Saint Louis University (Philippines)

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For the university in St. Louis, Missouri, see Saint Louis University.
Saint Louis University
Unibersidad ti San Luis
Saint Louis University (Baguio) logo.jpg
Latin: Universitas Sancti Ludovici
Motto Sapientia Aedificat (Latin)
Motto in English "Wisdom Builds"
Established 1911
Type Private University
Religious affiliation CICM Roman Catholic
President Jessie M. Hechanova
Principal Allan Padan, (Grade School)
Ronaldo Pontanosa, (High School)
Students 30,000++ (elementary, secondary, and tertiary)
Location Baguio City, Benguet,
Campus Main Campus (6 has.)
Maryheights Campus (8 has.)
Gonzaga Campus (5 has.)
Navy Base Campus (5 has.)
Alma Mater song "Saint Louis Hymn"
Colors White      and      Blue
Affiliations Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning
International Federation of Catholic Universities
International Federation of Catholic Universities
International Association of University Presidents
Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities
Saint Louis University Centennial Year Emblem.jpg
SLU Centennial Year Emblem

Saint Louis University (abbreviated as SLU and colloquially called eSLU) is a private teaching university in Baguio, Philippines, approximately 250 km north of Manila.[1] The school was established in 1911 by the Congregatio Immaculati Cordis Mariae missionaries, to further Christianize the northern Philippines. SLU is one of the largest universities north of Manila with 31, 653 university students from many backgrounds (not counting the elementary and high school) as of school year 2014-2015.[2] It is centrally situated in a six-hectare campus in the heart of Baguio City and has more than 30 buildings.

The university offers a full array of programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels. The university comprises nine schools or colleges with campuses throughout the Baguio metropolitan area. SLU's main campus is on A Bonifacio Street where the six schools are housed while the Maryheights Academic Campus houses the School of Accountancy and Business Management and the Navy Base Campus the School of Teacher Education and School of Humanities.

University seal and Motto[edit]

The colors of Saint Louis University are white and blue, the colors of the Blessed Virgin Mary. White symbolizes the earth and man. Blue signifies heaven and God. The big golden cross in the middle of the shield represents the Christian faith that the school aims to spread to all corners of the earth symbolized by the four small crosses. Superimposed on the golden cross is the stylized lily that is associated with Saint Aloysius (Louis) de Gonzaga, the patron saint of the school. The big sword across the shield expresses vigilance and perseverance. The rugged mountains behind the sword signify the obstacles that SLU strives to surpass in bringing the light of truth in the darkness of ignorance. The Light of the North. The year 1911 shows the foundation date while the motto on the lower part of the seal, "Sapientia Aedificat", expresses the belief of its founders that "wisdom builds" [3]

Academic profile[edit]


SLU is one among only fifteen private higher education institutions nationwide granted with Autonomous status. Autonomous status allows universities to design their own curricula, offer new programs and put up branches or satellite campuses without having to secure permits, confer honorary degrees, and carry out operations without much interference from the Commission on Higher Education or CHED. CHED regularly updates the list of Autonomous institutions. The distinction was renewed for the period of November 15, 2007 to November 14, 2012 and has been extended up to May 31, 2014 pending the conduct of consultation on key reforms aimed to rationalize the higher education system in the Philippines.

The programs offered by the colleges are accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU). Several colleges were given distinctive awards by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED):[4]

  • School of Accountancy and Business Management - Centers of Development for Accountancy & Entrepreneurship Education
  • School of Engineering and Architecture - Centers of Development for Chemical, Civil, Electronics and Mechanical Engineering and CHED Pilot Center for Graduate Program in Engineering
  • School of Information & Computing Sciences - Center of Development for Information Technology.
  • School of Natural Sciences - CHED Pilot Center for Graduate Program in Biology.
  • School of Nursing - Center of Development for Nursing Education
  • School of Teacher Education - Center of Excellence for Teacher Education

High school[edit]

Saint Louis University - Laboratory High School (SLU-LHS) was formerly Saint Louis University - Boys' High School. SLU-LHS became coeducational in 2003. Originally in the Gonzaga building, it is now located at the Navy Base campus. Although administered freely from the SLU system, there are some private high school that links itself with the university through academic and research exchanges. They are Saint Louis High School - Philex (SLHS-Px), Saint Louis School of Aurora Hill (SLAH), Saint Louis High School Pacdal (SLP) and Saint Louis School Center.

Elementary school[edit]

Saint Louis University - Laboratory Elementary School (SLU-LES) is in Gen. Luna St., Baguio City. The elementary campus is beside the college campus, thus making some buildings of the former be used by College of Education (Gonzaga Building). Fr. Ghisleen De Vos Building and Fr. William Brasseur Building are used by the grade school pupils.

Student publications[edit]

White & Blue is SLU's official student publication. It is named after the color representation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to which the CICM is associated. It is run by college students and is under the supervision of the publication adviser from the SLU administration.

There are two annual publications: Sapientia, a black-and-white themed magazine tackling current and relevant events and a literary folio, Kuwaderno.


In 1907, the CICM missionaries arrived in the Philippines, mandated by the Vatican to Christianize the northern part of the country.[5] The missionaries settled in Baguio because of its proximity to Manila and the mountain province of Benguet beyond the Cordillera mountain range, that was home to numerous indigenous tribes. In 1911, Rev. Fr. Séraphin Devesse, CICM, founded a one-room elementary school in Baguio for ten local boys, naming it the Saint Louis School.

In 1915, the St. Louis School expanded, becoming a vocational and trade school. In 1915 the school opened a secondary branch. In 1952, the combined efforts of Msgr. William Brasseur and Rev. Fr. Rafael Desmedt founded Saint Louis College, then consisting of three departments: Education, Liberal Arts, and Commerce and Secretarial.[6]

In 1955, the graduate-level programs of Saint Louis College were granted recognition. The real turning point came on 13 May 1963, when Saint Louis College was conferred University status by the Philippine government. The school started with only 75 students with Gerard Decaestecker, CICM, as the first rector. Other courses and developments soon followed under the guidance of the following rectors/presidents:

Dates Rectors/Presidents
1952-54 Gerard Decaestecker
1954-62 Albert Van Overbeke
1962-64 Gerard Linssen
1964-76 Paul Zwaenepoel
1976-83 Ghisleen De Vos
1983-96 Joseph Van den Daelen
1996–2005 Paul Van Parijs
2005–present Jessie M. Hechanova


SLU's research units are as follows: Business Research Extension and Development (BREAD), Engineering Urban Planning Laboratory (EUPL), Environmental Research Laboratory (ERL), Information and Communications Technology Research Laboratory (ICTRL), Natural Sciences Research Unit (NSRU) and SLU Cordillera Research and Development Foundation (SLU-CRDF).[7]

CICM system of schools[edit]

Other school campus include:

  • Saint Louis College, San Fernando City, La Union
  • University of Saint Louis, Tuguegarao City
  • Saint Mary's University, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
  • Saint Louis School College- Cebu, Mandaue City, Cebu
  • Maryhurst Seminary, Baguio City
  • Maryhill School of Theology, Quezon City
  • Maryshore Seminary, Bacolod City
  • Saint Louis College of Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga

Notable students and alumni[edit]


SLU - Devesse Building, Maryheights Campus


  1. ^ Saint Louis University Saint Louis University Official Website
  2. ^ University Population
  3. ^
  4. ^ CHED
  5. ^ CICM Missionaries
  6. ^ CICM Missionaries
  7. ^ SLU research