IT IS A MOST MEANINGFUL coincidence, dear karikna, that MMSU’s yearly foundation anniversary celebration comes right after the holiday season. After we would have opened and used up our gifts during the Christmas and the New Year, we appreciate yet another gift, one that is grand and lasting, one that is a great source of pride for all of us in Ilocandia—the gift of Mariano Marcos State University.
Last Jan. 6-7, we commemorated the granting of a charter, 32 years ago, to MMSU. A person who turns 32 is often teased: You are old. In Iluko, ‘awan kan iti kalendaryo’. The age marks the dawn of maturity.
Although we are still young compared to other academic institutions, we have steadily established our reputation as a model of progress in the North, and in the nation. Such distinction was not served on a silver platter, but was attained through collective commitment and synergy.
One of the highlights of the Foundation Anniversary Celebrations is President Miriam E. Pascua’s State of the University Address or SOUA.
Here are a few excerpts of the 32-page speech delivered in almost an hour before an applauding audience.
AT THE ONSET OF 2009, everybody said it was going to be a difficult year. The global economic meltdown raised fears, uncertainty, and panic.
Faced with challenges, it was not difficult to fold up, to just wallow in despair and anxiety, to blindly resign in the hands of fate and chance.
Yet difficulties also provide the perfect background for the indomitable character of the human spirit to shine. It is in the darkest of nights, the old saying goes, that a flicker of light shines brightest.
Thank you for coming this afternoon. This State of the University Address is not just a report of the university’s achievements. This is a story. A tale of our journey. A chance to answer the following questions:
‘Where are we today?’
‘How did we get here?’
‘Where do we want to be?’
Today, we look back at the previous year, neither with fear nor anxiety, but only with joy and gratitude.
Ladies and Gentlemen: We made it!
Affirming our reputation as a leading university in the country, MMSU has been declared National University for Agriculture Education and, also, National University for Fisheries education.
We are one of only four Higher Education Institutions in the country to have been named as such by the National Agriculture and Fisheries Education System, pursuant to the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act. MMSU will receive P1-M assistance each for agriculture and fisheries annually for five years. This amounts to a total of P10-M.
Once again MMSU has been recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as Center of Development in Agriculture, Center of Development in Ceramic Engineering—a distinction we have maintained since 2000; and, most recently, Center of Development in Biology. Also a Center of Excellence in Teacher Education, MMSU ranks among SUCs with the most number of identified COEs and CODs.
Disciplines identified by CHED as Centers of Excellence and Development are prioritized for funding assistance in student scholarships, faculty development, library and laboratory upgrading, research and extension services, instructional materials development, and networking of existing COEs and CODs.
CHED finally authorized the university to conduct and operate the Bachelor of Laws program by issuing Government Permit No. 005, s. 2009. The incumbent vice president for administration serves as dean of the College of Law. With a faculty roster that includes only the best legal luminaries in the North, the College of Law had an initial enrolment of 28, an ideal number to begin with.
Part of our long-term goals is the offering of a College of Medicine. We continue to work on physical and human resource infrastructures towards this end.
Performance in Government Licensure Examinations
Our graduates have consistently proven their readiness to embark on professional careers. Their consistently impressive performance in government licensure examinations affirms our vision of becoming a major source of industry-ready graduates.
Figures from Professional Regulation Commission show that our graduates, save in one discipline, have turned in passing percentages that surpassed national passing records.
We remain a top performing school in teacher education, nursing, physical therapy, and pharmacy.
Three examinees brought honor to MMSU by topping the board examination in their respective fields.
President Pascua then went on to detail MMSU’s feats in Information Technology, environmental protection and conservation, the promotion of Ilocano culture and language, instruction, research and development, extension, external linkages, alumni affairs, and business. She also commended faculty, staff, and students who brought honor to the university
President Pascua concluded:
“Two thousand nine will go down in the annals of our university’s history as a year of surprises. Not only did we survive, we surpassed, we surprised, more than others, our own selves. We discovered how much we can achieve if we work together. We saw our talent pool grow by leaps and bound. We learned how espousing excellence in daily life pays off in due time.
“Thank you for the zest and dedication you bring in your service to the university and to the Filipino nation. Thank you for your determination and commitment, for your sacrifices. As president, I am so blessed to be working with the best. I am proud of the good job we have all done.
“At the onset of 2009, everybody said it was going to be a difficult year. Faced with challenges, it was not difficult to fold up, to just wallow in despair and anxiety, to blindly resign in the hands of fate and chance. And yet we chose to shine, and more than just a flicker of light in the darkest of nights.
“But this is not a time to be complacent. We must take advantage of the momentum in seizing new opportunities and in scaling new heights in a changing world.
“As unprecedented new prospects present themselves before us, we must be ready to reach uncharted territory, to soar greater heights.
“What we can achieve in 2010 can be limited only by our ability to imagine, our capacity to synergize, and our passion to perpetuate the tradition of excellence we celebrate today, and in every day of the year.
God bless us all.