Compared to the venerable University of Santo Tomas, which antedates it by almost three hundred years, the University of the Philippines or U.P. is a mere adolescent. It only turned 100 years old today, June 18, 2008.
Originally located on Padre Faura Street in buildings now occupied by the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice, the University began its first academic year with seventy-one faculty members, mostly Americans and an enrolment of just over three hundred students in its initial seven colleges, namely: Fine Arts, Medicine and Surgery, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Law.
Four of these colleges were organized by the University itself, but three of them sprang from already established schools –Fine Arts from the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Medicine and Surgery from the Philippine Medical School, and Liberal Arts from the Junior College of Liberal Arts of the Philippine Normal School.
Founded in 1908 during the American era, the mission of “Southeast Asia’s first modern university” was “to provide advance instruction in literature, philosophy, the sciences and arts, and to give professional and technical training.”
Its facilities and enrolment expanded rapidly over the years and eventually, in 1948, it became necessary to establish a new campus at Diliman in Quezon City, although some elements, including the U.P. College Manila and U.P. College of Public Administration, continued to be housed in Rizal Hall on Padre Faura.
The Diliman campus sprawls over some five hundred hectares of land in Quezon City.
The University is administered by a Board of Regents. The autonomous campuses have their own Chancellors and Vice Chancellors and govern themselves within the framework of the University policies and traditions.
As a State University funding is provided by the government. The University also receives various forms of support for its development and research programs from private agencies in the Philippines as well as from foreign governments, foundations, organizations and agencies.
Mabuhay University of the Philippines!