Every year, Ateneo’s Office of Admission and Aid receives more than 800 applications for scholarship support. Only about 250 scholarships are awarded, even though most of the other 550 applicants clearly deserve to be granted financial aid, if only there were enough scholarships to go by.
Silver Jubilee Class Breaks Fundraising Record
On January 25, 2012, the EDSA Revolution class of College 1986 formally signed its Memorandum of Agreement with the Ateneo Scholarship Foundation (ASF) and turned over the funds that it raised during its Silver Jubilee Year in 2011. Signing on behalf of the class were by Kiril Caral, Tony Abad, Minette Navarrete and Vince Concio, and Fr. Nemy Que, SJ of the Loyola Schools Office of Admission and Aid (OAA) represented the ASF.
As of the date of the turnover, the College 1986 Freedom Fund—a reference to the historic events of their graduation year—had reached P4.02 million pesos. According to Hector Guballa, Assistant Vice President of the Ateneo’s Office of University Development and Alumni Relations, this has set the record in the university for the largest donation given during a batch’s Silver Jubilee year. About 100 members of the class, out of a class size of about 600, donated to the fund, and almost 200 attended the Grand Alumni Homecoming last December— which is well above the normal level of participation among alumni batches.
Under the MOA, P2.8 million has been donated to the ASF to establish an endowed scholarship for a college student in the Ateneo de Manila. Other beneficiaries of the fund are the Mision de la Compania de Jesus (P626,000), to support old and infirm Jesuits, many of whom were the batch’s teachers and mentors; Kythe (P462,000), a foundation which provides psychosocial support for hospitalized children, one of whose founders is Icar Castro, a member of College 1986; and the Ma. Lena Buhay Foundation (P116,000), a school for the deaf named for a batchmate who died soon after graduation.
In a short response after the turnover, John Paul Vergara, Vice President for the Loyola Schools and a member of the class, summarized well the feelings of all College 1986 alumni who also work in the university: pride in the accomplishment and hard work of the class, and gratitude for the generous help that it has extended to the Ateneo in its mission of academic and spiritual formation.
After the donation ceremony, and in keeping with their Jesuit and Ignatian training, the class celebrated the Holy Eucharist, led by Fr. Asandas Balchand, SJ. Fr. Balch, as he is fondly known, was the Theology of Liberation teacher of a good number of College 1986 alumni. Currently taking care of the old and infirm Jesuits in the Loyola Heights infirmaries, he mentioned that there are about 110 Jesuit priests in the Philippines who are over 70 years of age, which makes the class’ donation even more significant.