ICYMI: The *iconic* tiger and block letters at the Plaza Mayor of the University of Santo Tomas' España campus have finally been upgraded and given a new look!
The upgraded structures welcomed UST freshmen as they made their traditional Thomasian Welcome Walk through the Arch of the Centuries on August 9, 2022.
In his interview with the Varsitarian, Fr. Dexter Austria, O.P., director of the UST Facilities Management Office (FMO) said that the changes made to the main square of the campus aim to "signal UST’s aggressive expansion to Sta. Rosa and General Santos."
The new tiger statue, which now appears to be leaping up instead of being on all fours, also has a ~literal~ meaning. "This comes on [sic] a perfect moment when UST is about to leap beyond the confines of Manila to Sta. Rosa and General Santos campuses," Fr. Austria noted.
"It's a symbolism for us to get out of this pandemic, rise above the pandemic, and our expansion."
The revamped tiger statue is an eight-foot-long Bengal tiger designed by Anthony Zamora, a former faculty member of the College of Fine Arts and Design, while the block letters were altered to the Trajan Pro font.
The tiger, which has been UST's mascot since 1992 when the university changed its nickname from Glowing Goldies to the Growling Tigers, has been likened to the qualities of a Thomasian student. "Ready to pounce and adapt to any environment," according to Fr. Austria.
The new UST block letters, on the other hand, measure 2.1 meters in height and two meters in length.
According to UST Secretary General Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P., the block letters represented the school's "tradition of excellence" that has served as the bridge for generations of Thomasians.
"These letters represent the University’s tradition of excellence for having nurtured saints, martyrs, heroes, leaders in various fields, connecting the past 411 years of existence to the current and future generations of Thomasians despite the many challenges of the pandemic," he noted in his opening message.
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