Sixty-six (66) students from the Tarlac State University Capas Campus are among the first batch of graduates for the 33rd Commencement Exercises held today, June 27, at the Kastelo Verde in Capas, Tarlac.
The full onsite graduation comprises 10 graduates from BS Criminology, 31 from Bachelor of Public Administration, and 25 from Bachelor of Elementary Education.
This is also the first set of graduates from the first LGU-funded campus established in 2018 through the initiative of Hon. Reynaldo Catacutan, outgoing Capas town mayor and TSU Board of Regents alumni representative.
Mayor Catacutan, the brainchild of the said campus, was also the guest of honor and speaker. In his speech, he said he wants to pay forward to people the success he reaped in his years of education despite loads of hardships.
He shared that he juggled work and studies when he was a college student at Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga and finished BS Criminology as a cum laude.
The mayor said poverty did not hinder him from achieving his dreams. In college, he worked as a janitor at a clinic in the morning and attended classes in the afternoon. He took the risk of pursuing a college degree even when his mother told him she could not send all her 12 children to school.
He also added that his father, a barangay captain, was killed in 1979 – a victim of Martial Law.
Moreover, he mentioned that this graduation day of TSU Capas Campus is a day of joy and thanksgiving for the graduates’ parents, just like this graduation day.
All three programs offered in the said campus are related to him – Criminology, his bachelor’s degree, Public Administration, his master’s and doctoral degrees, and Education, which he emphasized that without teachers, there would be no professionals like them.
Meanwhile, Angel Chris Pingol, a BEEd graduate and the first magna cum laude of the campus, shared in her valedictory address that she first informed his dad about her Latin honor. In response, her father said, “Kasaya ku ‘nak, melako ku pagal (Masaya ako, anak. Nawala ang lahat ng pagod ko).”
“May we remember how we first started; may we remember how we wanted to prove the doubters that they are wrong... May we remember our inspiration. Maaalala sana natin ang mga taong dahilan sa ating paglaban. Kinaya, kinakaya, at kakayanin pa para sa pangarap ng ating pamilya,” Pingol said.
She also thanked TSU for the quality education she received despite the pandemic.
“We thank TSU for ensuring and providing quality education amid the pandemic. This institution has shaped us and developed a wide range of skills in a way that we are ready to become excellent in our respective fields. It is our pleasure and privilege to be called as alumni of this institution,” Pingol added.
The university also held two baccalaureate services on the same day. The first was a hybrid ceremony at the TSU Gymnasium presided by Rev. Fr. Jason Aguilar, rector of the Our Lady of Peace College Seminary. The second one was presided by Rev. Fr. Melvin Castro for the TSU Capas Campus graduates at Regina Familiae Crystal Chapel.
The TSU Capas Campus located at Brgy. Cristo Rey was built with the hopes of giving accessible education to those living in remote areas in Capas town. Since the three TSU campuses are situated in Tarlac City, students need to spend extra on transportation if they opt to enroll there.