CHED-BU Zonal Research Center
Zonal Research Center

Ateneo de Naga University

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 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 façade of four pillars, began. In December, 1941, the small band of Jesuits moved to their new residence on campus and were preparing to transfer classes to the newly finished structures after the Christmas holidays. But suddenly, on December 8, 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, high school classes resumed.

On June 1, 1947, the Ateneo de Naga was granted by the Department of Education full recognition as a standard four-year high school. On June 5, 1947, the College was opened with 87 male students. On October 26, 1953, the Ateneo College became coeducational with the admission of five women.

Through its more than half century of existence, the Ateneo has made significant breakthroughs and suffered serious setbacks. Economic difficulties during the Martial Law years led to a dip in the college enrolment. But as the school marked its Golden Jubilee in 1990, there began a remarkable turn-around and recovery. The Graduate School, which 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, College, and Universities (PAASCU). They were accredited for the third time in 1992. In 1991, the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports placed the Ateneo on its list of 18 excellent universities and colleges in the country.

The University status was granted to the Ateneo de Naga on November 11, 1998. Its conferment and the installation of the first University President, Fr. Raul J. Bonoan, S.J. was celebrated on February 20, 1999. In September of the same year, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. was installed as its second University President.

CHED-BU Zonal Research Center