The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Michigan (UPAAM) will celebrate its 35th year of existence on June 23, 2018, at the Ukranian Cultural Center in Warren, Michigan.

The celebration will feature recognition of past awardees and their parents, salute to past presidents, dinner, dancing and a brief cultural presentation.

The highlight of the event will be the presentation of awards to the 2018 Outstanding Youth of Michigan (OYM).

It is recalled that on June 15, 1983, UP alumni bonded themselves together to form the association in order to strengthen the ties among themselves, build an enduring commitment between the alumni and their alma mater as well as harness the talents, energies, and resources of the alumni for the good of the Filipino-American community in Michigan and beyond.

To attain these lofty goals, UPAAM has done for the Filipino-American community of Michigan a broad array of activities, among which were cultural presentations and concerts featuring the Madrigal Singers and the U.P Concert Chorus as well as renowned artists such as Michael Dadap, Raul Sunico, Fides Santos Cuyugan, Evelyn Mandac and others. In 1984, UPAAM, with Delia Rayos as president and the Philippine American Community Center (PACCM), headed then by Bayani Domingo, organized the “Paaralang Pilipino (PP).

Proceeds from the fundraising of the UPAAM choir directed by the late Evelyn Villaruel in that year were earmarked for the PP program. The association has also invited lecturers to talk on various subjects of interest for its Professional Lecture Series. The lectures are regularly held at the PACCM.

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The UPAAM members believe that the University of the Philippines needs the support of its alumni to enable their alma mater to maintain its stature as a premier university in the Philippines and Asia.

Donations were given to professorial chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. Scholarship grants have enabled deserving students to receive their degrees, some of whom have graduated cum laude and magna cum laude.

UPAAM and individual members sent donations to help build “Balay ng Alumni” (Alumni Home) in Diliman, Quezon City. In 1984, UPAAM donated several volumes of rare Filipiniana materials to the Philippine collections of the University of Michigan Southeast Asia Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

To further maintain the tradition of excellence in academics, leadership, and service, UPAAM launched the Outstanding Youth of Michigan (OYM) a few months after the association was formed. Since then OYM has been held every year. It is a competitive program which honors and gives awards to graduates with Filipino heritage, who excel in academics

and extra-curricular activities in high school. Many awardees have become successful educators, lawyers, engineers, corporate executives, doctors and other professionals.

There are more activities that the UPAAM and its members have actively

participated in. Noting UPAAM’s many contributions that have benefited the Filipino-American community in Michigan, the alma mater and beyond, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of America (UPAAA) gave a special award to the association during its Biennial General Assemble and Convention held at the Hilton

Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 3, 2011.

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Part of the inscriptions states: “ This Special Recognition is given to UPAAM with the deepest appreciation for its continuing leadership, service, and loyalty to the University of the Philippines.”

Past presidents of UPAAM are: Delia Hidalgo Rayos, Bayani L. Domingo, Alma Ambrosio Chand, Milagros Reyes, M.D., Apolinario Capili, M.D., Homer Rabara, Leonor Mandap, Restituto Espinosa, Enrique M. Ostrea, M.D., Josefino Tunac, Francisco Lim, Benedicto Manzano, Helen H. Domingo, Liberty H. Jaramillo, Lavinia O.V. Mateo and Roy Coloma. Anita Bustamante-Sodawalla is the incumbent president.

Persons who may be contacted regarding the June 23 event are: Anita Sodawalla, 586-344-6864; Eden Alfaro, 586-979-2032; Ellen Porte, 586-939-0618; Roy Coloma, 734-582-3463; this writer (Delia Rayos), 313-885-1862; and Lavinia Mateo, 248-318-5897.