41 years ago marked the auspicious beginnings of what is to become a premier educational institution in the country particularly in the field of medicine, nursing, and paramedical courses. It all started when Jose C. Olivares, a chemistry professor by vocation but with strong entrepreneurial spirit, and his son-in-law, Dr. Vicente M. Santos, an obstetrician, founded the Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in 1967. It soon became the primary provider of medical services to the residents of Valenzuela and its neighboring towns. With a vision of creating medical complex that will be a training center for competent health care providers, Mr. Olivares created the Fatima Medical Science Foundation Inc., and initially established the Our Lady of Fatima College of Nursing in 1973.
More curricular programs were added in the 1970’s including courses in Midwifery, Chemistry, and Veterinary Medicine. More buildings were erected to accommodate the rapidly growing student populace.
In June 1979, the Fatima College of Medicine welcomed its pioneer batch of medical students with Dean Filemon T. Gozum, M.D. at the helm of the academic program. Underscoring its civic and humanitarian calling, the Fatima Medical Science Foundation Inc., established the Leonora Juzgaya Scholarship Grant, which bestows free tuition, board and lodging and textbooks to financially challenged but academically gifted medical students.
Through the years, the Our Lady of Fatima University has responded to the rapid changes in medical science and technology and the social milieu through constant modernization of its facilities and continuing development of its faculty. From the 1980’s through the 1990’s the country witnessed the development of OLFU with the inclusion of other courses and programs such as Physical Therapy, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Computer Studies, Maritime Education and Criminology.
In 1996, OLFU opened a new campus in Hilltop Subdivision in Fairview, Quezon City that provided the same course offerings as that of OLFU-Valenzuela.
The unrelenting and concerted efforts to establish a center of excellence in the medical sciences and other disciplines by the administration, faculty and staff of the Our Lady of Fatima College have finally come to fruition. As an affirmation of the institution’s commitment to uphold the highest standard and quality of education, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted the College the University status in December 2, 2002 by virtue of Resolution No. 401, series of 2002. Dr. Vicente M. Santos, Sr. was installed as the first president of the University in solemn investiture rites held on December 18 at the main campus in Valenzuela City. After that, the university was granted “deregulated” status by the CHED, a privilege given only to selected private universities.
With the status of University, OLFU in 2003, offered Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Elementary Education. It has since then produced teachers that mentor students in private and public schools throughout the country.
In 2007, in answer to the growing demand to establish more OLFU campuses, the administration purchased and developed a 4-hectare area that is now OLFU-Antipolo. The sprawling campus provides the same course offerings as in its sister campuses.
In 2009, the Commission on Higher Education awarded the University, Autonomous Status for its ‘accomplishments, adherence to quality assurance, and commitment to public responsibility and accountability as a higher education institution’. As an autonomous higher educational institution, OLFU has attained what several educational institutions strive for but few attain.
In the same year, OLFU’s College of Nursing was cited as a Center of Development by the Commission on Higher Education; and in 2010, the College of Nursing was awarded Level III by Philippine Association of Colleges, Universities Commission on Accreditation PACUCOA.
To date, the Our Lady of Fatima University has 3 campuses: Valenzuela City (Main Campus), Quezon City (Hilltop Campus), and Antipolo City.