General Santos City, Philippines – April 11, 2024 – In a historic move, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) inaugurated its first branch campus in Mindanao, located in General Santos City. The inauguration ceremony, held on April 11, 2024, marked a significant milestone for UST as it brings its renowned quality education beyond its original campus in España, Manila.

The inauguration ceremony commenced with an Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Bishop of Marbel, Most Rev. Cerilo Alan U. Casicas, D.D., at 8:30 A.M. The Main Building and the campus grounds were blessed during the ceremony. The event was graced by the presence of the image of Our Lady of Manaoag and Academician Professor Emeritus Maribel G. Nonato, the pioneering Assistant to the Rector for UST General Santos, who led the Entrustment to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hon. Lorelie Pacquiao, Mayor of General Santos City, Very Rev. Fr. Filemon I. dela Cruz, Jr., O.P., Prior Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, and Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., UST Rector, delivered messages to commemorate the occasion.

Gensan Mayor Lorelie Pacquiao

The UST General Santos campus, envisioned to be an integrated innovative agri-tech campus, will initially offer programs under the School of Health Sciences, School of Business and Accountancy, and School of Engineering and Information Technology, housed within the six-storey Main Building.

The campus is projected to accommodate up to 5,000 students and features state-of-the-art facilities including classrooms, laboratories, a chapel, library, clinic, auditorium, cafeteria, organization rooms, and administrative offices.

Inspired by the original Main Building in Manila, the UST General Santos Main Building features a symmetrical design, central cross tower, entrance canopy, and kumimono bracket-style column capitals. The design also incorporates arches inspired by Mindanaon cultural diversity, reflecting respect for the local context.

The Plaza Mayor, front perimeter fence, and botanical garden were blessed on April 10, 2024, as part of the campus inauguration festivities. Additionally, the UST Office for Alumni Relations, UST Alumni Association, Inc., and the local alumni chapter, Tomasinong SOCCSKSARGEN, conducted a community gift-giving at Barangay Batomelong, General Santos.

UST General Santos began its journey with the groundbreaking ceremony on April 20, 2018. The Main Building was topped off on December 4, 2021, and the first UST Entrance Test (USTET) at the General Santos campus was conducted on January 13, 2024.

Looking ahead, the expansion of UST General Santos will continue with the groundbreaking of the Dr. Ricardo S. Po, Sr. Integrated Innovation and Research Laboratories, named after the Thomasian alumnus and Century Pacific Food Inc. founder, on April 25, 2024.

Here are some more photos from Denn Jib Seblos of the LGU Gensan.