|St. Louis University Seal|
Saint Louis University is regarded as one of the Philippines' respected and leading educational institutions that has grown with the demands of the current and future environments for its students and faculty alike.
Around two hundred fifty kilometers north of Manila lies Baguio City, known to be the "Summer Capital of the Philippines" that enjoys temperate climate all year round. From a village resort established by the Americans, Baguio has become the Northern Philippines' center of business and commerce as well as the center of education. Saint Louis University has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the City into a center for learning in the North.
Today, SLU is the largest university north of Manila with more than 30,000 students from the elementary, high school and college levels. Its reputation for excellence attracts students and scholars not only from the Philippines but from other countries as well. It has sustained itself throughout the past ninety years to become one of the top centers of academic excellence in the Philippines that meet international standards in tertiary education. Most of its programs, from the elementary to the graduate level, have received the highest level of accreditation in the country.
SLU has four campuses: the main campus at A. Bonifacio Street, St. Aloysius de Gonzaga Campus (for Elementary, Teacher Education and Law) at General Luna Road, Navy Base Campus (for High School) in Pacdal and the Maryheights Campus (for Accountancy and Business management) in Bakakeng. It has become the venue for seminars, various fora, and other special events of the public and private sectors in the Cordillera, in addition to the everyday conduct of student life in the University. It has welcomed within its walls an eclectic mix of various cultures, traditions, beliefs and nationalities.
In 1907, the CICM Missionaries arrived in the Philippines, mandated by the Holy See to evangelize the northern part of the country. Pretty soon, it became apparent that Baguio, then a small mountain village resort in the province of Benguet, around two hundred and fifty kilometers north of Manila, will be pivotal for the region. With an elevation of at least 1,500 meters above sea level, Baguio is a natural gateway to and from the Cordillera mountain range, which traverses the Mountain Provinces (Montañosa), the home of numerous indigenous tribes.
Thus it was that in 1911, Rev Fr Séraphin Devesse, CICM, founded a one-room elementary school in Baguio for ten local boys. From these humble origins, Saint Louis School began .
In 1915, the intermediate grades and a trade school were started under the guidance of Florimond Carlu.
In 1921, the high school was inaugurated.
In 1952, college-level courses in the Liberal Arts and Commerce were offered, and Saint Louis College had its first Rector. Other courses and further developments soon followed, under the guidance of the following 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
In 1955, the graduate-level programs of Saint Louis College were granted recognition, but the real turning point came on 13 May 1963, when Saint Louis College was conferred University status by the Philippine Government.
From the one-room Saint Louis School for ten boys in 1911, Saint Louis University has grown to a four campus University with more than thirty buildings catering to more than thirty thousand students.