by Raul Agner
Adamson University turned 75 last year. To mark this Diamond Jubilee, it commissioned a four-figure Jubilee sculpture which now graces the main building’s front yard. It also published and launched a coffee table book entitled Adamson University: 75 Touchstones At Year 75 last February 5, 2007.
As the title suggests, the book gathers 75 stories in the University’s 75 years of existence in one sleek and elegant volume. Each is contained in a spread that is laid out with photographs, digital art, and an accompanying write-up. The first for instance, entitled “The Adamopoulos Odyssey,” is an interesting graphic timeline retracing the journey of school founder George Lucas Adamopoulos from Greece, to Australia (where he changed his name to Adamson) and to the Philippines. Another article, “Adamson-Ozanam Educational Institutions 1964,” presents the turnover of Adamson University to the Congregation of the Mission or the Vincentians. It is illustrated with a huge blown-up photo of George Lucas (president for 32 years) and incoming president Fr. Leandro I. Montañana, C.M. signing documents with two other representatives witnessing. “AddyoU: Branding Adamson,” “The Evolution of the University Seal,” “Art in the Everyday Campus,” and “Campus Cuisine,” are some of the titles of the other articles in the book.
The book is not written as one continuing narrative, but as a collection of easily digestible stories that are separate from yet related to each other. The reader can therefore start reading anywhere he wants. Written by a team of writers that includes Fr. Gregg L Bañaga, Jr., C.M., Fr. Francis Cruz, C.M., Raul D. Agner, Sharleen P. Banzon, Bianca S. Consunji, and Kannika Claudine D. Peña, the writing style hews close to the techniques of creative nonfiction: fresh, playful, concise, and loaded with information and imagery.
Book designer Manny Chaves, who also acted as editor, did the layout and design. Manny came up with a style that approximates the vibrant rhythms of motion graphics and advertising; really hip and contemporary. Because it is colorful, generous with breathing space, and balanced all throughout, it is not a boring read. Vintage photos from the University Archives provide defining moments and memories of the School. The photographs of Mar Bustamante, At Maculangan, and Fr. Francis Cruz, and the digital art of Ryan Abela illustrate the pages with an unmistakably sharp and discerning eye.
“Adamson University: 75 Touchstones At Year 75” is available at the University’s bookstore.