Timeline of the History of the University of Santo Tomas

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This is a timeline of the history of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in Asia, comprising important events of the history of the University and of the development of Philippine higher education in general. To read about the background to these events, see History of the University of Santo Tomas. See also the history of the Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas, and the Santo Tomas Internment Camp

Centuries: 16th · 17th · 18th · 19th · 20th · 21st

16th century[edit]

Year Date Event References
1581 March Arrival of the first Dominicans in the Philippines [1][2]
1587 21 July Arrival of Miguel de Benavides with the second batch of Dominicans in the Philippines, and the establishment of the Province of the Most Holy Rosary of the Philippines [2][3]
1593 Dominicans pioneer printing in the Philippines by producing through the old technique of xylography [4][note 1]

17th century[edit]

Year Date Event References
1602 Fray Blancas de San Jose, O.P. together with Tomas Pinpin succeeds in making typographic printing through movable type [4]
1605 24 July Archbishop Miguel de Benavides bequeaths his library and a total amount of ₱1,500 for the establishment of a seminary college [5][6][note 2]
1609 The Dominicans granted permission to open a seminary-college by Philip III of Spain [5]
Philip III issues a royal cedula requesting from Governor Juan de Silva and the Real Audiencia a report on the projected college [7]
1611 Philip III's permission arrives in Manila [5]
28 April Act of Foundation for the establishment of a seminary-college signed [5][note 3]
1612 Fr. Domingo Gonzalez, O.P. appointed to work on the completion of the organization of the college [8]
The Seminary-College opens as the Colegio de Nuestra Senora del Rosario [8]
1619 29 June The Colegio given authorization to confer academic degrees in Theology and Philosophy by the Holy See [8]
Governor Alonso Fajardo de Entenza recognizes the Dominican Colegio [8]
1617 The College renamed as the Colegio de Santo Tomas [1]
1624 The Faculties of Philosophy and Theology implemented by the royal order of Philip IV of Spain [7]
1625 Tomas Pinpin's printing press settles at the Colegio [4]
1645 20 November Pope Innocent X raises the College into the status of a University upon petition of King Philip IV of Spain [9]
The Master General of the Dominican Order assumes the power of appointing the Rector Magnificus of Santo Tomas by virtue of the permission granted by Pope Innocent X [5]
1680 12 May King Charles II of Spain extends Royal Patronage to the University [9]

18th century[edit]

Year Date Event References
1734 2 September The Faculties of Civil Law and Canon Law established by virtue of a royal cedula of Charles II of Spain [1][7][10]
1762 Rector Fr. Domingo Collantes organizes four companies of university students to help in the defense of the city against the British Invasion of Manila [7]
1768 17 May Royal decree banishing the Society of Jesus from Spain and the Spanish dominions reaches Manila [11]
1769 The closure of the Jesuit Universidad de San Ignacio leaves the University as the only institution of higher learning in the colony [12][13]
1773 21 July Clement XIV suppresses the Society of Jesus in his papal brief Dominus ac Redemptor [14]
1781 Charles III of Spain authorizes the University to prepare its own statutes, independent of those of the University of Mexico [7][note 4]
1785 7 March Charles III grants the University the title of Very Loyal [8]
20 May The University granted the officially granted the title Royal by Charles III [15][16]

19th century[edit]

Year Date Event References
1865 Isabel II of Spain declares the University of Santo Tomas as the center for public education throughout the Philippines [7]
1870 The University of Santo Tomas taken over by the Colonial Government and renamed as Universidad de Filipinas by virtue of an edict issued by Segismundo Moret [1][16][note 5]
1871 May Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy established as the first schools of medicine and pharmacy in the Philippines [1][7][10]
1874 The School of Notaries established by royal order of Alfonso XII [7]
1875 29 October The Hospicio de San Juan de Dios becomes the clinical training institution for medical students of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University by virtue of royal order of King Alfonso XII [17]
1879 School of Midwifery opened [5]
1878 December Rector Fr. Joaquin Fonseca, O.P. conceives the idea of erecting a monument in honor of University Founder Archbishop Miguel de Benavides [6]
1887 23 March Prof. Mariano Marti, M.D. establishes residency and Externship programs at the Hospicio de San Juan de Dios [17]
1895 The defunct Jesuit Universidad de San Ignacio incorporated into the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University [18]
1898 The University closes its doors due to the Philippine Revolution and the Spanish–American War [16]
1899 The University resumes its classes [16]

20th century[edit]

Year Date Event References
1902 17 September Pope Leo XIII bestows upon the University the title of Pontifical [19]
1907 18 May Faculty of Engineering established as the first engineering school in the Philippines [10][20]
1911 16 December Tricentennial Celebration of the University [21]
20 December The laying of the cornerstone of a new building of the University in Sampaloc [21]
1924 The Faculty of Pharmacy opened to women enrollees [16]
1925 English replaces Spanish as medium of instruction [10]
June The College of Education established at the Intramuros Campus [22]
1926 January The College of Science of the University officially established [23]
Faculty of Philosophy and Letters becomes co-educational [16]
1927 5 July First Classes held at the University Sampaloc Campus [16]
1928 16 January The Varsitarian, the official student publication of the University, officially organized [1][24][note 6]
1932 College of Commerce and the Faculty of Medicine also becomes co-educational [16]
28 August The University Gymnasium officially inaugurated by Governor Theodore Roosevelt Jr. [16]
1933 7 March UST Swimming Pool, the first Olympic-size swimming pool in the country, opened to the students by Senate President Manuel Quezon [16]
1941 8 December Start of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines
26 December Manila declared an open city [25]
1942 2 January Japanese Forces occupy Manila [26]
4 January Japanese forces converts the University Campus at Sampaloc into an internment camp [12]
1944 8 February Arson was created to the original campus at Intramuros by the Japanese forces [27]
1945 3 February American Liberation of the Santo Tomas Internment Camp [28]
1946 The University reopens at the Sampaloc Campus [9]
7 March UST Hospital formally opened [17]
13 November The Benavides Monument re-erected at the University Campus in Sampaloc [6][note 7]
1947 30 April Pope Pius XII bestows to the University the title The Catholic University of the Philippines [29]
1949 20 December The University lot in Intramuros sold to the Philippine American Life Insurance Co. [16]
1953 July Completion of the installation of Francesco Monti's statues atop the Main Building [30]
1956 16 December The University radio station DZST begins operation [9][note 8]
1961 Semiseptcentennial celebration of the University [31]
18 July The Spanish Government grants the Blue Ribbon of The Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio to the University [12][note 9]
1966 6 March Formal inauguration of the University Hospital Clinical Division [17]
1970 28 November Pope Paul VI visits the University [12]
1971 October 9 Leonardo Legaspi, O.P., elected as the first Filipino Rector Magnificus of the University
1977 January Mother Teresa of Calcutta visits the University [9]
January The Pautakan Contest officially organized by The Varsitarian [32][note 10]
1981 18 February Pope John Paul II visits the University [9]
12 June The Student's Democratic Party established as the first student political party in the Philippines [33]
1991 19 December First Paskuhan Celebration [34]
1992 1 February The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Singers officially organized [35]
1993 UST Press renamed as UST Publishing House [4]
1995 13 January Second Papal visit of Pope John Paul II to the University [12]

21st century[edit]

Year Date Event References
2002 14 June First Thomasian Welcome Walk held [36]
2004 10 November The Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy formally established [37]
2006 26 April The Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management officially separated from the College of Education
2009 18 December Quadricentennial countdown to 2011 launched during the Paskuhan Celebration [38]
2010 January Simbahayan 400, the Quadricentennial's "centerpiece project", officially launched [38]
25 January The University Main Building, Central Seminary, Arch of the Centuries, and Grandstand with Open Spaces officially declared as National Cultural Treasures by the National Museum of the Philippines [39]
24 May The University of Santo Tomas campus officially declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines [40]
17 June The Lumina Pandit exhibit launched [41]
2011 21 January Commemorative 200-peso bills with the UST Quadricentennial logo issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas [42]
24 January Opening of the Jubilee Door
27 January Unveiling of the Quattromondial and the formal opening of the Quadricentennial celebrations [43]
21 September Quadricentennial exhibit at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco) Headquarters in Paris officially launched [44]
2012 27 January Neo-Centennial Celebrations officially launched [45]
11 June Mahathir Mohammad, former Malaysian Prime Minister, conferred with the title Honorary Professor. [46]
6 July Queen Sofía of Spain visits the University [47]
26 November Lech Walesa, former Prime Minister of Poland and Nobel Laureate, conferred with the title Honorary Professor [48]


  1. ^ This technique produced the Doctrina Christiana en Lengua Española y Tagala and the Doctrina Christiana en Lengua y Letra China, the first books in the Philippines
  2. ^ The nucleus of ₱1,500 for the foundation of a seminary-college was increased to ₱7,140 by donations made by Pablo Rodríguez, Andrés Hermosa, and Juan Morales
  3. ^ 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., Commissary-General of the Holy Office of the Philippines. Notary Juan Illian witnessed the signing of the act of foundation.
  4. ^ Ever since its foundation in 1611, the University's constitution was based on that of the Real y Pontificia Universidad de Nueva España
  5. ^ The Moret code never got implemented due to the restoration of the monarchy in Spain
  6. ^ The Varsitarian is currently the oldest Catholic School Publication in the country
  7. ^ The place where the Benavides Monument was re-erected was named as the Plaza Benavides
  8. ^ DZST later became Radio Veritas
  9. ^ The Blue Ribbon of The Civil Order of Alfonso X el Sabio is the highest civil decoration in Spain
  10. ^ The Pautakan is currently the longest running quiz bee in the country


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bazaco, Evergisto (1953). History of Education in the Philippines. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila. p. 95. ISBN 978-971-506-439-2. 
  2. ^ a b The Dominican Mission in the Philippines knapsack.weebly accessed May 16, 2012
  3. ^ Dominicans in the Phiippines simbahan.net accessed May 16, 2012
  4. ^ a b c d The University of Santo Tomas Publishing House kabayan central.com accessed May 18, 2012
  5. ^ a b c d e f de Ramos, Norberto (2000). I Walked with Twelve UST Rectors. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila. 
  6. ^ a b c Villarroel, Fidel (2005). Miguel de Benavides, O.P., Friar, Bishop and University Founder. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Manila. ISBN 971-506-330-6. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Legaspi, Leonardo. The University of Santo Tomas and the Spanish Kings. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Lim-Pe, Josefina (1973). The University of Santo Tomas in the Twentieth Century. University of Santo Tomas Press, Manila. pp. 1–19. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f History of UST UST.edu.ph. Accessed May 14, 2012
  10. ^ a b c d 2011 Countdown UST.edu.ph Accessed November 9, 2008
  11. ^ Fr. Miguel A. Bernad, S.J.: “Colegio de San José (1601–2001): A Quick Survey of the Turbulent 400-year History of an Educational Institution”. Monk's Hobbit May 1, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d e The First Hundred Years Of the Ateneo de Manila. The First Hundred Years Of The Ateneo de Manila" May 16, 2012.
  13. ^ Royal and Pontifical. Inquirer.net" May 16, 2012.
  14. ^ "The Catholic Encyclopedia". "The Catholic Encyclopedia" May 16, 2012.
  15. ^ Garcia, F.C. (February 1, 2006). "Remembering our Rectors". The Varsitarian 77 (9). Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Torres, J.V.Z. (2007). In Transition: The University of Santo Tomas During The American Colonial Period (1898–1935). UST Publishing House, Manila. ISBN 978-971-506-439-2. 
  17. ^ a b c d UST Hospital History UST Hospital Website accessed May 15, 2012
  18. ^ A Brief History of PLM. ReoCities" May 16, 2012.
  19. ^ Looking Back - Royal and Pontifical by Ambeth Ocampo, Philippine Daily Inquirer. August 13, 2008
  20. ^ UST Engineering History UST Website accessed May 15, 2012
  21. ^ a b Lim-Pe (1973). pp 38-40.
  22. ^ UST College of Education History UST Website accessed May 15, 2012
  23. ^ College of Science History UST Website accessed May 15, 2012
  24. ^ Varsitarian History The Varsitarian Website accessed May 15, 2012
  25. ^ Morton, Louis. U.S. Army in World War II: The War in the Pacific: The Fall of the Philippines. US Army in World War, Chapters VIII-XIV. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-P-PI/, accessed May 15, 2012
  26. ^ Morton, pp.237-238
  27. ^ Lim-Pe (1973). pp 48-51.
  28. ^ Hartendorp, Vol. II, pg. 561-562
  29. ^ "UST Faculty of Philosophy Student Forum". Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  30. ^ Statues Atop the Main Building UST Website accessed May 15, 2012
  31. ^ Lim-Pe (1973). pp 58-61.
  32. ^ Varsitarian holds 35th Pautakan The Varsitarian Website
  33. ^ SDP History accessed may 15, 2012
  34. ^ Paskuhan 1991 The Varsitarian Website accessed May 15, 2012
  35. ^ UST Singers UST Singers Website Accessed May 15, 2012
  36. ^ Freshmen to be initiated The Varsitarian Website accessed may 15, 2012
  37. ^ AMV Accountancy History UST Website accessed May 15, 2012
  38. ^ a b UST to launch 400-day countdown for Quadricentennial on Friday, retrieved 31 December 2009
  39. ^ Formal Declaration of UST National Cultural Treasures University of Santo Tomas Museum Website accessed may 16, 2012
  40. ^ UST declared a national historical landmark GMA Network Website accessed May 16, 2012
  41. ^ UST’s Lumina Pandit exhibit opens The Manila Bulletin Website accessed May 16, 2012
  42. ^ UST set to open Quadricentennial Week The Varsitarian Website accessed May 16, 2012
  43. ^ ‘Quattromondial’: UST embraces birthright, destiny The Inquirer Website accessed May 16, 2012
  44. ^ Paris gives a toast to UST's Quadricentennial The Varsitarian Website accessed May 16, 2012
  45. ^ Reverence and revelry at UST’s Neo-Centennial GMA Network Website accessed May 16, 2012
  46. ^ Mahathir warns vs 'too much democracy' Rappler Website accessed October 23, 2012
  47. ^ Queen Sofia’s visit to reaffirm strong cultural ties Inquirer Lifestyle website accessed October 23, 2012
  48. ^ UST confers 'Honorary Professor' title upon H.E. Lech Walesa GMA News Online accessed March 3, 2013

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