It’s official. The 1,926-strong Mariano Marcos State University Class of 2013 will be led by a Summa Cum Laude graduate.
With a General Weighted Average (GWA) of 1.1994, Dane Mikhael S. Calica of the College of Arts and Sciences’ BS Biology program, is only the university’s second recipient of the highest Latin honors, and the first in fourteen years.
A native of Laoag City, Calica is the eldest of three children of Gary, a seafarer, and Marilec, a full-time mom. He finished high school at the Ilocos Norte National High School – Special Science Class in 2009. Despite having the highest average in his batch, he graduated only as first honorable mention due to low points from extra co-curricular activities.
Topping the 2009 MMSU College Freshmen Admission Test taken by around 5,000 examinees from various provinces in Northern Luzon, he initially enrolled in BS Nursing but shifted to BS Biology after a semester. Although extra co-curricular involvement does not count in earning Latin honors, he served as president of the Biology Circle for two years, and as president of the CAS Student Council in his senior year.
Joining Calica in the elite honors roster are four magna cum laudes and 113 cum laudes.
I am currently writing a full feature on Dane who is not really your typical nerd. In the meantime, Here are some more “Summa” facts:
• It took MMSU 21 years to produce its first summa cum laude graduate. The record belongs to the late Gemma G. Ulep (BS Accountancy ’99, CBEA) who obtained a GWA of 1.192. She was from San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. This fifth placer in the 1999 CPA licensure examination worked at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. She perished from a car accident.
• Cum laude in Latin means “with honors.” Magna cum laude and summa cum laude translate to “with great/high honors” and “with greatest/highest honors,” respectively.
• To graduate summa cum laude at MMSU, one needs a general weighted average (GWA) of 1.20 or higher. (Source: University Code)
• The normal schools that preceded MMSU produced 10 summa cum laude: seven from the Northern Luzon Teachers’ College (NLTC) which became part of MMSU in 1978, and three from the Ilocos Norte Normal School, forerunner of NLTC.
The following are the 10 pre-MMSU summa cum laude graduates per records of the College of Teacher Education.
Ilocos Norte Normal School
1957 Marietta Monje-Bonoan
1958 Resurreccion Miguel
Northern Luzon Teachers’ College
1969 Cristeto Guerrero
1971 Hilarion Ramiro
1972 Alegria Tan-Visaya
1973 Gloria dela Cruz
1974 Belen Domingo
1975 Rufino Tangonan