SEEDS OF A PHILIPPINE UNIVERSITY
This article was written on December 22, 1978, and published in THE FLAME, the official publication of the Baguio Central University
MARGARITA JOVEN FERNANDEZ
Thirty three years ago, the seed to become the Baguio Central University on August 15, 1977 was planted in Baguio City in 1945 as the Centro Academy, a vocational school. My husband and I prayed from day to day that the school will survive the exigencies of the time.
Slowly, the foundation was reinforced with continued vigor, hope and since, patient and sustained efforts. There were times when the path seemed unsurmountable especially when competition became so keen, that sleepless nights or evaluation whether to go on or not followed. Every month, a special day of prayer was heard by both of us (my husband and I) in our hometown to pray for greater strength and inspiration to let live a semi hopeless venture considering the giants in the educational field we were with. Unkind predictions, here and there hurt us. To many, an only time was awaited for the closure of the school. The greatest surprise we ever had was, that at the end of every school year was the survival of the school despite all odds. Each year that passed by, God gave us the light to plan better, work with the vision of success. An unseen guiding hand let to the completion of yearly outlined goals.
Today, I am invested as first president of the school that my dear beloved and I founded. Belong, (my husband) has fallen on our path in 1972, but before he closed his eyes. I read what he meant, that, I continue the work we both began, for then he would be happy that his unselfish efforts to let me succeed with not have been in vain.
Belong, my love our dream has been realized. I am happy yet my heart is heavy. I can’t write further.
HISTORY OF BAGUIO CENTRAL UNIVERSITY
In 1945, immediately after World War II, the vocational school named Centro Academy started its operation with the initiative and dedication of the late Godofredo Fernandez and his wife Margarita J. Fernandez.
In 1949, high school academic program was added to the vocational school. It was then named as Centro Industrial School. The secondary curriculum was offered as an alternative for vocational training.
With an aim to provide a wider scope of educational training and to meet the demand of the growing region, the vocational school, which was under a single proprietorship, was turned into a private corporation. From 1951-1953, the institution offered college courses leading to the degrees, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Secondary and Elementary Education and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The Bachelor of Laws and Engineering courses were offered in 1953 and Master of Arts in Education in 1955. For successive years, the institution had undergone expansion in its academic programs. From 1971-1977 there were other courses that were offered. These are Bachelor of Science in Public Administration, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Doctor of Education, Master of Public and Business Administration. It was during these years of development when the institution was named as Eastern Philippine Colleges and renamed as the Lyceum of Baguio before it became the Baguio Central University.
In 1949, Dr. Margarita J. Fernandez became the first president of the University.
In 1985, a two-year course in Associate in Hotel and Restaurant Management was opened.
The few numbers of pre-schools in Baguio City drove BCU to put its own pre-school in 1987. Thus the Growing-Up Learning Center stood. Its programs are geared toward experiential learning – where learning is fun and fulfilling.
The continuous advancement in technology brought challenges to the institution in the early 90’s thus short degree courses include a year course in Computer Technology. Associate degree in Computer Science, and Associate degree in Computer Secretarial and eventually in 1993, the four-year course in Computer Science was offered. That same year the Doctorate program in Philosophy was added to the curriculum.
Baguio Central University has lived and continued to soar to a high endeavor through libertad (liberty), justitia (justice), veritas (truth), and equitas (equity).
Throughout the years, Baguio Central University has moved forward with the administration of Dr. Margarita Fernandez. Its expansion covers the academic programs as well as the physical structure of the school.
In 2001, the institution responded to the demand of the global market, the 6 month caregiver program was added to its curricular offerings. In 2002, Baguio Central University implemented the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP). ETEEAP educational scheme recognizes knowledge, skills and prior leaning obtained by the individuals from his or her non-formal and informal experiences.
In 2003, the College of Medicine and College of Criminology were opened. The College of Medicine is considered to be the second in the Cordillera Administrative Region.