Ateneo de Naga University

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Ateneo de Naga University
Pamantasang Ateneo de Naga
The Jesuit university in the Bicol region, Philippines
Latin: Universitas Athenaea Nagensis
Former names
Camarines Sur Catholic Academy (1935-1939)
Ateneo de Naga
Motto Primum Regnum Dei (Latin)
Motto in English
First, the Kingdom of God
Type Private Research
Established 1940; 78 years ago (1940)
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Chairman Atty. Monico V. Jacob
President Fr. Primitivo E. Viray, SJ
Vice-president Dr. Alfredo C. Fabay (Academic Vice President)
Dean Dr. Digna P. Alba
(Humanities & Social Sciences)
Dr. Agapito Rubio
(Business & Accountancy)
Dr. Allan A. Sioson
Dr. Marlinda Regondola
(Science & Engineering)
Dr. Arnulfo R. Reganit
Dr. Delia B. Oco
Dr. Rebecca C. Torres
(Graduate School)
Principal Tita S. Natividad
(High School)
Dr. Lydia T. Goingo
(Grade School)
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 1,500 (High School)
186 (Grade School)
Undergraduates 6,000
Location Naga City, Camarines Sur,  Philippines
Campus Main campus:
Bagumbayan Sur (College)
Bonoan campus:
Barangay Pacol
(Grade School and High School)
Alma Mater Song "The Regnum Dei"
Colors Blue      and      Gold
Athletics Naga City Inter-Collegiate Basketball
Nickname Golden Knights
Sports basketball, volleyball, football, swimming, tennis, badminton
Mascot Golden Knight
Website University, High School

The Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU) is a private research university run by the Society of Jesus in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines. It was established in 1940, the fourth school named Ateneo opened in the Philippines by the Jesuits. Typical of universities in the Philippines, AdNU has primary (since 2014) and secondary levels, which are all coeducational.


Early history[edit]

The Ateneo de Naga University was established in 1940 when American Jesuits took over the Camarines Sur Catholic Academy, a small private school under the supervision of the Diocese of Nueva Caceres, at the invitation of the bishop. On May 2, 1940, the Jesuits changed the name of the school to Ateneo de Naga. During the first year it included intermediate grades 4-6 of elementary school. In 1941, however, the elementary school students were transferred to the nearby school run by the Daughters of Charity, and the Ateneo became an all-boys high school until 1946-47. It was only in June 2014 when AdNU reopened classes for Grades 1-3. The college department opened with 20 male students on June 5, 1947. Six years later, on October 26, 1953, the college became coeducational with the admission of five female students.[1]

Recent history[edit]

The Graduate School, which had a brief existence in the 1970s, was revived in 1993. In 1997 the Ateneo expanded into four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Commerce, Education, and Information Technology and Engineering. In 2001, a College of Computer Studies was established.

University status[edit]

The Ateneo de Naga was granted university status by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on November 11, 1998. The inauguration as a university was held February 20, 1999. Raul Bonoan, S.J., was installed as the first university president.


From 1947 to 2003, the college and high school were on the same campus. The Bagumbayan campus became crowded when AdNU became a university. Student population grew as the university added more undergraduate programs and built more buildings. In the early 2000s, land in Barangay Pacol, Naga City, was donated to AdNU. This property became the new home of the high school in the summer of 2003. The same year, the high school became coeducational with the enrollment of 185 female students.

Up to the year 2013, Ateneo de Naga was the only Ateneo without a grade school. On June 4, 2014, AdNU opened its grade school at the Bonoan campus in Barangay Pacol, Naga City. Grades one to three were begun at the high school while the new grade school building was being constructed. The kindergarten facility (the Ateneo Child Learning Center) on the Pacol campus began operation in school year 2014-15.

the Ateneo de Naga University announced the opening of its law school for the First Semester of School Year 2017-2018. The Ateneo de Naga University College of Law (AdNU College of Law) offers a four-year law program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB).

Undergraduate programs[edit]

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Business and Accountancy
  • College of Computer Studies
  • College of Education
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • College of Nursing

School seal[edit]

The Ateneo de Naga seal is similar to the seals of four other Ateneos. It is circular and the school motto in Latin is on top of the circle with the name of the school at the bottom of the circle.


At the center of the Ateneo de Naga university seal is the escutcheon of the family of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. The shield is divided vertically. The right panel shows two wolves on the sides of a hanging cauldron. The design symbolizes the hospitality and generosity of the Loyola family. On the left panel, symbolizing nobility and heroism are seven red bars on a field of gold, honoring the seven heroes of the family who distinguished themselves in the battle of Beotibar in 1321. The shield is part of the seal of many Jesuit schools in the world with which the Ateneo shares a 400-year tradition of Jesuit liberal education.

Immediately above the Loyola escutcheon is a gold crown of Mary, Mother of God, who under the title of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the patroness of Bicol. Over Mary's crown shines the sun, symbol of Christ. On its face is the seal of the Society of Jesus in calligraphic form: the first three letters in Greek of the Holy Name of Jesus (IHS) with the cross on top and the nails of his sacred Passion underneath. The sun's rays shine over Mary's crown, the Loyola shield, and the six stars and beyond. The Sun, symbol of Christ, truth and life, shines over Mary, Ateneo, Bicol, and the world.

Arranged in a semi-circle under the shield are six gold stars representing the six provinces of Bicol Region: Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Masbate.[2]

School motto[edit]

The school motto in Latin, "Primum Regnum Dei", means "First the Kingdom of God" from Matthew 6:33: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice and all things shall be added unto you".[3]

School name[edit]

The name Ateneo is the Spanish form of Athenæum, which the Dictionary of Classical Antiquities defines as the name of "the first educational institution in Rome" where "rhetoricians and poets held their recitations." Hadrian’s school drew its name from a Greek temple dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The said temple, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, was where "poets and men of learning were accustomed to meet and read their productions." Athenæum is also used in reference to schools and literary clubs. The closest English translation is academy, referring to institutions of secondary learning.

The Ateneo de Naga is not the only Jesuit school that the Jesuits named Ateneo. The Society of Jesus in the Philippines has established 16 schools all over the Philippines since 1590 and named nine of them Ateneo. Ateneo de Naga was the fourth school named Ateneo. Over the years, the name "Ateneo" has been recognized as the official title of Jesuit institutions of higher learning in the Philippines and synonymous with academic excellence.

Jesuits honored[edit]

The following Jesuits have a building named after them, to honor their services.

  • John Joseph Phelan, S.J., science building – for his 40-plus years service.
  • James J. O'Brien, S.J., library – for his long years of service.
  • Francis D. Burns, S.J.. academic building – first rector, helped establish AdNU, 1940.[4]
  • Fr. Raul Bonoan, S.J., former Pacol campus and building on Bagumbayan campus – first president.
  • Michael Rooney, S.J., high school building – guidance director, Jesuit Superior of Philippines.[5]
  • Pedro Arrupe, S.J., convention hall – world-renowned Jesuit, Superior General 1965–83: coined "men and women for others" and gave social justice thrust to contemporary Jesuit education.[6]
  • Richard M. Fernando, S.J., conference hall – sacrificed his life to protect Cambodian students.[7]
  • Francis Xavier, S.J., student organization building – patron saint of the university.



In 2001, Ateneo de Naga was among the first 22 private, higher education institutions granted by CHED deregulated status for five years. At the same time CHED recognized its colleges. In 2007, CHED re-designated the College of Computer Studies as a Center for Development for Excellence in Information Technology Education and designated the College of Commerce as Center of Development in Business Administration and also in Entrepreneurship. In 2007 CHED identified the Graduate School as a delivering institution for its Faculty Development Program. On June 2, 2008 CHED granted Ateneo de Naga autonomous status and approved the designation of the College of Education as a Center of Excellence in Teacher Education.[citation needed]


On May 25, 2009, the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) granted institutional accreditation status to Ateneo de Naga, a first for a private educational institution.[8] The Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) certified AdNU's institutional accreditation on June 22, 2009.

University press[edit]

WTNaga STAR A9.jpg

Since 2005 the Ateneo has a publishing house for university research work and for outside manuscripts. While its daily operations are managed by the university press director, all publications receive final approval of the university president, upon the recommendation of the University Press Board.[9]

Student publication[edit]

The official tertiary student publication of the university is The Pillars which was founded in 1961.[10] The high school student publication is The Blue and Gold.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "University". Archived from the original on 2013-09-04. 
  2. ^ "University seal". Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. 
  3. ^ "Ateneo de Naga University | Ranking & Review". Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Google". Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  5. ^ Rooney
  6. ^ user1. "Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)". Ignatian Spirituality. Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  7. ^ "Richie Fernando SJ | walk the way". Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  8. ^ "The City of Naga [الأرشيف] - أرافيل:كل شئ عن الفلبين والعرب فى الفلبين". (in Arabic). Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  9. ^ Team, i-Governance. "Ateneo de Naga opens university press with launching of 2 Bikol books «  Dagos po sa Maogmang Naga". Retrieved 2017-10-01. 
  10. ^ Team, i-Governance. "Book Launchings, Art Exhibit in Ateneo «  Dagos po sa Maogmang Naga". Retrieved 2017-10-01.