“WE OUGHT TO keep bringing in the best students,” Dr. Rolando del Carmen, an SU alumnus, said on why the honors’ dormitory is an important project to venture on for Silliman University (SU) at the blessing and dedication of the honors dorm last Aug. 29.
Dr. Ben Malayang III, SU president, said, “SU recognized that there are many young persons in the world who have been intended by God to be blessings to many by way of their ability to pursue high academic learning. Many of them, however, are poor.”
“The university recognized that those who are really gifted are often not able to come to university because while scholarships are available, they really cannot afford to be here for their board and lodging,” Malayang added.
Malayang also said that the idea of the dormitory is a result of deliberations of the board of trustees where they recognized that they should offer “a new kind of scholarship that is about board and lodging, in addition to academic scholarships that may be available to them. This way, we can draw more very talented young men and women from the hinterlands and from the shorelines of the Philippines to afford and avail of Silliman education.”
Moreover, Malayang narrated that it was in one afternoon tea with Dr. del Carmen and his wife, along with Sec. Leonor Briones where they were just merely mentioning plans when del Carmen expressed his intent in sponsoring the honors dorm.
“What we are celebrating today is a pay forward type commitment of Sillimanians, for more Sillimanians to have the education, values, and virtues we try to shape in the university,” Malayang said.
del Carmen theorized that if a great student is offered a scholarship by Silliman and it would be partnered by free board and lodging in the del Carmen hall, students would choose to study here rather than other universities.
del Carmen said, “I want Silliman excellence. We are top six in the Philippines now, but we can do better.”
del Carmen said that he felt nostalgic because the site of the del Carmen Hall used to be his view when he lived at the Molina home when he lived there in his sophomore to junior year at the SU College of Law.
Rev. Mark B. Augusto, minister for student and campus chaplaincy, led the invocation and the blessing and dedication for the groundbreaking of the Rolando Villanueva del Carmen Hall.
The del Carmen Hall or the honors’ dormitory, which is projected to be completed next year, will be home to 28 honor students. The guidelines as to who would qualify for the dorms are still being finalized.