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THE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS IS THE OLDEST EXISTING UNIVERSITY in Asia.

In terms of student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world in a single campus. The institution was established through the initiative of Bishop Miguel de Benavides, O.P., the third Archbishop of Manila. On July 24, 1605, he bequeathed the amount of P1,500 and his personal library for the establishment of a seminary-college to prepare young men for the priesthood. The founding of the University of Santo Tomas followed on April 28, 1611. The original campus was located in Intramuros, the Walled City of Manila. UST was first called Colegio de Nuestra Seora del Santisimo Rosario, and later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomas, in memory of the foremost Dominican Theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas. On July 29, 1619 the Colegio was authorized to confer academic degrees in theology and philosophy. By November 20, 1645, Pope Innocent X elevated the college to a university. In 1680, it was subsequently placed under the royal patronage of the Spanish monarchy. In 1681, Pope Innocent XI declared it a Public University of General Studies allowing it to confer other degrees. In 1734 Pope Clement XII authorized the University to confer degrees in all existing faculties as well as all others that might be introduced in the future. The Pope also approved the curriculum in the entire field of jurisprudence. During the British invasion of Manila in 1762, the University raised four companies of students and professors numbering 400 men each. These saw action in battles against the British until 1764. The expulsion of the Society of Jesus from the Philippines in 1768 left the University of Santo Tomas as the only institution of higher learning in the islands. In 1785 in recognition of the role of the students and faculty in resisting the British, King Charles III conferred the title of loyal to the university and formally granted it the status of a royal university. On May 20, 1865, a royal order from Queen Isabella II gave the University the power to direct and supervise all the schools in the Philippines and the Rector of the University became the ex-officio head of the secondary and higher education in the Philippines.

All diplomas issued by other schools were approved by the Rector of the University and examinations leading to the issuance of such diplomas were supervised by the Dominican professors of UST. On September 17, 1902, Pope Leo XIII made the University of Santo Tomas a Pontifical University, and by 1947, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon it the title of The Catholic University of the Philippines. The University of Santo Tomas is the second university in the world after the Gregorian University in Vatican to be granted the formal title of Pontifical University. The Gregorian University was allowed to assume this title in 1873. The continuing increase in enrolment prompted the administration, in 1927 to transfer the university campus from Intramuros to its present site in Sampaloc district, which covers a total of 21.5 hectares. The Intramuros campus continued to operate until its destruction during the Second World War. Since its establishment in 1611, the university academic life was disrupted only twice: once, from 1898 to 1899, during the second phase of the Philippine Revolution and the Filipino-American War, and for the second time, from 1942 to 1945, when the Japanese Occupation Forces during the Second World War converted the UST campus into an internment camp where around 2,500 allied civilians were detained. Buildings such as the Main Building, the Gymnasium and an annex building behind the Main Building called the Domestic Arts building were used as living quarters. The internees were liberated by U.S. forces on February 3, 1945. Throughout its almost 400 years of existence, The University has become the alma mater of four Filipino heroes who shaped the nations destiny like Jose Rizal, Emilio Jacinto, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Apolinario Mabini; Philippine Presidents such as Manuel Luis Quezon, Sergio Osmea, Jose P. Laurel and Diosdado Macapagal; various Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, senators, congressmen, scientist, architects, engineers and writers, all outstanding in their chosen professions. It was visited by two popes, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, and various heads of states and foreign dignitaries. As it prepares for its 400th year by 2011, UST plans to establish campuses outside Espaa Boulevard, Manila. A campus will rise in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and another is forthcoming in General Santos City. Through these campuses,

UST commits to continue to provide Filipinos with the characteristically high quality of Catholic education.

and twice by Pope John Paul II on Feb. 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995.[6] he athletic teams are the Growling Tigers, members of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and are consistent winners of the Overall Championship. The foundation of the University is ascribed to Miguel de Benavides, O.P., the third Archbishop of Manila. He came to the Philippines with the first Dominican mission in 1587. He went on to become bishop of Nueva Segovia, and was promoted archbishop of Manila in 1601. Upon his death in July 1605, Benavides bequeathed his library and personal property worth 1,500 pesos to be used as the seed fund for the establishment of an institution of higher learning. Fr. Bernardo de Santa Catalina carried out Benavides wishes and was able to secure a building near the Dominican church and convent in Intramuros for the College. In 1609, permission to open the College was requested from King Philip III of Spain, which only reached Manila in 1611. On April 28, 1611, notary Juan Illian witnessed the signing of the act of foundation by Baltazar Fort, OP, Bernardo Navarro, OP, and Francisco Minayo, OP. Fort, appointed that year to the post of Father Provincial, was its first Rector.[8] The Colegio de Nuestra Seora del Santsimo Rosario was established on April 28, 1611, from the Benavides's library. Later renamed Colegio de Santo Toms, it was elevated by Pope Innocent X to a university on November 20, 1645 in his brief, In Supreminenti.[2] This made the university the second royal and pontifical institution in the Philippines, after the Jesuit's Universidad de San Ignacio which was founded in 1590 but closed in 1768 following the

THE PRESENT SEAL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SANTO Tomas (UST) is likened to a shield, quartered by the Dominican Cross on which is superimposed the sun of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of Catholic schools, after whom the university is named. On the upper left corner is the Papal Tiara, indicating the pontifical roots of the university. The upper right shows the lion, which is derived from the seal of Spain, indicative of royal patronage throughout the greater part of the universitys centuries-old existence. The lower left quadrant contains an image of a sealion, from the old seal of the City of Manila, the capital of the country, symbolizing that this university is a part of the Republic of the Philippines. The rose on the lower right corner is a symbol of the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, under whose care the university was placed from its very beginnings. The symbols are set in gold on a field of light blue, to honor the Marian color. The cross, however, is in blackand-white, the Dominican colors. is a private Roman Catholic university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila. Founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop of Manila Miguel de Benavides, it has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia.[1][2] and is one of the world's largest Catholic universities in terms of enrollment found on one campus.[3][4] UST is also the largest university in the city of Manila. As a Pontifical University in Asia, UST is the only university to have been visited by two popes three times: once by Pope Paul VI on Nov. 28, 1970,
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expulsion of the Society of Jesus from the Philippines. Its complete name is The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines (Spanish: A La Real y Pontificia Universidad de Santo Tomas de Aquino Universidad Catlica de Filipinas).[9] It was given the title "Royal" by King Charles III of Spain on 1785; "Pontifical" by Pope Leo XIII on 1902 in his constitution, Quae Mari Sinico, and the appellative "The Catholic University of the Philippines" by Pope Pius XII in 1947.[2] The university was located within the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. It was started by the Spanish Archbishop of Manila in the early 17th century as a seminary for aspiring young priests, taking its name and inspiration from Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican theologian. The first courses offered by the Colegio de Santo Toms were canon law, theology, philosophy, logic, grammar, the arts, and civil law. In 1871, it began offering degrees in Medicine and Pharmacy, the first in colonized Asia.[2] At the beginning of the 20th century, with the growing student population, the Dominicans bought land at the Sulucan Hills in Sampaloc, Manila and built its 215,000 square meter campus there in 1927 with the inauguration of its Main Building. Also that year, it began accepting female enrollees. In the last four decades, the university grew into a full-fledged institution of higher learning, conferring degrees in law, medicine and various academic letters. The university has graduated Philippine national heroes, presidents, and even saints.[2] During World War II, the Japanese converted the campus into an internment camp for enemy aliens,
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mostly Americans, living in the Philippines. More than 4,000 foreigners survived under difficult conditions in the internment camp for 37 months from January 1942 until February 1945 when the camp was liberated by American soldiers.[10] Since its establishment in 1611, the University's academic life was interrupted only twice: from 1898 to 1899, during the Philippine Revolution against Spain, and from 1942 to 1945, during the Japanese occupation of the country. In its long history, the university has been under the leadership of more than 90 Rectors. UST's first Filipino rector was Fr. Leonardo Legaspi, O.P. who served UST from 1971 to 1977. Its current rector is Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P.[2] In recognition of its achievements, a number of important dignitaries have officially visited the university, among them, during the last three decades: His Holiness Pope Paul VI on 28 November 1970; His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1974 and 1995; Mother Teresa of Calcutta in January 1977 and again in November 1984; Pope John Paul II on 18 February 1981 and 13 January 1995 (as part of the World Youth Day 1995).[2] On the 20072008 academic year, UST had 37,776 students enrolled The UST Manila campus was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on 24 May 2011. Four of the University's structures are also declared National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum: Main Building, Arch of the Centuries, Santissimo Rosario Central Seminary, as well as the Grandstand and its open spaces. UST is the first and only university campus to have

been named a National Historical Landmark and the only learning institution in the Philippines as location of National Cultural Treasures.[14] the founding of the University is attributed mainly to Fr. Miguel de Benavides. This is because Fr. Benavides was the first to give a fund for the maintenance of the institution.[1] Miguel de Benavides was born in 1550 in the Castilian town of Carrion de los Condes, province of Palencia, Spain, in the heart of the austere, grainproducing Tierra de Campos. Benavides is Spanish Dominican steeped in the theological principles of Vitoria and Las Casas, who exchanged the prestigious professorial chair for remote and difficult new missions of the Philippines. He was chosen to govern the newly created Diocese of Nueva Segovia (now Vigan) as its First Bishop (15951601). He authored the Doctrina Christiana in Chinese, the first book printed in the Philippines. Later, he was promoted to be the Third Archbishop of Manila (16021605). On July 26, 1605, Benavides died. In an appearance before King Philip II, he obtained a royal decree ordering the holding a referendum in the Philippines towards political self-determination. It took place in 1599. The people chose to be under the sovereignty and protection of the monarch. This event was the only plebiscite known in the entire colonial history before the 20th century.[4] In December 1878, the University Rector conceived the idea of erecting a monument with a statue of the founder in the Plaza de Santo Toms in Intramuros. The Benavides Monument was made in Paris in 1889 through funds collected among the faculty, students and friends of the university. It was inaugurated on July 2, 1891 opening of the school year. The monument is a bronze figure of Benavides on a pedestal facing the old UST campus in Intramuros. The base of the statue has the name of the sculptor and year of the make: Tony Noel, 1889.
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The pedestal was decorated with the seals of the Dominican Order and the university, as well as plaques on which were written the history of UST and a brief biography of the archbishop.[4] The statue was blown from its place by an artillery shell during the Battle of Manila, completely obliterating its marble pedestal. The Benavides Monument was re-erected on November 13, 1946 inside the UST Campus in Sampaloc, Manila.[4] His present bronze statue in front of the Main Building of the Sampaloc campus, rises on top of a granite pedestal flanked by four lions each bearing the coats-of-arms of the Philippines, Spain, Holy See, and the Dominican Order. He dons the rugged habit of the pioneer Dominican missionaries. His right hand is elevated in the preaching fashion, his index finger pointing to heavens. His left hand rests on his chest holding a book bearing the words Santo Evanglico on its cover. A skull cap covers his head, and a pectoral cross hangs from his neck, the symbols of Episcopal dignity.[4]

The University seems to have originated from the Dominican Conventional School of Santo Domingo (known often by the name of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary) with which it carried a common existence until 1611. The Dominican Order arrived in 1587. A program was held to solemnize the feast of St. Dominic, an old university student at Palencia and the founder of Order of Preachers. The academic act was directed by a professor of Theology, Rev. Fr. Pedro de Soto.[5] From that moment Bishop Domingo de Salazar first Bishop of the Philippines was inspired to found a College-University similar to those in Mexico, where religious and lay persons might pursue college studies; and to begin with, a "School of Grammar" was established in addition to the "Escuela de Tiples".

At that same time, it was determined that Fr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P and Fr. Miguel de Santamaria give conferences in the Episcopal Palace in the Cathedral, and in the Convent-School of Santo Domingo.[5]

The historians of the University affirmed that it was "the outgrowth if the early educational labors inaugurated by the Dominican Order shortly after the arrival (in this country) of its first missionaries in 1587."[6]

In his will dated July 26, 1605, Feast of St. Anne, Fray Miguel de Benavides, O.P.[6] made provision for the foundation of the institution by bequeathing his library and goods valued at 1,500 which served as the nucleus of funds for the establishment of an institution of higher learning. This nucleus was increased to 7,140 by donations made by Pablo Rodrguez, Andrs Hermosa, and Juan Morales. After Benavides' death, in the same year, his confreres carried on - albeit with small funds - in order to realize his idea. As Fr. Snchez wrote in his book, "Few Institutions have begun their lives in this world with such scanty material means as did our University."[6] In 1609, permission to open the College was requested from King Philip III, which only reached Manila in 1611. On April 28, 1611, the Document of Foundation was signed by Fr. Baltasar Fort, O.P., Provincial of the Dominican Province of the Holy Rosary, Fr. Francisco Minayo, O.P., Prior of the Santo Domingo Convent, and Fr. Bernardo de Santa Catalina, O.P., CommissaryGeneral of the Holy Office of the Philippines, which thus converted into University thirty-four years later. Notary Juan Illian witnessed the signing of the act of foundation.[6]

The institution started its operation with courses in Theology, Arts, and Philosophy as the College of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary (Spanish: Colegio de Nuestra Seora del Santsimo Rosario).[2] In 1617, the College was renamed as College of Santo Tomas (Spanish: Colegio de Santo Toms)[5] after the Dominican theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (12251274).[1]

Prior to the Act of Foundation, King Philip III granted, through the Governor-General, the permission to open a college in Manila. So in 1612, Fr. Domingo Gonzalez, O.P., Lector of the Santo Domingo Convent, was appointed to work on the completion the organization of the college. In that same year, when classes also began,[1] the Dominican Province of the Holy Rosary accepted the College, an act which amounted to the Dominican Order's assuming the responsibility in the operation of the institution. In 1619, in the name of King Philip IV, the Governor-General of the Philippines, gave his approval. The Holy See granted, although indirectly or implicitly, recognition to the new College in 1619. In 1627, Pope Urban VIII also authorized the College to confer academic degrees, so that the said academic degrees had both Royal and Papal approval. Although the College had only been in operation for a few years, records show that degrees were already being conferred in 1640. Upon petition of King Philip IV, Pope Innocent X converted the College into a University on November 20, 1645, in his brief, In Supreminenti,[2] thus conferring upon it the status of University under the patronage of the Holy See. UST was later recognized as a "university for life" by the Real Audencia of Spain.[7]Then on May 12, 1680, King

It was Fr. Bernardo de Santa Catalina who executed the document of foundation stating that "the residue of his (Benavides') legacy should be applied to the founding and endowing of a college. He carried out Benavides wishes and was able to secure a building near the Dominican church and convent in Intramuros for the College.[6]
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Charles II of Spain extended Royal Patronage to the University. It was also that year in 1645 that the Master General of the Dominican Order, acting under the authority granted by the Roman Pontiff, assumed the authority to appoint its Rector and with to "have charge of the healthy and happy direction of the University". It was thus a confirmation of the fact that the Rector of the University became the highest administrator of the University, with the implementation of the different curricula, methods of instruction, and the adoption of "laudable customs of other universities". The course in Canon Law was started in 1732.[6] The campus stood in Intramuros opposite the old Church of Santo Domingo. It is a site which was bounded on the north by Calle Aduana, on the east by Plaza Espaa, on the south by Plaza Santo Toms, and on the west by the Ayuntamiento. The edifice had a lower and upper floor and area of 6,239.6 square metres (67,162 sq ft).[1]
Spanish Monarchs

In 1781, King Charles III authorized the University to prepare its own statutes, independent of those of the University of Mexico through, which, up to that time, the University was governed.[8] When, in 1762, Manila was occupied briefly by the English, the Rector of the University, Fr. Domingo Collantes, organized four companies of university youth to help in the defense of the city. Acknowledging this act of fidelity and patriotism, the same King Charles III, in his Royal Cedula of March 7, 1785, expressed his "gratitude and benevolence," and renewed his protection and patronage, and granted the University the title of "Very Loyal", as well as the title and honors corresponding to it, as a "Royal University". In 1865, Queen Isabel II declared the University of Santo Tomas the center for public education throughout the Philippines, and affiliated to her all colleges and schools throughout the country, and constituting the Rector of the University the supervisor and inspector of all the centers of learning so affiliated to the University.[8] In 1871, the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy were established and three years later, by authority of a Royal Order given by Alfonso XII, the School for Notaries was created.[8] In 1649, in response to the expressions of royal concern shown over its welfare, the university community addressed Philip IV, saying that the University "requests Your Royal Highness that you keep her within your Royal Solicitude, because she has been, from her very beginnings, a fruit of your royal bounty, and from the desire that she should grow and progress ever through efforts so Royal and so Catholic." In expression of gratitude for the nearly 300 years of royal benevolence and to establish a continuous affinity between Spain and UST, the University bestowed the title of Royal Patron to King Juan Carlos (Royal House of Bourbon) of Spain in February 1974 (then Prince of Spain).[8]

The series of benefices, favors and privileges granted to UST by the Spanish monarchs started in 1609 when Philip III issued a royal cedula requesting from the governor and the audencia a report on the projected college. He petitioned Pope Paul V for the granting of faculties of Philosophy and Theology. These faculties were implemented by order of Philip IV in 1624, and three years later this monarch petitioned Rome for the extension of these faculties for an additional ten years. He was the same monarch who petitioned to the Holy Father the elevation of the young college to the level of a university in 1645.[8]

King Charles II, in 1680, added to this list of benefices already granted by his predecessors, when in Royal Cedula he formally declared that the University be placed under his Royal Patronage.[8] Another Royal Cedula of Charles II, with two others from Philip V, his successor, resulted in 1733 in the creation of the Faculties of Civil and Canon Laws. At the same time, the Holy See granted the university faculties to give academic degrees in those two disciplines and in others that might eventually be established.[8]
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Philip IV had granted his Royal approval on November 27, 1623. Official royal patronage was accorded to the University on May 12, 1680, by King Charles II of Spain.[1] However, the title "Royal University" was only bestowed by King Charles III on May 20, 1785 during the eight-year term of Fr. Domingo Collantes, O.P..[2][6][8][7] The title "Real" was given to the UST in recognition of its loyalty to the Crown after the University volunteered its students for the military defense of Manila during the recurrence of war between the allied countries of France, Spain against England.[9]
19th century

War to the Philippines and the resumption of the Revolution in 1898 led again to the suspension of classes.[13] UST closed fo Jos Rizal, national hero of the Philippines, entered the University in 1877. He enrolled in the pre-Law course, which was made up of philosophical subjects. The course was called Metaphysics. He passed the course with the highest grades.[15] He later chose to enter a career in medicine. And in 18781879, he took simultaneously the pre-Medical course and the first year of Medicine; this was against the rules, but Rizal was favored with a dispensation which few received. The pre-Medicine course was called Ampliacion, because the student, having taken already Physics, Chemistry, and Natural History in the high school, now took an advanced course on the same subjects. Rizal did not take in Santo Tomas "class of physics" he described in El Filibusterismo, but the course of Ampliacion.[15] While studying medicine, Rizal remained an aboveaverage, although his grades were not high as those that he received in classes in the arts and letters. This continued even in his later studies in Madrid. Rizal was not recorded to have ever complained about his grades in the University, while he did complain about those he received in Madrid.[15] In the fourth and last year in the University, only seven students remained, and Rizal was one of them. And he ended that year in second place.[15]
20th century

The 1865 decree for the revamp of secondary education brought about major developments for UST. It was tasked as a Bureau of Education with the Rector as its director. This meant that UST was to handle all matters pertaining to secondary education from the appointment of the school professors; the submission of grades, and the signing of the awarding of diplomas to the bachelor of arts graduates.[11] In 1870, Dr. Segismundo Moret, the Minister of colonies, issued two decrees that totally reorganized the Philippine education system. The first decree abolished all secondary schools and placed them under a single "Instituto Filipino." The second decree converted the University of Santo Tomas, being the only official institution of higher learning in the islands, into a "Universidad de Filipinas", thus the name Royal and Pontifical University of the Philippines.[5][12] The fall of the Spanish liberal government (which led to Moret's removal) and the monarchical restoration abolished these decrees. The university was handed back to the Dominicans. It was only be in 1877 that Spain recognized the university again as an institution administered by the religious.[13] The University closed its doors during the Philippine Revolution of 1896 because of the ensuing disorder. It reopened though for the school year 18971898 when the rebels retreated to the provinces. The arrival of the Spanish-American
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Following the requirements of Act No. 1459 also known as the Corporation Law of 1906, the University was incorporated. The application contained the following statements: That the name of the corporation is and will be known as the "Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas" and abbreviated as "University of Santo Tomas", "that the corporation is located in Manila with its main office at 139 Calle de Sto. Tomas, Intramuros"[16] At the beginning of the 20th century, a 21.5 hectares land at the Sulucan Hills in Sampaloc,

Manila was donated by Francisca Bustamante Bayot to the Dominican fathers for the University's expansion outside the Intramuros campus.[17] In 1927, Main Building, the first earthquake-proof building in the Philippines, was then inaugurated at the Sulucan site.[2] For the first time in the history of UST, the Faculty of Pharmacy opened its doors to women in the academic year 19241925. It was one of the first universities in the Philippines to become coeducational when it admitted women.[18] There were 24 women enrollees out of the 93 who matriculated for the said Faculty that school year. The University, however, had been granting certificates through the School of Midwifery since 1879. Permission was given to the College of Education in 1926, to Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in 1927 followed by the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and College of Commerce in 1932. The admission of women no longer became an issue in later years. Only the Faculties of Sacred Theology, Canon Law, and Philosophy remained exclusively for men.[6][19] In 1925, it became one of the first universities in the Philippines to require the use of English as a medium of instruction, to replace Spanish. When it was appropriate to Filipinize the administration, Fr. Leonardo Z. Legazpi, O.P. became the first Filipino Rector of UST on October 9, 1971.[18]

the year 2000, lists all the Catholic and or Pontifical institutes of higher learning, grouping them into two categories: Roman Ateneums and Catholic Universities. Only 24 are called Pontifical, and of these 24, six are located in Rome (Gregorian University, Lateran University, Urbanian University, University of Santo Tomas (known as The Angelicum), Salisian University and Holy Cross University); three are in Europe; fourteen in Latin America; and one in Asia, this one being the University of Santo Tomas of Manila. The oldest university to be denominated by the Holy See as Pontifical is the Jesuit Gregorian University in Rome. Although founded in 1551, it was Pope Pius IX who, in 1873, permitted the school to assume the title of Pontifical University. All the other abovementioned 23 universities received the title of Pontifical in the 20th century. The University of Santo Tomas of Manila, the oldest of them, is second only to the Gregorian University to be declared Pontifical by the apostolic constitution Quae Mari Sinico in 1902.[20]

Tricentennial celebration
For five days, on December 1620, 1911, the University celebrated its 300th Anniversary. The main features of the celebration included: a Solemn High Mass in honor of the founder of the University, Msgr. Miguel de Benavides, O.P.; the unveiling of the commemorative plaque for the festivities; the unveiling of a plaque placed at the pedestal of the statue of Benavides in the College site in Intramuros; the laying of the foundation stone for the future building at University in Sampaloc; and a big banquet.[23] Around 300 guests, both civil and ecclesiastical authorities, professors, and alumni of the University attended the banquet at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. The solemn investiture of the latest graduates of the University was held in the Santo Domingo Church.[23] The laying of the cornerstone of a new building of the University in Sampaloc was hailed by the people. On the last day of the celebrations, a fireworks display was held.[23]

[edit] Title of Pontifical University


On September 17, 1902,[2] in his constitution, Quae Mari Sinico,[20] Pope Leo XIII bestowed upon the University the title of Pontifical University. This title may be considered a reiteration of the honor and protection previously granted when, in 1619, the Holy See had already issued the brief "Charissimi in Christo", which enabled students who had studied in the Dominican Colleges of the Indies for five years to receive degrees, in 1629 and 1639 by Pope Urban VIII,[1] and in 1645, when Pope Innocent X converted the College of Santo Tomas into a University.[2][6] UST is Asia's only remaining Pontifical university.[21][22] Annuario Pontificio, the annual official directory of the Holy See, in its edition for
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Pope Pius X, and members of the Philippine Hierarchy sent congratulatory messages to the University on the occasion of its Tricentenary celebrations.[23]
WWII

During World War II, the Japanese converted the campus into a internment camp for civilians, foreigners and POWs. War crimes against American soldiers (Filipino soldiers were granted amnesty) and civilians living abroad occurred in Santo Tomas.[24] On the evening of January 2, soon after the Japanese forces entered Manila, as well as on January 3, many Americans and other Allied citizens were taken to the University Camp. The camp population totaled 3,259 of which 2,200 were American, 74 British, 920 Dutch, 28 Polish, 36 Mexicans and 1 Nicaraguan.[25] All the buildings of the University in Sampaloc with the exception of the Seminary, the Printing Press and two first floors of Main Building were occupied. The war internees occupied three floors of the Main Building, the entire Education Building (presently UST Hospital), the Domestic Science building, and the School of Mines building. Communication between them and the outside world was prevented by the Japanese as much as possible. Outside fences in Espaa avenue were completely covered with tall sawali (woven bamboo matting), while the concrete walls on all other sides of the Campus remained high, preventing view between the internees and the outside world. The years of Japanese occupation were years of great suffering for the internees.[25] The University authorities cooperated with the internees and the Japanese officials. They were given several duties by the Japanese, which they performed. Dominican Fathers were still allowed to direct the use of disposition of the University buildings, equipments, and power plant, although subject to the final approval or disapproval of the Japanese authorities.[25]

During the liberation of Manila buildings of the University in Intramuros, as well as in Sampaloc were damaged or destroyed. The facility in Intramuros was burned on February 8, 1944. As for those in Sampaloc, though they were not destroyed, yet some portions were slightly damaged during the shellings, including the rooms on the West of the Main Building, some rooms of the Education building, and the University gymnasium.[25] There were about 335 casualties among the internees, 35 died and 300 were wounded. Some were buried in a vacant lot outside the Forbes gate, and others were buried inside the campus.[25] The Dominicans, who introduced the first printing press in the Philippines, were fortunate to have been able to transfer the UST printing press from Intramuros to the Espaa campus in the nick of time in 1940, a year before the Pearl Harbor bombing.[18]
On April 30, 1947,[26] Pope Pius XII, through the Decree "Sacrae Congregationis de Seminariis et Studiorum Universitatibus",[27] bestowed upon it the title of "The Catholic University of the Philippines".[2] The UST is the only Catholic university in the region[28] and in terms of student population, the largest Catholic University in the world located in one campus.[29]

Filipino rectors Name Years of rectorship Rev. Fr. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, O.P. 19711977 Rev. Fr. Norberto M. Castillo, O.P. 19821990 Rev. Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P. 19901998 Rev. Fr. Tamerlane R. Lana, O.P. 19982006 Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, O.P. 20062007 Rev. Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P. 2008present
semiseptcentennial

Throughout 1961, the University celebrated its 350th year. The principal festivities such as the alumni banquet and the Gala Concert were held on March 47, 1961.[30]

Pope John XXII sent a warm personal letter to the University. He called the University "Christianae Sapientiae emicantissimum" or the "most resplendent light of Christian Wisdom" in the seven page communication dispatched to Manila from the Vatican through the Apostolic Nuncio. Through the Rector Magnificus, the Holy Father extended his felicitations on the University's golden jubilee and maternal blessings for continued growth, prosperity, and peace. He also congratulate the University for being "A very valid bulwark of Christian civilization".[30]

[edit] Quadricentennial celebration


Main article: UST Quadricentennial Celebration

The agenda ahead of the University's quadricentennial in 2011 includes the introduction of new academic programs, improvements in the University's infrastructure, and other projects to raise USTs national and international prominence and promote its role as a social catalyst.[32] Plans to open satellite campuses in Santa Rosa, Laguna and another in General Santos City are being put in place.[31] Physical developments for the Sampaloc campus are ongoing. The Plaza Mayor in front the Main Building, together with the Quadricentennial Square which will feature the Tetraglobal sculpture, the Quadricentennial Fountain, and the Quadricentennial Alumni Walkway were constructed in 2006.[33] To accommodate the needs of extra space for the growing number of student activities, the UST Tan Yan Kee Student Center was built in front of the Miguel de Benavides Library. The more than 80-year old Main Building, and the artifacts and art works in the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences were recently placed under the preservation of the UST Heritage Conservation program in December 2008.[34] The UST Benavides Cancer Institute, part of the five-year redevelopment plan and expansion of the UST Hospital for its 60 year celebration and the quadricentennial celebration, was also established in the year 2006.[35] Part of the University's infrastructure modernization is the construction of the P800-million, state-of-theart, four-storey gymnasium capable of seating 5,792, designed by Thomasian architects Jos Pedro Recio and Carmelo T. Casas. The construction is now in full swing after university officials, led by Rector Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P., led its groundbreaking ceremonies last August 2008.[36] The UST Publishing House in 2001 launched its quadricentennial project, 400 Books at 400!. From theology to literature to medicine-related

Modern history
Today UST has a total enrollment of approximately 45,000 students, 33,000 undergraduates and 5,000 students in Medicine, Law, and the Graduate School. The University admits about 8,500 new students out of 50,000 applicants per year. After 400 years, the University has five clusters of discipline: Science and Technology; Arts and the Humanities; Education and the Social Sciences; Medicine and Health, and the Ecclesiastical Faculties spread over 19 faculties, colleges, and institutes.[31] Since its establishment in 1611, the University's academic life was interrupted only twice: from 1898 to 1899, during the Philippine Revolution against Spain, and from 1942 to 1945, during the Japanese occupation of the country. In its long history, the university has been under the leadership of more than 90 Rectors. UST's first Filipino rector was Fr. Leonardo Legaspi, O.P. who served UST from 19711977. Its current rector is Fr. Rolando V. de la Rosa, O.P.[2] In recognition of its achievements, a number of important dignitaries have officially visited the university, among them, during the last three decades: His Holiness Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1970; His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1974 and 1995; Mother Teresa of Calcutta in January 1977 and again in November 1984; Pope John Paul II on February 18, 1981 and January 13, 1995 (as part of the World Youth Day 1995).[2]
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disciplines written in both Filipino and English, the Publishing house is more than half way in completing its race.[37]

The official seal used by the University in 1868 to 1935 was a cardioid shield. On top of the seal was the world, the emblem of the university. A figure of a dog which symbolized fidelity was also seen together with the world. Below it was the sun of Aquinas. Just below the sun were three ovals. The left oval contained the Pontifical arms symbolizing the Apostolic concession by which the the College of Santo Tomas was raised to be a university. The center oval contained the Dominican cross. It was also surrounded by white lilies and crowned by a star. The right oval contained the national arms of Spain (coat of arms of the Spanish East Indies) to indicate the protection which Philip IV vouchsafed to the University. On the topmost portion of the three ovals was a the world, the emblem of the University. The shield was surrounded by the Golden Fleece.[38][39] The 19351938 seal, 19371946 seal, and 1957 1983 seal had changes depending on the government/regime the Philippines had. The 1935 1938 seal contained the coat of arms of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The coat of arms of the Spanish East Indies was retained in the 1937 1946 seal. The 19571983 seal replaced the coat of arms of the Commonwealth of the Philippines with the coat of arms of the Philippines.[40] When a new seal was unveiled in June 2011, it received several negative feedback from the students through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. The changes were made after the Curia in Rome suggested for a uniformity in the titles and name of UST. The university's council of Regents decided to include UST's name in the new seal and drop the titles of Royal and Pontifical because they are not part of the official name of university.[41][42] The seal was revised a month after and is currently being used today.[43] The present seal bears the honorific titles and the name of the university.[43]
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