July 18, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

After 108 years, Benguet State University has produced three summa cum laude who led the graduates during the institution’s 99th commencement exercises on June 27 and 28. 

The three graduates were Crael Lawa, Patricia Mae Morales, and Via Geanne Nerona who earned the recognition as summa cum laude and led the almost 1,300 graduates. 

Lawa from Buguias, Benguet graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Development Communication while Patricia Mae Morales from La Trinidad, Benguet graduated with a degree in Public Administration.

Via Geanne Nerona of Bauko, Mountain Province graduated with a degree in Secondary Education. 

Lawa was also a recipient of the Manny Villar Excellence award and the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act (UniFAST) Academic Excellence Award. 

INTERCONNECTIVITY PACT — The city government of Baguio and the Land Transportation Office signed a memorandum of agreement to implement the Interconnectivity System in Baguio. The MOA was signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, LTO Asec. Vigor Mendoza, and officials of other concerned agencies. — Neil Clark Ongchangco

In her valedictory speech, Lawa, a product of the BSU-Secondary Laboratory School, recounted how the institution has nurtured her growth academically, as well as the valuable relationships she made throughout her studies.

She said that as they go through life, it is the process that is more important, because it is in it that they will nurture who they are as individuals.

“Pagkatapos nito, hindi nakapaskil sa ating noo ang ating mga GWA (general weighted average) o kung ano man ang ating naging rangko ngayon, pare-parehas lang po tayong magsisimula muli sa buhay. Kaya ang mas mahalagang matutunan natin at alalahanin ay kung paano maging bukas sa pagkatuto at maging makatao. Dahil ito ang tatatak sa ating makakasalamuha,” Lawa, who has a 1.13 GWA, said. 

In 2023, BSU produced its first summa cum laude in Vjnhyl Zam Alvendia Pondivida, who was the senior of Lawa in DevCom.

Pondivida of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, made history by being the first summa cum laude of BSU in its 107-year-old history and led the 1,835 graduates during the July 20 and 21, 2023 commencement rites. To qualify for summa cum laude, a BSU student must have a grade of 1.0 to 1.24.