Maryknoll College 1970 alumnae Micky Fenix-Makabenta assisted by Lot Ortiz-Luis share how their class came together to provide assistance to the Maryknoll Sisters and their alma mater on the occasion of their Golden Jubilee.
College Class 70 - Golden Jubilarians 2020
Every Jubilarian class works towards donating a gift in cash or in kind to the Alma Mater to commemorate their jubilee celebration. College Class 1970 started raising seed funds for a legacy gift years before its Golden Jubilee in 2020. Highlights of the efforts were the early sale of Pope memorabilia in October, 2014 before Pope Francis’ visit to Tacloban in January 2015 (which was Class 70 Sapphire Jubilee year) and, after that, the sale of Our Lady of Maryknoll statues, Legacy Fans and double-logo (Maryknoll-Miriam) umbrellas in 2018. The earnings supplemented the funds donated by members with every Jubilee year celebration.
The question of what gift to give and to whom still had to be determined.
In 1995, the Class held its Silver Jubilee with a big Basta Bingo! event and most of the proceeds went to the Maryknoll Sisters Philippine Region with a small amount going to the MC Adult Education Program.
Twenty-five years after, the Golden Jubilee organizers deemed it was time to give a meaningful gift to the school.
It was the pandemic that put on hold the donation for the school. There was the alarming news that twenty-five elderly Sisters were readily infected by Covid 19 at the Maryknoll Nursing Home in Ossining, New York and had to be isolated in another facility. Soon 6-7 of these Sisters succumbed to the virus while another 4 or 5 passed on from other causes in a matter of a couple of weeks. Class 70 was informed of the depleting health funds for the nuns and the class was moved to help address that problem right away.
In a meeting, a Finance Committee was formed composed of Ma. Caridad Pineda Ibarra, Ma. Elena Bautista Piccio, Aurora Francisco-Tolentino, Edith Yotoko-Villanueva and Germelina Lising-Salumbides to start a special and urgent fundraising for the Nursing Home, looping in friends from HS Class 66 who had gone to other schools. In a month, from May to June 2020, the committee raised and remitted $20,225.00 to Maryknoll, New York through Germs Lising Salumbides who worked out of Seattle and did the coordination work with Sr. Rosalie Lacorte at Ossinning.
In an email sent to Sr. Rosalie, Finance Committee member Germs Lising Salumbides wrote how the fund was to “acknowledge how much we appreciate the Maryknoll Education we received under the guidance of the Maryknoll Sisters. Many of us treasure our days starting from Maryknoll Pennsylvania to Diliman. We remember you all in our prayers and continue to hold you all close to our hearts.”
In an official letter dated September 20, 2020 Sr. Antoinette Gutzler, now Maryknoll Community President, acknowledged Class 70 and Class 66 “for your amazing fundraising for us at this COVID-19 time. You have touched our hearts more deeply than you could ever know. My thanks to the Finance Committee and to all who contributed so generously. We are deeply grateful! We pray God’s blessings on all.”
What a fulfilling experience it was for everyone who helped in the short campaign!
Going back to the Golden Jubilee preparations: When it was time to choose the gift for the school, the pandemic also made it clear that classes had to be non-traditional, conducted online rather than face to face. So what the school needed had to be aligned with the new order of education.
After consultations with the Alumnae Engagement Office headed by Rorit Mendoza as well as Miriam College VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Jas Galace and her Online Team, a Class 70 liaison committee composed of Lot Ortiz-Luis, Angie Miciano-Sta.Catalina and Ida Marquez Lim-Siason saw that a priority area in the migration to virtual learning was the need for devices by college scholars or students in school with financial assistance. Thus, the idea of a “computer library” as a legacy gift was born. The class wholeheartedly threw its support to the project.
Class 1970 initially had funds for 15 brand new laptops possibly costing about P400,000 based on prices initially quoted by the MC Online Team. We were just too happy to be able to start a project that other jubilee classes could probably be encouraged to add to. But things did not happen that way. The Class 70 members were so enthusiastic about setting up a computer library that not only individuals pledged brand new laptops but “barkadas” started to pool resources together to come up with 1, with 2, with 5 or more laptops based on the original price quoted! The help of some friends had been solicited as well. At the end the Class came up with “50”, not only 15 laptops and the computer library could stand on its own without having to wait for other classes to pitch in!
The presentation of donation for our Class Legacy Gift was made in a Zoom meeting on July 27. Golden Jubilarians College Class 1970 turned over a grant of a total of P1.3 million, initially good for 50 laptops for the computer library. MC President Amb Lullah Quiambao del Rosario accepted the class gift, highlighting its significance for the school at this time of major change. A lively and warm exchange then took place between the MC school officials and Class 70 Golden Jubilarians coming from different continents.