The Silliman Alumni Association is a product of growth, a federal set-up. That is why each chapter, in the beginning, has its own type of organization, suited to local conditions, and yet, bound by a common tie – love for alma mater. It should not be strange, therefore, that the first alumni group was organized, not in Silliman, nor after graduation, but in Manila in 1919, by Sillimanians who felt that they should celebrate Founder’s Day even if away from “home”. They, then, organized themselves into the Silliman Alumni Association of Manila.
Taking the cue from the Manila group, the Dumaguete alumni organized themselves in 1920, and subsequently, alumni in other places also organized themselves.
In time, the need to form a national organization was felt. The Dumaguete association became known as the Silliman Central Alumni Association, and, by general acceptance it became the association. The organization in other places then assumed the name of Chapter of the Silliman Alumni Association.
With the clamor of alumni for chapter representation in the Association’s governing body, a constitutional convention was called in 1941 to draft a constitution. The chairman of the convention was Dr. Pedro Y. Ylagan (HS’11, AB’13), delegate from Manila and a renowned authority on constitutional law. Mrs. Crispina F. Jublea (AB’18) of Dumaguete, was elected secretary of the convention. Other delegates were: Atty. Rodrigo Harder (LLB’40) of Iloilo, Atty. Jesus Occeña (AA’29) of Davao, Atty. Clemente Rigor (HS’12, AB’14) of Negros Occidental, Rev. Angel B. Taglucop (HS’30, AA’32, BTh’34, AB’47) of Lanao, Atty. Felix G. Gaudiel (AB’20) of Dumaguete and Atty. Marcos M. Calo (AA’34, LLB’38) of Agusan.
The Constitution introduced a corporate set-up. It created a Board of Directors chosen from the nominees of the Chapters, by mail ballot of all Silliman alumni. The Board then elects, from among themselves, their officers who are, at the same time, officers of the Board and of the Association.
The first president of the Association was Atty. Jose M Estacion (HS’47, AB’19) elected in 1941. Former Congressman Lamberto L. Macias (Elem’17, HS 21, AA’23) was elected second president in 1947. Mr Apolonio N. Molina (AB’22) who was instrumental in keeping alive the “Silliman Spirit” among the alumni having served in the Board of Directors since its organization in 1941, was elected third president in 1950. Fourth president was the late Atty. Teodorico A. Flores (Elem’28, HS’32, AA’34, LLB’39) followed by the late Col. Placido A. Ausejo (Elem’11, HS15, AB’17) as fifth president. It was under Col Ausejo that the plan to put up Alumni Hall was started. It gained impetus during the term of the sixth president, Engr. Juanito T. Magbanua (BSE’34), who serve from 1957 to 1960, and was finally dedicated during the term of the seventh president, the late Justice Roseller T. Lim (AA’35, LLB’39). Engr Juanito T. Magbanua made the turn-over of Alumni Hall to the University Administration in 1962. Eight president elected in 1962 was former Senator Lorenzo G. Teves (AA’38,LLB’42-46), followed by former Congressman James L. Chiongbian (HS’41) in 1965.
During the term of the ninth president Mr. Mariano S. Ilano, Jr. (BBA’49) the Silliman Alumni Association acquired a juridical personality by incorporation under Philippine laws. Its certificate of incorporation issued October 9, 1968. Mr. Ilano served from 1967 to 1972. The committee charged with the drafting of its Articles of Incorporation include: Prof. Gerardo Florendo (AB’20), Atty. Nestorio B. Melocoton (BSE’31, MA’38) and Atty. Samuel A. Malayang (LLB’54).
Upon the assumption of the tenth president, Atty. Galileo D. Sibala (AA’48), LLB’52), who was elected 1972, changes were made in the Constitution and By-Laws which, among others, provided foe a convention type of annual cessions of the Association, and increased the term of Directors to 3 years. The Amendments committee of the Board of Directors appointed 1971 included Fiscal Pacifico Bulado (HS’48, AA’50, LLB’54), Fiscal Pablo E. Cabahug (AA’49, AB’51, LLB’54), and Atty. Manuel G. Roxas (HS’49, AA’51, LLB’54), Dr. Gilberto Y. Rivera (HS’34, AA’37) was elected eleventh president in 1973, followed by the incumbent president Mr. Rustico C. Paralejas (AB’46).
Under the set-up, past and present, of the Association, the operations is under the management of its Executive Secretary-Treasurer. The first Executive Secretary-Treasurer who served since the founding of the Association in 1941 until his retirement in 1953 was Lorenzo B. Bernardez (AB’17), followed by Segundo V. Galicano (HS’18, AB’20) until 1955, then by H. Roy Bell in 1955 to 1957, succeeded by Clemente V. Espejo (BSE’34) who served from 1957 to 1959, followed by Benjamin C. Corsino (HS’34, AA’36, LLB’40) from 1959 to 1965, Samuel A. Malayang (LLB’54) started his term in 1965 to 1984. It was during the term of Atty. Malayang that an annual dinner and dance was held to culminate the Founders Day celebration every 28th day of August. Today, the alumni association continues to host the Alumni and Community Night known as “Tipon Dumaguete.” This event is not just for reunioning alumni but welcomes their families, friends and the community into the fellowship to experience what we call the “Silliman Spirit” ever present in each of our lives as Sillimanians. In 1984, Ms. Ludy S. Perez (HS ’52, BBA ’56) was elected Executive Secretary-Treasurer until her retirement in December 2002. Judge Rafael Crescencio C. Tan, ( A.B.. Math’70, LLB ’88, MPA ’94) was appointed by the Board of Directors as OIC-Executive Secretary from January 2003 until August 2003 when the incumbent Executive Secretary, Ms. Yolanda Elenita Luz S. Valente-Maxino was elected on August 2003.
Presently, there are 90 duly-organized and recognized alumni chapters throughout the world.Twenty-six (26) of these are in the U.S and Canada, Two (2) in Australia, one (1) in the United Kingdom, one (1) in Europe, Two (2) in Southeast Asia, Two (2) in the Middle East and Fifty-Four (54) in the Philippines. A Silliman International Council was set up in the year 2001 to serve as the mother organization of all alumni chapters in the United States and Canada known today as the Silliman Alumni Council of North America (SUACONA).