Being 95 or Becoming 95—which verb describes Miriam College better at this time of its “life”? Definitely: becoming. The first verb is static; the second describes a process of transforming or evolving.
The circumstances around which MC has become what it is now should be enough to make this time a celebratory one. For Maryknoll, later Miriam College has not been daunted by challenges along the way such as demographic changes in universities as co-education became the norm for various valid reasons nor by the changing demands in the national economy and labor market. And MC has not been daunted by the “new normal” when face-to-face interactions in the classroom were replaced by virtual ones and Knoller came to be.
At 95, Miriam College is preparing to be present in a third campus in Central Luzon near Clark and to be present virtually for those who are beyond one hour of commuting time to any of its three physical campuses but wish to be part of the Maryknoll-Miriam experience. At 95, Miriam College continues to believe in its expertise in nurturing women to be leaders, and to become the kind of persons that they were born to be, reaching their full potential.
Becoming 95 has brought with it the wisdom that comes with going through many experiences. Many years earlier Miriam College has moved beyond just presenting the world as a place in which one can explore, learn, grow in confidence and competence to succeed. Through the years it has become a teacher on how to make ethical choices even before the current moment in time when the world has started to go through the throes of large scale environmental degradation and natural disasters. We have been warned about these more than a generation ago, with the warning growing stronger and louder through the years by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, by Dr Jeffrey Sachs’s researches on the earth’s fragility, by former Vice President Al Gore’s The Inconvenient Truth and Pope Francis’s Laudato Si. The latter goes beyond the sciences on climate change and presents a criticism of consumerism and irresponsible development that has resulted in environmental devastation and global warming. In “caring for our home” we are also reminded to care for the poor. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle noted that through Laudato Si “Pope Francis reminds us to replace consumption with a sense of sacrifice, greed with generosity, and wastefulness with a spirit of sharing”.
That Europe and the United States have experienced floods like Asia always does, that forest fires seem to be burning endlessly, and that the COVID-19 variants continue to threaten each individual each day should be enough to make one realize that we should not go back to the “old normal” way of living at all. The pandemic continues to give us the time to reflect, and to consider taking serious steps to mitigate the destruction around us. Making ethical choices has now become deeply rooted in MC’s liberal arts education as the school promotes truth, justice, peace, and the integrity of creation, and as Miriam College continues to become.