The University of Manila (UM) is a university located in the heart of Sampaloc in Manila, Philippines, more commonly known as the University Belt area. It was founded in 1913 by five young college students, the three de Los santos siblings and two of their friends.
On October 5, 1913, a group of four young men and woman, with age from fifteen to twenty-one, met for breakfast at the Palma de Mallorca, a popular restaurant beside the Sto. Domingo church in Intramuros. The five were Apolinario G. de Los Santos, his brother Mariano V. de Los Santos, his sister Maria Santos and two friends, Buenaventura J. Bello and Manuel Montilla. They were all college students themselves with more daring than money, determined to put up a school suited to the needs of the Filipino youth. These “impecunious youngsters” as they were called by university historian, faced the challenges ahead of them and followed their dream to establish an institution whose motto was “Patria, Scientia et Virtus.” They named their school-in-the-making Instituto de Manila, after the city of their affection. Apolinario G. de Los Santos was the school’s first Director.
The Instituto’s doors first opened in school year 1914-1915. The forerunner of this institution offered only elementary and high school courses in a leased building in the corner of Madrid and Penarubia streets, Binondo District. In school year 1919-1920, however, the Instituto conducted its classes in its own building in the Sampaloc District in order to accommodate its growing populace and to provide better facilities.
Before embarking on a program of expansion to meet the educational needs of its constituency, the Instituto perforce had to undergo internal changes. Their original incorporators unanimously agreed, on the occasion of the eight anniversary of the founding of the institution, to effect a re–organization geared towards the attainment of a university status. The decision was subsequently followed by the re-incorporation of the Instituto as The University of Manila on November 3,1921, under the provisions Act 1459 of the former Philippine Legislature.
Right after its re-incorporation, the University progressed rapidly. The development marked the turning point of this democratic and progressive institution which has withstood the test of time. It fortunately survived two world wars and bewildering variety of changes -- ideological, social, economic and political. From an institution which offered only elementary and high school programs, the university took its place among the country’s leading private schools.
The mustard seed that was the University of Manila continues to grow through the years. Its genesis of growth was impressive. In March 1919, the College of Law was formally opened. In 1920, the College of Liberal Arts followed. Three colleges were born in 1922-1923, namely: the College of Philosophy and Letters, the College of Education and the College of Business Administration. The Department of Graduate Studies (UM) opened in 1941-1942. The College of Engineering opened in December 1945. In 1946, the Academy of Music and the School of Foreign Service were opened. In 1946, M.A. in Political Science was offered in the Department of Graduate Studies followed by M.A in History in 1951. Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education was first offered in 1951. Between 1963-1966, the College of Criminology and Penology, School of Secretarial Science and Master’s Degree in Public Administration were offered. On June 7, 1976, the following courses were opened – Two-year Police Science and Technology, Two-year Library Aide, Two-year Bookkeeping, One-year Hotel and Restaurant Management and One-year Tourism.
The fruition of these labors were products of the highly innovative, creative and brilliant minds of those who occupied the presidency. Dr. Apolinario de los Santos headed this seat of learning from its inception until 1927 when he was succeeded by his brother Dr. Mariano de los Santos, who assumed the presidency at the age of 29, the youngest university president in the Philippines and the world. He was university head until his untimely demise on October 13, 1959.
The unfinished task of leading the University was continued by Madame Helen de los Santos. He dedicated his book, “Education and Life” to his wife, “who has shared with me all the tribulations of life but cared so little for its vainglories.” Madame de los Santos, a pioneer woman educator, held the presidency with distinction from 1959 to 1981.
Another chapter in UM history unfolded when Dr. Virgilio de los Santos took over the presidency in 1981. With him the helm, the University continually strives for academic excellence. It has remained true to its trilogy: Patria, Scientia et Virtus. Its Mission and Vision Statement reads: MISSION: The University of Manila aims to teach love of country, love of science and love of virtue.
VISION: The University of Manila strives to compete with other schools, locally and internationally, by incorporating modern technology in education.
Under the leadership of Dr. Virgilio de los Santos, the University has attained stability and progress. In keeping with the thrusts of the government and in order to keep in step with the times, the University on February 16, 1994, offered Four-year courses in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Computer Science. The University of Manila has come of age. In response to the call of the 90’s, it offered new courses on February 21, 1994 -- Doctor of Education, Doctor of Public Administration, and Master of Business Administration to provide administrators, businessmen, educators, analysts/ researchers with broad theoretical and conceptual background. And on April 3, 2003, starting with school year 2003-2004, the University has received the Government Permit to offer the 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Languages major in Japanese Language, the very first university to offer a degree-course in Japanese Language.
For ninety years, The University of Manila has served not only the Filipino youth, but also those of other countries who have chosen this institution their second home in their educational pursuit.
Today, The University of Manila approaches its centennial in 2013. Join us as we prepare for UM’s first 100 years of total commitment to global education for a better world. UM is heading towards the year 2013 and beyond with the goal of rendering better service to mankind through quality education.
UM is a member of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities, International Association of Universities and Association of Southeast Asian Institutes of Higher Learning.