Ateneo de Naga University
University description (as per official university website)
In 1940, at the invitation of Bishop (later Archbishop) Pedro P. Santos of Caceres, the Ateneo de Naga was founded as a Jesuit school for boys, with Fr. Francis D. Burns, S.J. as the Rector. The classes were first held in the building formerly used by the Camarines Sur Catholic academy (now the Naga Parochial School). Meanwhile the construction of the new school building, dominated by the now well-known facade of four pillars, began. In December 1941 the small band of Jesuit moved to their new residence on campus and were preparing to transfer classes to the newly finished structures after the Christmas holidays, when suddenly on 8 December the Pacific War broke out.
When the Japanese Imperial Forces came to Naga, they imprisoned the Jesuits (except Bro. Sergio Adriatico, S.J., the lone Filipino among them), occupied the Ateneo de Naga, and converted it into the local Fort Santiago. As soon as Philippine independence was restored in 1946, the high school classes were resumed.
On 1 June 1947 the Ateneo de Naga was granted by the Department of Education full recognition as a standard four-year high school. On 5 June 1947 the College was opened with 87 male student. On 26 October 1953 the Ateneo College became coeducational with the admission of five women.
The steady growth of the Ateneo called for new structures for governance. Thus the 1940 Articles of Incorporation were amended and new By-laws adopted in 1979, transferring the school's highest governing authority to the Board of Trustees, majority of whom have been Jesuits.
Through its more than half a century of existence, the Ateneo has made significant breakthroughs and has suffered serious setbacks. Economic difficulties during the Martial Law years led to a dip in the college enrollment. But as the school marked its Golden Jubilee in 1990, there began a remarkable turn-around and recovery. The Graduate School, which had had a brief existence in the seventies, was revived in 1993.
In 1979, the College and the HIgh School were the first in Camarines Sur to be accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU). They were accredited for the third time in 1992. In 1991 the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports placed the Ateneo in its list of 18 excellent universities and colleges in the country.
The 90s was a decade of development. The Ateneo implemented CORPLAN 2000. A vigorous faculty development program enabled faculty members to earn graduate degrees. An endownment Fund was establishment for scholarships and professorial chairs. Standards were upgraded. New courses were offered. Centers and institutes were established. New buildings were constructed. Enrollment increased. In 1997 the college was broken into four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Commerce, Education, and Information Technology and Engineering.
On February 20, 1999 the Commission on Higher Education conferred the Ateneo de Naga, with the late Fr. Raul J. Bonoan, S.J. as the first university president.
Last August 28, 1999 Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. was installed as the second university president.
As a university, the Ateneo de Naga seeks the integral formation of men and women who will contribute to the total development of the family and human society.
As a Filipino university, the Ateneo de Naga commits itself to contribute to and benefit from global society through and for the development of the Filipino nation. Its task is to foster a deep commitment to the culture of human life everywhere, but especially in Bikol, through the preservation and enhancement of Bikol culture.
As a Catholic university, the Ateneo de Naga is committed to the service of the faith that promotes justice. It seeks to form men and women committed to the person and teaching of Jesus Christ in loyal and dedicated service to the Church and community, particularly the poor.
As a Jesuit university, the Ateneo de Naga draws its inspiration and educational principles from St. Ignatius of Loyola. It thereby seeks to imbue its members with the desire to strive for excellence in every sphere and activity of life. Through teaching, research, community service and deep personal interaction it aims to form “men and women for others” who will find God in all things, always seek his greater glory and respond generously and courageously to Christ's call to serve first God's Kingdom – Primum Regnum Dei.
Ateneo de Naga University, the premier university in Southern Luzon , provides excellent instruction and formation, conducts vigorous research and engages in community service that is ultimately transformative of society, especially in Bikol. It is possible because of its competent and dedicated faculty, staff, administrators, integrated systems and excellent facilities.
It prides itself in its scholarship support and responsive student services.
It attracts highly qualified students and produces graduates formed in the Catholic faith and challenged by Ignatian spirituality. They are globally competent but locally responsive and environmentally sensitive.
Nurtured by Ignatian spirituality, it is a community that is happy to seek truth in divergent cultures, cultivate intellectual life, respect creation, build human community and promote justice.
Thus, the university and its sub-units enter into a group of alliances with institutions and individuals to further its mission.