Monday, March 19, 2012

Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU), 100th Anniversary


The Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) comes out with an issue on March 19, 2012 that commemorates the 100th year of Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU).

Printed by Amstar Company, Inc., the 7p block of 4 stamp and the 28p souvenir sheet was designed by the Ateneo De Zamboanga University Centennial Committee. Victorino Z, Serevo did the lay-out while Sheila L. Pagotaisidro acted as design coordinator.   

Stamp # 1 features Fort Pilar Shrine built by Jesuit engineer, Fr. Melchor de Vera, S.J. The arrival of the first Jesuit Missionaries in 1635 marked the systematic beginnings of the Catholic Church of Zamboanga;

Stamp # 2 shows the Fr. William H. Kreutz, SJ Campus, the campus for basic education units;

Stamp # 3 portrays the Ateneo Brebeuf Gym, the oldest structure in La Purisima Campus.

Stamp # 4 depicts Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

Ateneo de Zamboanga started as Escuela Catolica, a small parochial school in 1912. Located at the old Immaculate Conception site, it was run by the Spanish Jesuits headed by Fr. Manuel M. Sauras who was committed to serve the community by educating and instilling the values of St. Ignatius de Loyola. The school was later called Ateneo de Zamboanga in 1916.    

During the Second World War, it was closed down but was reopened by the Japanese who made it as a public elementary school. On March 8 and 9, days before the liberation of Zamboanga City, the Americans shelled and bombed the school.

In 1947 the high school began accepting students and a year after, Ateneo de Zamboanga was officially recognized as a Jesuit school that operated independently from the parish. This historical transformation gave rise to what is now known as the century-old tradition of Jesuit Education.

In 1952, Ateneo de Zamboanga's college department was established while the graduate school came out with its first program in 1976. It was in the 1980's that Fr. Ernesto A. Carretero, SJ  worked so hard to acquire the university status of the school. When Fr. William H. Kreutz, SJ replaced Fr. Carretero as president in 1989, he continued the call to elevate the status of the school to a university.

On August 10, 2001, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted the university 
status along with the full deregulation and autonomy.                

After 100 years, Ateneo de Zamboanga continues its mission in working for a progressive Western Mindanao. To date, it has two undergraduate schools and three colleges (Arts and Sciences, Education, Management and Accountancy, Science and Information Technology and Nursing) as well as three professional schools (Graduate School, School of Medicine and the College of Law in partnership with Xavier University).

With a 6,822 population and a new building in Tumaga, Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) continues to gear up for a wider horizon and a promising future.

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