VSU toga

An exciting new attire is set to make every graduation rites in VSU more meaningful and distinctive.

This is part of the university’s long term plan to establish a more coherent visual identity and corporate branding. 

The new set of academic regalia will be soft launched in the upcoming graduation ceremonies to be implemented across the VSU system.

Conceptualized by Mr. Jed Asaph D. Cortes, who currently heads the VSU Web Team and the newly established Knowledge Management Unit of the university, this new set of toga designs will mainly use the green and gold hues which are the official colors of the university.

According to him, there were no clear guidelines before on the wearing of academic regalia in the recent graduation ceremonies held by the university, which prompted his team to study and scrutinize this matter.

“When we started studying about academic regalia, we realized we haven't really taken its importance and symbolisms seriously. Undergraduates wear hoods while masters graduates wear PhD togas and so on,” Mr. Cortes recalled.

He continued by saying that the former Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA) had a unique academic regalia implemented in the 1980s called the ‘togarong’ but this was discontinued in the 90s as students wanted to use the generic black toga used by most universities up until today.

Because of this change, the unique Viscan identity was lost, which later on resulted in an unclear policy as to the wearing of academic regalia.

“Our plan is to reclaim our unique Viscan identity for graduations, just like our famed ‘togarong’ and just as how ‘sablay’ is unique for the University of the Philippines. So that’s the reasoning that went into designing the new VSU togas,” Mr. Cortes revealed.

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The VSU colors will soon be consistently implemented from the undergraduate and graduate levels and will be worn both by the graduating class and the faculty members including administrators and guests of the university in every graduation ceremony.

For this year’s commencement exercises, however, the new academic regalia will initially be used for the official pictorials that will be flashed in the huge LED walls during the the distribution of diplomas.

It will be next year that these new designs will be massively produced and will be worn first by the graduating class of 2023 in time for the 70th Commencement Exercises of VSU.

All undergraduates will use a plain dark green toga that bears a yellow wireframe icon patterned from the VSU seal.

An additional element called ‘alampay’ was added specially designed for the graduates of the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program to distinguish them from the other bachelor’s degree programs. 

The term ‘alampay’ was coined by Prof. Jude Nonie A. Sales, the current Director of the VSU Culture and the Arts Center (CAC).

The DVM ‘alampay’ will use a gray cloth band similar to the stole worn by clergies to also provide a unique character that is different from the hood worn by graduate students.

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Both the master’s and doctoral degree graduates will feature the common hood, which is a symbol that is supposed to be exclusive for those who finished advanced degrees.

But to further separate the doctoral degree completers, two gold velvet panels will be incorporated in front of the dark green toga that comes with a side-by-side customized emblem of the VSU brand logo.

Meanwhile, a three-striped gold velvet chevrons will also be added in the side arms of the PhD toga, which is a largely accepted symbol for doctoral degrees.

The VSU President’s official academic regalia will largely follow the colors and the overall design of the new PhD toga but with an inclusion of a fourth velvet chevron stripe to symbolize his vested authority in the university.

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Another special toga design was made for members of the VSU Board of Regents which will also be made available for important guests like the Commencement Speaker including other local and national officials who will be invited to participate in the annual graduation rites of VSU.

All of these designs will be explained further in the upcoming VSU Brand Book which is set to be published later this year.

As previously mentioned, the upcoming graduation ceremonies happening next month will only soft launch these designs in the official pictorials of the graduating class of 2022 in both the flagship campus in Baybay City and the other four component campuses in Alangalang, Isabel, Tolosa and Villaba.

The pictorials for the component campuses have been concluded last week while the pictorials for the Main Campus will commence next week following the schedule below:

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The pictorials will be held at the Audio Visual Hall of the new VSU Library opened from 8:00AM until 5:00 PM.

The University Integrated Media Center (UIMC), which is the core organizer of the pictorials, requests all graduating students to strictly follow their assigned schedules.

Graduates of 2020 and 2021 can avail of this official photo service by following the schedule assigned to their respective courses.

They can also coordinate their intent to participate in the pictorials by reaching out to their Graduate Focal Persons (GFPs) assigned in the different academic units of the university.

Almost 2,800 graduating students across the VSU system are expected to march next month as part of Class 2022.

A Special Marching Ceremony will also be held on August 11, 2022 to pay tribute to the graduates of VSU Classes of 2020 and 2021.

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