HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY AND YOU IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS University President’s Message to Students and Families

From the President

July 27, 2020

Our God is our refuge and strength: a helper in troubles, which have found us exceedingly. Therefore we will not fear, when the earth shall be troubled. (Psalm 45:1-2 DRA)

Welcome to the new Academic Year 2020-2021!

Holy Angel University very much appreciates the trust that you have in us for selecting HAU among others for enrolling during the 2020-2021 academic year. We extend our thanks to the parents among you for entrusting the education of your child to us during this COVID-19 pandemic. We promise that, despite the limitations of strict physical distancing, we will work harder to ensure that you will make your best moments here at Holy Angel University.

Because of HAU’s longevity, accomplishments and unique history, other schools have always looked up to Holy Angel University as a leader in academic excellence, and the general public has looked up to HAU as a guiding light in times of crisis and calamity. In 1991, barely a month after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, HAU decided to reopen even if lahar flows were still active and no bridges connected the city to the outside world. That decision, unpopular at the time, actually jumpstarted the local economy and gave the despairing population a reason to rise again.

Last April, we were among the first schools in the country that declared the intent to prepare to deliver purely online education this school year. Again, that decision, very unpopular at the time, actually jumpstarted our efforts to ensure that we can deliver e-learning and that no student will be left behind in their studies because of connectivity and affordability issues.

While enrollment has been ongoing in three ways—either by coming to campus, or by registering online, or by simply calling—when instruction opens August, classes will be conducted purely online and will remain online until our government allows students to return to campus. Even when that happens, HAU will still enforce strict health and safety protocols like mandatory wearing of masks, strict physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and rotating schedule of classes so that no more than half of the student population will be on on campus on any given day.

We continue to honor our commitment that we are all about students and that no student will be left behind. Therefore, we offer assistance to students who will have difficulty connecting to online instruction. This assistance will be in the form of tablets and modems for lending free of charge for one school year, and free prepaid loads also good for one school year. More important than these is our guarantee that our instructors will always be considerate and sympathetic and will conduct online academic counseling for struggling students.

We know that, before the lockdown, your holistic development inside and outside the classroom was one of the things you valued most about your Holy Angel education. We want to assure you that we are preparing online versions of the student activities that gave you your best moments and the student services that prepared you for life. Outside your online classes, and in the safety of your home, we want to continue engaging you in the total Holy Angel experience so that you get the same character formation, as well as emotional, social and psychological nurturing that you and your family need especially in times of crisis and challenge.

All of us belong to the same Holy Angel Community, which continues to exist even online. The reason we are called a community is that we act like a large family whose members with a diversity interests, opinions and convictions, but we are still able to live and work together because we are united by one mission, a common vision, and a shared name—we are called the Angelites! There is more to our bond than just the “you pay us, we teach you” business contract. Holy Angel is a private school offering a public good. We sincerely want you to succeed in career and personal life not only because we take education seriously as a noble profession, but also because the future of any nation depends on how well its citizens are educated.

I will leave you now with the lyrics of a wonderful old hymn, "Till the Storm Passes By," that the Reverend Mosie Lister wrote in 1958. It is my encouraging message to you and your loved ones at this challenging time.

In the dark of the midnight, have I oft hid my face.
While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place
'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try,
For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by."
But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise,
Where the storms never darken the skies.

Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more,
Till the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand,
Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Thank you very much for continuing to do your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Together, we can work to keep our communities healthy and strong. Laus Deo semper!

Secure in God’s protection (Ps. 91),

Luis María R. Calingo, Ph.D.
University President

July 22, 2020

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

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