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Friday, September 10 was not just a national holiday. Locals were divided on whether to go to Bais City or to Dauin town, which were both celebrating their fiestas.

But in one room at the Silliman University Institute of Environment and Marine Sciences (IEMS), some people ignored the social significance of that day to focus on an interesting event. Biology students from Foundation University were working hand in hand with renowned marine mammalogist Louella Dolar and her staff in a project that involved the assembling of the female dolphin bones. These assembled dolphin bones will soon be hung on display at the Foundation University library.

But it doesn’t stop there for there’s more to it than meets the eye. The act by representatives of Silliman and Foundation Universities of assembling dry dolphin bones was actually giving flesh to a consortium entered into by the four universities in Dumaguete four years ago.

In signing the consortium, the higher educational institutions represented by SU President Dr. Ben Malayang III, Negros Oriental State University President Dr. Henry Sojor, Foundation University Chairperson Victor Vicente Sinco, and St. Paul University of Dumaguete President Sr. Nilda Masirag agreed to share each other’s expertise in promoting common programs (sports, cultural, and academic) that will not only benefit Dumaguete City but Negros Oriental as well.

Last Friday’s simple activity was no less than historic in the intellectual development of our University Town. It showed us all that there is more to Dumaguete than the competition towards academic excellence. Schools can actually sit down and work together for the common good.
Through this consortium, students of our universities may be able to enhance their learning in a different environment, culture and discipline.

The generosity of Silliman University in sharing its resources and expertise with Foundation University should hopefully encourage all schools to think of ways to further cement linkages with each other. They could also look beyond the members of the consortium and extend a hand to other educational institutions in need.

We remember the assistance given by St. Paul University in Dumaguete and Foundation University to the St. Francis High School in Vallehermoso, which was razed by fire over one year ago. Both schools donated chairs for that school’s more than 500 students. That simple gesture meant so much to the fire victims.

Little things mean a lot. This is the Unitown concept at work.

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