West Visayas State University staged a special convocation to cap the two-day celebration of its 155th Founding Anniversary. The momentous event which was held at the WVSU Cultural Center on June 16, 2017 gathered university officials, faculty, staff, students and alumni together as they look back on the remarkable milestone that WVSU has gone through.

The special convocation opened with a Holy Mass with Rev. Father Joel Eslabra as the celebrant “There are two gifts we can give to our children. Roots and wits.” started the Fr. Eslabra. “Wits we surely have. It is known to many that WVSU has been in the forefront of quality education, training, and research; and we have excellent graduates to prove such. However, when we say ‘roots’, we refer to what is essential in our life. What is important is for each one of us to hold on to what is truly important like values, character, and love. Remember, that the many awards and merits that we receive are simply offshoots of what is already anchored on the essentials in life.”

115 voices from the university officials, as well as selected WVSU faculty and staff joined the Panayana Cultural Group in singing the WVSU Hymn, WVSU March, and the WVSU Quality Policy. Ms. Janette Aguilar and Dr. Rhea Bunda likewise rendered their voices through songs that rang deep with emotions.

Making the special convocation even more significant was the presence of the eloquently vibrant former CHED Commissioner Dr. Nenalyn P. Defensor who was the convocation’s guest speaker. “I want West Visayas State University to be number 1 in everything, not just in Teacher Education. Poverty can sometimes be a hindrance to a student bent on finishing his studies, and that shouldn’t be so”. The College of Education alumna then announced that she is pushing for the Nenalyn and Linnea Defensor Foundation to aid and finance poor but brilliant students to finish their degree. Dr. Linnea Defensor-Evangelista is the speaker’s sister who is a medical doctor working in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

Going down memory lane, WVSU former university presidents Dr. Bernabe B. Cocjin, Dr. Lourdes C. Arañador and former OIC President Dr. Godofredo E. Gallega shared their fondest memories of WVSU and the programs they helped establish during their time. The festive mood turned to gratitude and prayer when a Special Posthumous Award was given to the parents of the late ‘People’s Doctor’ Dr. Dreyfus Perlas.

The remaining part of the program had the theme: “Exelsior: A Tribute to WEST at 115” and featured outstanding song and dance performances from the College of PESCAR, with accompanying voice over by radio talents from the College of Communication. The song and dance performances were choreographed by dance master Prof. Liberty R. Porras while the musical director was Prof. Erlinda V. Bebit. Voice talents were coached by Prof. Raffy Galan.