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Ateneo Batch ’77 marks Ruby-letter Day

08:29 AM November 17, 2017

All roads lead to the Ateneo de Manila University Campus in Loyola Heights on Dec. 2, 2017, for the annual Grand Alumni Homecoming.

But for Ateneo de Manila University Class ’77, the event promises to be extra special. The group – the first batch to go co-ed in an institution that had been famously an all-male bastion – marks its 40th Ruby Jubilee.

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College class representative Irma Cecilio is calling for healthy attendance on that day. At press time, almost 100 class members have confirmed their participation.

Not one to let the occasion pass without celebration, the group launched a year of fever-pitch activity, kicking off last March 26, 2017 (the same date the class graduated), with Mass at the College chapel, followed by lunch at Cervini Lounge.

On August 8, the group turned over to batchmate, Archbishop of Manila Luis Antonio Tagle, several violins, computers and art kits, bought with funds raised as well as the generous support of Security Bank Corporation, headed by still another classmate, Alfonso “Yogi” Salcedo Jr., to benefit the first group of beneficiaries of the Tulay ng Kabataan Foundation. The program took Cardinal Tagle’s long-held dream closer to providing needy youngsters with the tools to develop self expression.

The female students, who took their place beside their male counterparts in 1973, comprised about 6 percent of the total student population numbering about 2,000 and some 25 percent of the freshmen group.

Batch ‘77’s female members went on to high powered careers, among them Susan Zamora-Prado, EVP and CFO of Development Bank of the Philippines; Evelyn Tang-Uy, three-term mayor of Dipolog City who led it to receive an APEC Model City Award; Cynthia Concepcion-Baga, one of only three Papal awardees in the Philippines to receive the Cross of Honour; Marissa Fernan, VP for Visayas and Mindanao of SM Prime Holdings; Maria Agnes J. Angeles, former EVP of Planters Development Bank and a prominent Jaycees International figure; Lisa Guerrero Nakpil, a respected figure in art circles and expert in art investment; and Margie T. Logarta, who covered the Asian travel and hospitality industry for 25 years and now interviews the country’s top corporates for The Manila Times.

The boys also did their batchmates proud, with Luis Antonio Tagle, one of three Summa Cum Laude recipients that year and now Archbishop of Manila and trusted lieutenant of Pope Francis; bank executives Alfonso L. Salcedo Jr., president and CEO of Security Bank and Justo Ortiz, chairman and CEO of Union Bank of the Philippines; Raul Hernandez, Philippine ambassador to South Korea, as well as shipping luminary Tony Moraza, president and CEO of Aboitiz Power Corp.

The graduation of Batch ’77 also marked the centennial of national hero Jose Rizal’s graduation from the Ateneo (Ateneo de Municipal as it was known then) in 1877, finishing at the head of his class with the distincton of sobresaliente.

The homecoming, themed “Return to the Hill”, begins with the Tribute to Ateneo Heroes on Sacred Heart Hill at 3.30 p.m., Mass at the Church of the Gesu at 4.30 p.m., Marian Procession to the High School Covered Courts at 5.30 p.m., and Program at 6.30 p.m. Dinner, priced at P500, completes the milestone day.

For more details, contact the Ateneo Alumni Relations at tel 426-6001.

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