News - September 2012
AdU welcomes international students to community with grand celebration
Date Posted: Sep 7, 2012 at 11:11:07 AM
In what is becoming a tradition for Adamson University, the second welcome celebration was held for the university’s 312 international students on the evening of August 25 at the Embassy Ballroom of the Traders Hotel in Pasay City.
The welcome celebration, themed Building a Culture of Peace: Towards Unity in Diversity, brought together Adamsonians coming from at least 30 countries for a night of camaraderie and fun and to further inculcate them into the fold of the university community. The event, a bigger and grander version of last year’s first staging, was organized by the Office for University Relations.
The program began with an interfaith prayer. Bipin Pandey, a Civil Engineering student from Nepal, delivered a Hindu prayer in Sanskrit while Mamoon Negash, a BS ECE student from Eritrea, delivered an Islamic prayer in Arabic. The Catholic prayer was delivered by Fr. Rock Joseph Enriquez, C.M., director of AdU’s Campus Ministry Office. Welcoming the guests to the program was Fr. Gregorio Bañaga Jr., C.M., University President, after which Fr. Francisco Nicolas Magnaye Jr., C.M., Vice President for Academic Affairs, introduced the keynote speaker.
Reverend Msgr. Seamus Patrick Horgan, First Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in the Philippines, delivered the keynote speech for the evening. Msgr. Horgan noted in his speech that the celebration’s theme, Building a Culture of Peace: Towards Unity in Diversity, was not just a slogan but a compound of full, loaded words and meant to stimulate. In building and transforming a culture of peace Msgr. Horgan states that we build a culture of peace “by becoming ourselves men and women of peace,” bringing to mind St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer. He further states, “Transformation of culture begins with the transformation of the individual.” Msgr. Horgan also exhorted the international students to become builders of a high culture, and not give in to the danger of falling into shallow and derivative culture.
Msgr. Horgan also shared a quote from Pope Benedict XVI about the power of international students in bringing about a culture of peace: “Thanks to their intellectual, cultural, and spiritual formation, international students have in fact the potential to become architects and protagonists of a more human world.”
Afterwards Sr. Maruja Padre Juan, MSCS, director of the OUR, and Fr. Bañaga presented Msgr. Horgan with a plaque of appreciation. The awarding was followed by the induction of the chancellor and members of the Executive Council of the International Students’ Association of Adamson University (ISAAD), formerly known as the AdU Foreign Students Association.
The Executive Council members were elected by their fellow international students, who were grouped into six clusters by their country and continent. The council members then held an election among themselves to pick out their Chancellor.
Elected Chancellor of the ISAAD was Mbaga Irenee Nsanzimana, a third year BS Industrial Engineering student from Nigeria. Comprising the Executive Council were Bai Qiangwei (3rd year BS Nursing), Cai Jie (3rd year BSBA Financial Management), Li Xinjian (4th year BSBA Financial Management), and He Zhixia (4th year BSBA Financial Management), representatives from China; Joseph Ali (1st year BS Mining Engineering), Paul Koim (1st year BS Psychology), Nathan Kitts (1st year BS Mining Engineering), and Alfred Kombra (1st year BS Geology), representatives from Papua New Guinea; Damola Abass (2nd year BS Information Technology), representative from Nigeria; Jacinto Da Silva Soares (3rd year BS Geology), representative from East Timor; Mamoon Negash (5th year BS ECE), representative from the cluster of countries in Africa; and Bipin Pandey (2nd year BS Civil Engineering); representative from cluster of countries in Euro-Asia and the Pacific Regions, Middle East, and America. Inducting the Chancellor and Executive Council members was Fr. Andrew Bayal, C.M., Vice President for Student Affairs, who also handed the ISAAD Constitution and By-Laws to the officers.
The induction was then followed by the dinner and cultural presentations of the students, many of which were traditional dance presentations. ISAAD chancellor Nsanzimana and Abass later delivered messages expressing their gratitude to the university and challenging their fellow international students to show the community that they are real Adamsonians too.
Apart from Msgr. Horgan, other foreign dignitaries present were Ambassador Buba Tekuna and Counsellor J.M. Duruachazie from the Embassy of Nigeria; Ambassador Christian Anthony Vihruri from the Embassy of Papua New Guinea; Mr. Livingston Kofi Quashigah and Ms. Selassie Ofori, president and secretary respectively of the Ghanaian Community of the Philippines; Mr. Shichiro Kato, researcher and adviser from the Japan Information and Culture Center; Mr. Umer Farooque, consular attaché from the embassy of Pakistan; Ms Maria Lidia Soares, First Secretary and Charge d’Affaires, and Mr. Mariano Duarte Quintao Canno, Education Attaché, from the embassy of East Timor; and Mr. Duong Chien, First Secretary of the embassy of Vietnam. Also present were Mr. Victorino Floro, Consul ad honorem of the Consulate of Sudan; Ms Patricia Ann Floro, Vice President of Floro International Corporation; Atty. Kristine Margret Malang, Principal Assistant of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Personnel and Administrative Services department; and a representative from the Commission on Higher Education. Representatives from the Samutprakan Educational Foundation of Bangkok, Thailand were also present at the event.
In selecting the theme Sr. Maruja writes, “We chose peace because we are committed to the idea that Adamson University, as an educational institution, should be the cradle of unity that is built by encouraging peaceful relations among students... until it becomes a way of life. We hope that the unity that is achieved... will be transported by the international students to their respective homeland, so that, through their education with us, each of them may become an ambassador of peace and a catalyst for transformation.” It is in this display of unity in diversity that makes the second welcome party—a tradition in the making—truly a memorable one. Yael Esperat