Palace edict cites Upsilon centennial

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Upsilon Sigma Phi, the oldest student organization in the state-owned University of the Philippines (UP), is marking its centennial in grand style as Malacañang issued Proclamation Order 539 declaring 2018 as year for the celebration of the 100th year of the fraternity.

The proclamation recognizes Upsilon, which is also the oldest “Greek letter” fraternity in Asia, for its significant contributions to numerous civic and humanitarian causes, as well as the dedication and commitment of its members to public service and nation-building.

Upsilon members have been going around the country doing advocacy work as part of their centennial celebration on 18 November 2018, according to Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association (USPAA) chairman and former UP president Alfredo Pascual.
“We want our celebration to be meaningful to us and communities in dire need of help,” he said.

Illustrious lineup

Its roster of members since its founding includes a president, former chief justices, senators, congressmen and UP presidents.

Among the fraternity brothers are the late President Ferdinand Marcos; ex-Sen. Joker Arroyo; Sen. Richard Gordon; former Sen. Benigno S. Aquino Jr; Salvador P. Lopez, Foreign Affairs Secretary and UP president; Wenceslao Q. Vinzons, World War II war hero and martyr and 1935 ConCon delegate; José P. Laurel, Philippine President, senator and Supreme Court Justice; Arturo M. Tolentino, senator; Salvador H. Laurel, Philippine Vice President, senator and assemblyman; Francis Pangilinan, Senate majority floor leader and Quezon City councilor; Alfredo E. Pascual, UP president and Gregorio Pio Catapang, chief of staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Brothers in advocacy

USPAA president Thad Liamzon, who has spearheaded the nationwide advocacy programs in various provinces in the country, said the fraternity is “grateful to the President for recognizing our efforts in nation building.”

The programs included provision of clean water facilities, rehabilitation and donation of school buildings, tree planting, educational outreach and medical missions.

Other projects of the fraternity include the construction of an outdoor learning center for UP Diliman called the UP Promenade and the Kapit Kapit monument in UP Los Baños.

The Upsilon Sigma Phi was founded in 1918 at the UP.

Many fraternity members serve in the private sector as business leaders, lawyers, journalists, the academe, doctors, scientists, farmers, government employees and community leaders.

Members are from all political persuasions and religions. Several have even been included in the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani for their contributions to freedom and democracy.

According to Pascual, the centennial celebration of Upsilon provides it the rare opportunity to further strengthen its relationship with the UP system and “to honor our home.”

“Without UP, the Upsilon would not exist,” Pascual said, adding the celebration allows the organization to train young members to become responsible new leaders for their communities in particular, and the nation in general.

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