Honoring Legacy, Embracing Progress: USA opens Fray Luis de Leon Learning Commons and Atty. Henry T. Villegas Law Library

By Mariela Angella Oladive

In an extraordinary stride towards academic innovation and progress, the University of San Agustin (USA) inaugurated the Fray Luis de Leon Learning Commons and Atty. Henry T. Villegas Law Library on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

The event commenced with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by a solemn blessing led by University President Rev. Fr. Frederick Comendador, OSA; Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Regina Aileen May V. Vergara; Learning Resource Center Director Rhea Espina; and College of Law Dean, Atty. Jose Mari Benjamin Francisco U. Tirol.

Also present are the other distinguished university officials, esteemed faculty members, dedicated staff and students.

During the presentation of the project’s rationale, Ms. Espina emphasized the university’s steadfast commitment to providing its students and faculty with an expansive and conducive space for research, study, and collaboration, embodied by the newly established Fray Luis de Leon Learning Commons.

The extension of the library’s facilities is poised to accommodate a wider range of resources, thereby creating an even more enriching and nurturing academic environment.

“By providing access to online databases, electronic books, multimedia resources, and digital tools, the FLD learning commons ensures that our Augustinian students and faculty are equipped with the necessary skills to thrive in the digital age,” Espina said.

She added, “The remarkable achievement is a testament to providing the state-of-the-art space for learning, collaboration, and intellectual growth.”

The Fray Luis de Leon Learning Commons is situated across the ground, fourth, and fifth floors.

On the other hand, Dean Tirol underscored the profound reason behind Atty. Henry T. Villegas’s vision for the library: “To encourage more young people to study law and become lawyers.”

The library was named after USA Law alumnus Atty. Henry T. Villegas, through the donation from his family made by his son, Atty. Jan Freeman Villegas. The Library is located on the second floor of the College of Law Building and features new acquisitions.

Atty. Tirol also shared that the library would contain rare and very old books published in the 18th century during the Spanish period, which even the Supreme Court library does not have.

In his message, Rev. Fr. Comendador, reflected on the journey that led to the creation of the Atty. Henry T. Villegas Law Library and Fray Luis de Leon Learning Commons, highlighting that “God works in mysterious ways.” He also expressed his gratitude to those who made the project possible.

The newly inaugurated Atty. Henry T. Villegas Law Library and Fray Luis De Leon Learning Commons are not just a physical expansion but a hub of academic excellence within the university. It stands as a testament to the University’s dedication to providing Agustinians with the best resources and facilities for learning and research. As the university continues to embrace progress and innovation, this new chapter promises to foster intellectual growth and contribute to advancing knowledge in law and beyond.