MMSU holds joint commencement exercises

By Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr. 


Celebrating academic excellence in the face of crisis, the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) conducted the first-ever joint 42nd and 43rd commencement exercises on August 20. 


Livestreamed via the official Facebook page of the University (@MMSUofficial), the virtual ceremony presented the 1,692 graduates who have overcome the challenges of new normal environment with great resilience. 


Upon successfully completing the requirements for their respective degrees, their graduation was approved by the University Academic Council and confirmed by the MMSU Board of Regents.


Of this number, 1,145 and 547 are graduates of batches 2020 and 2021, respectively. 


Leading the graduates are Angelica B. Gilo (BS Civil Engineering) for the Class of 2020 and Aira Cassandra S. Castro (Doctor of Medicine) for the Class of 2021. 


Gilo garnered a general weighted average (GWA) of 1.3561, making her magna cum laude honoree; while Castro obtained 1.5621 GWA, qualifying her as cum laude and the first medicine graduate who led the whole class in MMSU history. 


“We are lucky to have finished our degrees in this tough and challenging period in higher education with the support of our teachers, families, friends, and even our local governments,” expressed Gilo, who represented the first batch in MMSU who experienced the university’s transition of learning from traditional to flexible one. 


Castro, who also led the MMSU Class of 2017 as summa cum laude honoree, reflected on what the pandemic has taught them. She mused: “It has taught us to be persistent, good, and hopeful” and “to focus on the things that matter – family, health, education, and most importantly, to God.”


Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña served as the guest of honor and speaker. He inspired and urged the members of the graduating class to become responsive human capital, a hallmark of service and ethics. 


For her part, MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis stressed: “While I couldn’t personally shake your hands and give your diplomas, please know that I am truly proud of how you hurdled the challenges in college, and how you victoriously managed to graduate amid the pandemic. I am confident that you will persistently exhibit the MMSU resiliency.”


The Facebook livestream of the joint commencement exercises garnered more than 73,000 views, 3,000 comments, 3,900 reactions, and 1,400 shares as of this writing. 


Class of 2020

Of the 1,141 graduates, 956 finished their studies in the second semester; while 129 and 60 completed theirs in the first semester and mid-year term, respectively.


Among the academic units, the College of Engineering (COE) had the biggest number of graduates with 650; followed by the College of Agriculture, Food and Sustainable Development (CAFSD), 122; College of Industrial Technology (CIT), 100; College of Business, Economics, and Accountancy (CBEA), 63; College of Health Sciences (CHS), 59; Graduate School (GS), 45; College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), 39; College of Medicine (COM), 26; College of Aquatic Sciences and Applied Technology (CASAT), 24; College of Teacher Education (CTE), 12; and College of Law (COL), five.


The Class of 2020 has 25 honor graduates – 2 magna cum laude and 23 cum laude. These Latin honorees came from the four colleges of the university: 19 from the COE, four from CHS, and one each from CAFSD and CAS.


Of the 25 honorees, seven were from the BS Civil Engineering (BSCE), six from BS Chemical Engineering (BSChemE), four each from BS Agricultural Engineering (BSAE) and BS Physical Therapy (BSPT); two from the BS Computer Engineering (BSCompE) program; and one each from BS Environmental Science (BSES) and Bachelor of Arts in English Language (ABEL).


Aside from Gilo, another magna cum laude graduate for 2020 was Rocky R. Estoque (BS ChemE) who garnered 1.38 GWA.


The cum laude graduates whose GWA is between 1.50-1.75 are Agatha Camille S. Quidilla (BSPT), Sylvia Marie A. Tabura (BSCE), Kenneth John P. Cruz (BSPT), Jervin Louie L. Reyes (BS ChemE), Kriza G. Ganotisi (BSPT), Brezira C. Asuncion (BSCE), Nelson Junior T. Rodillas (BSAE), Francis A. Gamboa (BSES), Kenneth A. Tabieros (BSCE), Novelyn S. Corpuz (BSChemE), Dorothy Maureen C. Ralleca (BSCE), Jake Casey A. Sugui (BSAE), Jomer D. Dulatre (ABEL), Marsha Angela Y. Manuel (BSPT), Queenie Rose P. Calaranan (BSAE), Ed Vincent R. Pablo (BSCE), Odie Rafael Alamon Aguada (BSCE), Shaina Louise S. Soto (BSChemE), Aira S. Basilio, (BSCompE), Mae Jeianett S. Reyes (BSChemE), Renz Nikko A. Collado (BSChemE), Mary Grace D. Matias (BSCompE), and Stephenleigh A. Guittap (BSAE).


Class of 2021

Of the 547 graduates, 416 completed their studies in the second semester, 69 in the first semester, and 62 in the mid-year term.


The COE still had the biggest number of graduates with 179; followed by the CAFSD, 102; CIT, 80; GS, 55; CBEA, 33; CAS, 30; COM, 26, CASAT, 22; CHS 14; and COL, six.


Along with Castro, Bhaby Rheina P. Ladesma (BS Business Administration major in Marketing Management) got 1.6282 GWA and Stephanie B. Mateo (AB English Language) got 1.6402 GWA, qualifying them also as cum laude. – with report from Grazielle Reina S. Laran, intern (StratCom)