UPD: 150 summa, 661 magna, 644 cum laudes

Several graduating Iskolars ng Bayan of the University of the Philippines (UP) on Sunday staged a traditional “lightning rally” to call the government’s attention to pressing issues confronting the country.

Groups of students, bearing placards, gathered in front of the stage of the amphitheater in Diliman, Quezon City, shortly before the UP’s 111th general commencement exercises ended.

They called for press freedom, an increase in salary pay for minimum-wage earners, and to express opposition to martial law.

They chanted “Iskolar ng Bayan, Ngayon ay Lumalaban” (State’s scholars, no fighting), “Never Again to Martial Law” and disappointment to history revisionism.

It was UP Diliman’s (UPD) first in-person graduation rites after more than two years of restrictions due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.

The UPD said this year’s theme was Dásig,” which comes from a Cebuano word of various nuances: Most commonly, liveliness and cheer; more profoundly, the strength of spirit and resolute determination.

It added the theme reflects the University’s collective resolve to celebrate the students who have completed their bachelor’s degree “with a strength of mind and spirit” despite the challenges brought by the health crisis and another catastrophe.

“It is hoped that each of them continues to meet every crisis with honor, excellence, and compassion and that as they move forward, they always serve the nation with steadfast integrity and embody the undaunted spirit of social responsibility, grounded in evidence-based critical inquiry,” UPD stated.

Based on the data from UPD’s Office of the University Registrar, academic degrees were conferred on 3,475 graduates, with 661 distinguished as magna cum laude and 644, cum laude.

Some 150 students lead the Class of 2022 graduating summa cum laude, a Latin phrase meaning “with the greatest honors.”

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