|Rev. Fr. Tamerlane R. Lana, O.P.
80th Rector and President of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Intramuros, Manila
Rector’s Message to Letran Community
To my dear students, faculty members and collaborators in the pursuit of our Letran mission and vision:
The change of leadership in an institution ushers a new era in its life and mission, thus it is usually welcomed with a note of joy and expectation. In the case of our beloved Colegio de San Juan de Letran, my assumption at the office of Rector and President also marks a change in leadership, and so I could not help but be wary about the expectations that the community now lays upon my shoulder. If my coming as Rector also brings hope and joy to the Letran Community, I could only interpret it as the community’s trust and support which I accept with humility and gratitude. Indeed, it is your trust and support that I need as I start the mandate given to me to serve this venerable institution as its steward for the next four years.
Letran is almost four hundred years old, proud of its glorious past and the many great men, heroes and saint it has nurtured with dedicated minds and hearts. But Letran cannot bask merely on the past lest it stagnates. It must be attuned both with present and with the future so that it can continue to move forward and remain relevant and responsive to the needs of the times. The call of the times demands that Letran must also compete with the rest of the educational institutions in this part of the country. Gone are the days when Letran would have just to wait for a swarm of young people wanting to benefit from its educational endeavors. Now it has to go out and reach out to prospective clientele who wish to make the best of the limited resources they have. And Letran can deliver more effectively if it succeeds in projecting its uniqueness and brand of excellence in the delivery of its educational services to young people.
It cannot be denied that Letran is suffering from a decline in student population especially in the basic education programs. It is hard to believe that after almost four hundred years of existence Letran now faces the fight for survival. However, rather than a threat, we must take this as a challenge, a wake-up call to work hard to steer this institution towards greater excellence. Letran could already boast of state-of-the-art facilities and well-established management systems and procedures in the operation of the Colegio. Now we are challenged to focus more on the academic standards of the institution through the process of accreditation, and to invest our energy and resources to the other two pillars of a tertiary educational institution, which are research and service to our community. We shall also engage in a more intensive promotion and marketing strategies so that we could attract more students, and improve our student selectivity, which is one factor to gauge the academic standard of an educational institution.
With the presence of Letran in Abucay, Bataan, we anticipate tougher times for Letran these coming years in sustaining this grand expansion program. This endeavor is another bold step that Letran has taken, second only to the establishment of Letran Calamba almost three decades ago. This just shows how fecund Letran could really be as an alma mater, a mother that nurtures the minds and hearts of the youth. The expansion in Bataan is a commitment that Letran had made, a commitment that we do not wish to falter, and so we take it to heart as one of our priorities for these four years of my incumbency.
Once again, I ask all of you to support me as I take this mandate to lead the Letranites in its journey towards a more resplendent Letran as it approaches its four hundred years of existence few years from now. With God’s help, with our beleaguered nation beckoning us to contribute something and with the thickened “Dugong Arriba” giving more life to our systems, I have a great confidence that we can steer Letran towards greater excellence. Arriba Letran!