities and help transform the world into becoming a better place for all peoples.”

The CHED Commissioner also commended the TAU academic community, headed by the University President, Dr. Max P. Guillermo, for successfully molding and shaping the hearts and minds of the graduates as they engage in contributing societal and economic progress for the Filipino society. Dr. Adamat concluded his speech by stating his mantra in education and that is “Education is not the sole determinant for one’s destiny, but it is the biggest predictor of one’s success.”

Mr. Jo Marie G. Bragas, the top of Class 2020, led the graduates in pledging loyalty to their alma mater. Dr. Ernesto A. Viray, Jr., the OIC President of the Federated Alumni Association, also led the graduates in pledging their membership to the association.

Finally, the singing of the TAU Hymn was led by the TAU Chorale and Ms. Maria Angelika Jem DC. Reyes to close the ceremonies. (RCalpito, PDO)