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Jubilarians Come Home: The 2019 Grand Alumni Homecoming of Miriam College

On September 7, 2019, Miriam College and host High School Class of 1994 celebrated its annual Grand Alumni Homecoming with the theme, IaMC, and slogan “IaMComingHome” – a play on the school’s beloved initials. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the school’s name, “Miriam College”, which had been changed from Maryknoll College.                   

Waves of nostalgia greeted everyone at the favorite student hang-out, the Upper Lanai, with the Hall of Memories, where the jubilarians’ mementos and artifacts of their days in MC were displayed. Vintage items such as school uniforms, t-shirts/jackets, class yearbooks, and graduation medals served to encapsulate their memorable experience.

Seeing engaged alumni coming home and celebrating MC excellence make the work of the Maryknoll/Miriam College Alumni Association (MMCAA) integral to the school’s success. Now on its 40th year and headed by Board of Trustees Chair Mari Fabian (HS ’78) and President Carla Villanueva-Yaptinchay (HS ’93), the MMCAA continues its goal of maintaining and enhancing the commitment and spirit of unity amongst alumni. 

Supporting the Association and its initiatives is the Alumni Engagement Office (AEO), headed by Director Rorit Marco Mendoza (Coll ’68). Created by the school in 2018, it envisions the alumni community as an integral and vibrant stakeholder in Miriam College life. Together, the MMCAA and AEO make it their mission to engage MC alumni and help celebrate their accomplishments via the Amazing Alumni Achiever Awards (Triple A Awards), the highest honor the Association can bestow on any alumni. Earlier that afternoon, the MMCAA Board and distinguished alumni gathered together to launch the Triple A Gallery, showcasing inspiring alumni luminaries. 

There was also a preview of the History Museum and Gallery of Women’s Art (GAWA), in a new and more prominent location. Initiated by the HS Class of 1958, the Museum is now housed in a bigger venue to present the highlights of the institution’s remarkable history and accommodate the growing number of artifacts and artworks.

Present during these special events were MC President Dr. Rosario Lapus, and distinguished Triple A alumnae, such as former MC President Dr. Patricia Benitez Licuanan, former Labor Secretary Nieves Roldan Confesor, Filipiniana fashion pioneer Patis Pamintuan Tesoro, social activist Ging Quintos Deles, and many more. They reminisced about their time in MC, as well as the challenges and route to success they took afterwards that earned them the prestigious Triple A honor.

Continuing the Homecoming tradition of celebrating alumni excellence, MC honored eleven new Amazing Alumni Achievers who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields: Tikki Dula-Laurel (Coll ’72) for food entrepreneurship; Gloria Dino-Steele (Coll ’74) for humanitarian and international development; Nimfa Fallarme-Ronson (Coll ‘74) for journalism; Roselle Laput (HS ’93) for health advocacy; Ninay Manzana (Coll ’74) for public service; Baby Nebrida (Coll ’69) for film and television; Connie Nicolas-Bonoan (Coll ’64) for pioneering Philippine toy manufacturing; Cherie Mencias Querol-Moreno (Coll ‘74) for advocating for victims of domestic violence; Millie Sta. Maria-Thomeczek (Coll ’74) for foreign diplomatic service; Roni Laurel Tapia-Merk (Coll ’75) for banking/finance; and, from the host batch, Rebie Ramoso (HS ’94) for the arts and social entrepreneurship.

Come evening, Homecoming festivities were in full swing, with eleven jubilarian classes presenting. In line with the IaMC theme, each represented a distinct quality that made them daughters of Maryknoll/ Miriam: IaMCompetent, Caring, Converging, Comfortable, Creative, Complete, Compassionate, Captivating, Confident, Change, Centered, Compelling, Conscientious – each unique, but united as graduates of a school with an exceptional heritage over the past ninety-three years. No generation gap was apparent as jubilarians from the 50s to the 90s were in unison onstage to show collective pride and joy in song and dance. The high energy level was sustained throughout the night, as each batch presentation sought to highlight everyone’s incredible talents. The closing number brought the house down with host HS ’94, joined by next-generation MC girls, in a dynamic pep rally-themed performance. The host class then turned over Homecoming 2020 hosting duties to HS ’95 and culminated the evening with an emotional rendition of the school song.

It was a night to remember, with old school memories brought to the fore, and new ones made. This year’s Homecoming reinforced that the MC alumni are the best assets of the school. As the years pass, the alumni continue to ensure that the values instilled by their education will live and be passed on.   In coming home, they celebrated the Miriam/Maryknoll College spirit of excellence and service that characterize the school’s alumni and enduring brand of education.

Article written by Hazel Reside (MCHS 1994)

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