One hundred years of meaningful existence. One hundred years of tradition of excellence. One hundred years of helping shape the history of contemporary Philippines. One hundred years of participating in the struggle for a more democratic and humane society. One hundred years of the University of the Philippines (UP).
When it was established in 1908 during the American occupation of the Philippines, UP offered only a few courses under the Colleges of Fine Arts, Liberal Arts, and Medicine and Surgery in Manila; and the School of Agriculture in Los Baños, Laguna. The original University Charter specified that the function of UP is to provide advanced instruction in such fields as literature, philosophy, the sciences, and the arts. UP is also mandated to provide professional and technical training to enhance the skills and competence of Filipino professionals.
One hundred years later, the impetus given on advanced instruction and professional training is still the driving force behind the reputation of UP as the foremost center of academic excellence in the Philippines. UP is now an expanded, full-fledged university system and offers a wide range of courses in almost all fields of knowledge; and provides opportunities for advanced research and professional training.
UP has also become the primary source and training ground of the country’s most accomplished leaders and professionals. The numbers would speak for UP: seven presidents of the Philippines, 12 chief justices of the Supreme Court, hundreds of senators and congressmen, 36 national artists and 30 national scientists, and thousands of leading professionals in different fields.
But more than academic excellence and professional competence, what distinguishes UP from other higher learning institutions in the country is the premium that it gives to social awareness and service to other people. This is clearly represented by the Oblation, UP’s iconic symbol for selfless dedication and service to the nation. UP students, faculty members, and alumni have been trained to put the interest of the Philippines and the Filipinos ahead of their own. A training that has become a tradition that transcended the colonial origin of UP, making the premier state university of the Philippines as a true university for the Filipino people.The centennial celebration of the University of the Philippines is a strong proof that excellence and the spirit of service still thrive in this part of the world. As part of this important celebration, UP 100 will showcase the best of UP as an institution and as an instrument of social change in the Philippines. This project is envisioned to become a mini-encyclopedia that will feature articles about UP and its students, faculty, alumni, related institutions and organizations, and ideas unique to the university. More importantly, UP 100 aims to inspire Filipinos, UP alumni or otherwise, to make excellence the cornerstone of their lives and to use their talent and capabilities to serve their country and their fellow Filipinos.