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Petra Christian University is a private Christian university in Surabaya, Indonesia, established in 1961, founded by PPPK Petra, a educational christian based on Surabaya which established in 1951. The "Petra" name itself developed from Greek language that has meaning a coral reef.
The establishment of Petra Christian University should always be associated with Petra Christian Education and Teaching Association or PPPK Petra (Perhimpunan Pendidikan dan Pengajaran Kristen). PPPK Petra is a Christian union established on 12 April 1951 with the purpose to provide education from the level of kindergarten to senior high schools.
The idea of establishing a university which aimed to give the opportunity for its alumni to get higher education has existed since 1956.
On 21 September 1960, the Committee of University Establishment Planning Preparation was formed, with the duty to prepare all the necessities to establish a university. The members of the committee were: drg. Tan Tjiaw Yong, Gouw Loe Liong, drg. Tan Gie Djien, Tjoa Siok Tjoen, Lie Ping Lioe and Kwee Djien Kian. On 8 August 1961, the coordinators decided to establish Petra Christian University with its first department, Faculty of Letters.
On 22 September 1961, the 10th anniversary PPPK Petra, the establishment of Petra Christian University was made public. Several days later, on 28 September 1961, the coordinators of PPPK Petra formed the Directorate of University Affairs, whose duty was to manage the university and temporarily to act as Sponsor Board members. The members of the directorate were drg. Tan Tjiaw Yong, Ir. O.F. Patty, dr. Mesakh Wignjohoesodo, Gouw Loe Liong and J.A. Sereh. A year later, on 15 September 1962, the second department, Civil Engineering, was established.
Realizing the growth of the university, the coordinators re-evaluate the internal regulation of PPPK. On 18 July 1964, a committee for the establishment of Petra Christian University Foundation was set up with the members of the committee, J.E. Sahetapy SH, drg. Tan Tjiaw Yong, dr. M. Wignjohoesodo, Kho Hong Pie, R.M.S. Kertonadi and P.H. Saroinsong. The establishment concept of Petra Christian University Foundation (YPTK Petra) was accepted on 22 October 1964, and it was legally constituted on 7 January 1965.
The members of Petra Christian University Foundation is constitutive of the representatives of PPPK Petra, the representatives of supporting churches, and some influential Christian figures.
Since 1965, YPTK Petra has had the support of seven church denominations in Surabaya:
In 1991, Gereja Gereformeerd Surabaya was named Gereja Kristen Indonesia; therefore, YPTK Petra has then had the support of six churches in Surabaya.