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Seal of Silliman University
|Latin: Universitas Sillimaniensis|
|Silliman Institute (1901–1938)|
|Motto||Via, Veritas, Vita|
Motto in English
|"The Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6)|
|Established||28 August 1901|
|United Church of Christ in the Philippines (but nonsectarian)|
|Chairman||Ricardo A. Balbido Jr.|
|President||Dr. Betty Cernol McCann|
Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines|
"Dear old Silliman"|
"Campus by the sea"
|Affiliations||ACUCA, UBCHEA, ACSCU, ASAIHL, PAASCU, ATESEA, UCCP, Service-Learning Asia Network|
|Mascot||Stallions and Mares|
Silliman University (also referred to as Silliman or SU) is a private research university in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Philippines. Established in 1901 as Silliman Institute by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, it is the first American university in the Philippines and the entire Asian continent. The university is named after Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman, a retired businessman and philanthropist from Cohoes, New York who gave the initial sum of $10,000 to start the school. Starting as an elementary school for boys, the school expanded to become a college in 1910, acquiring university status in 1938. For the first half of the 20th century, Silliman was run and operated by Americans. After the Second World War Filipinos began to assume more administrative positions, culminating in the appointment of Silliman's first Filipino president in 1952.
In terms of accreditation, Silliman is one of only five universities in the Philippines with "Institutional Accreditation" by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP). Institutional Accreditation is the highest certification that can be granted to an educational institution after an over-all examination of its number of accredited programs, the quality of its facilities, services and faculty. Incidentally, Silliman also has the highest number of accredited programs in the country, twenty of which are on Level IV accreditation status, the highest level that can be granted to individual programs.
Today, the university comprises ten colleges, five schools, and three institutes, enrolling over 9,600 students from the Philippines and from at least 30 foreign countries. It is registered as a National Landmark by the National Historical Institute and is one of few private higher education institutions in the Philippines that have been granted full autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education. It is also a founding member of the Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA) and one of the recognized institutions in the U.S. Veterans Administration's list of approved educational institutions.
Silliman University offers programs in the early childhood, elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs in the undergraduate and graduate levels cover disciplines such as Arts, Accountancy, Agriculture, Architecture, Business Administration, Engineering, English, Filipino, Information Technology, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Education, Economics, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Journalism, Marine Sciences, Nutrition, Music, Physics, Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, and Public Administration. In addition to its academic undertakings, the university is involved in research and community extension projects. Silliman's stature in the fields of environmental and marine sciences has led to its being designated by the USAID as a Center of Excellence in Coastal Resources Management.
Silliman University was founded on August 28, 1901 as Silliman Institute by Protestant missionaries under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Originally established as an elementary school for boys, operations for the institute started through an initial $10,000 donation given by a businessman and Christian philanthropist of Cohoes, New York named Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman, who wanted to establish an industrial school using the Hampton Institute of Virginia model.
The person tasked to found the institution was Dr. David Sutherland Hibbard, a man from Lyndon, Kansas who, after serving as a pastor in a Presbyterian church in that locality, offered his services to the Presbyterian Board as missionary. Upon his arrival in the Philippines, he was commissioned, with his wife Laura, to scout the southern part of the islands to determine the best location for the school. His original points of destination were Cebu, Zamboanga and Iloilo. While in Cebu, a suggestion came to him to make a side-trip to Dumaguete. On his arrival, he was met by a Rev. Captain John Anthony Randolph, chaplain of the 6th U.S. Infantry Regiment stationed at that time in Dumaguete, who later introduced him to Don Meliton Larena, the town's local presidente and to his brother Demetrio Larena, then the vice-governor of the province. Hibbard got attracted to the place and decided to establish the school in the locality. He would later on write that the "beauty of Dumaguete and the friendliness of the people" helped in bringing about his decision.
The institute had a modest beginning: Dr. and Mrs. Hibbard held classes in a rented house beside the sea until the institute's first building, Silliman Hall, was completed in 1903. Recalling how the University started half a century later, Dr. Hibbard described:
|“||There were fifteen boys that first morning. The equipment consisted of four desks about ten feet long, two tables and two chairs, a few McGuffey’s Readers, a few geographies, arithmetics and ninth-grade grammars. I was President; Mrs. Hibbard was the faculty.||”|
Enrollment in the school gradually grew thereafter to include students from other Asian countries. In 1910, Silliman was awarded government recognition and the right to grant a degree. In the same year, it was incorporated under the laws of the Philippines. Women started to be admitted in 1912, and in 1921, the Silliman Bible School (later to become the Divinity School) was established in cooperation with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, largely representing the Congregational Churches of the United States. As enrollment in the institution grew further, a corresponding increase in faculty followed. These developments were accompanied with the use of a more developed curriculum and the construction and acquisition of more permanent buildings and equipment. By 1925, Silliman was already known as one of the foremost institutions for higher education in the Philippines, based on a report submitted by the Board of Educational Survey, which was created by the Philippine Legislature to conduct a study on all educational institutions in the country. The institute was re-incorporated in 1935, and in 1938 became the first school outside of Manila to be granted university status.
After its recognition as a university, Silliman continued to receive from the Presbyterian Board and the American Board (now the United Church Board for World Ministries) grants for land, buildings and equipment. In addition, these boards provided the University with American faculty and staff personnel. Two other American boards have contributed personnel and funds: the Board of Missions of the United Methodist Church and the United Christian Missionary Society of the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ).
Life in the university was interrupted when World War II came. On 26 May 1942, some three weeks after the fall of Corregidor, two Japanese transports anchored in Dumaguete. Silliman was occupied by the Japanese forces and was converted into a garrison. One of its buildings, Channon Hall, became the headquarters of the dreaded Japanese kempeitai or military police where many Filipinos were tortured and killed. During the occupation, many members of the faculty and the student body were forced to evacuate to four localities within the province. Under the leadership of Dr. Arthur Carson, then president of Silliman, the remaining members of the faculty continued the operations of the University in the mountains of Negros Oriental. This led to the formation of what was then called the "Jungle University" in Malabo, Valencia, one of the localities in the province. Professor Roy Bell became a major in the Negros Island guerrilla forces, established a Free Government, printed the Victory News, and used his radio transmitter to establish contact with the South West Pacific Area (command).:76,78–80, 127 Many students, alumni, faculty members and ROTC officeers joined the resistance forces, while theology professors Alvin Scaff, Proculo Rodrigues, Paul Lindholm and James McKinley "carried on pastoral and teaching duties for the resistance soldiers and civilians in guerrilla-dominated territory.":166 The Carson and Bell families, plus other faculty members, were evacuated by the USS Narwhal (SS-167) on 7 Feb. 1944.:155–160
American and Filipino forces liberated Dumaguete on April 26, 1945. A few days later, the Faculty Emergency Committee took charge over the campus and began preparations for the resumption of classes and the challenge of reconstruction.
For the first half of the century, Silliman was run and operated by Americans. After the Second World War and until the early 1950s, moves for the Filipinization of the university administration began to come closer to the surface. Filipino faculty members began to assume more important positions and, as more of these faculty members took administrative roles, the Board of Trustees elected the university's first Filipino president, Dr. Leopoldo Ruiz, on August 26, 1952, officially taking office on April 1953. A Silliman alumnus (A.B. '16), Ruiz had a long experience in higher education and in the foreign service. Before his appointment, he took up graduate studies in sociology at Columbia and Yale, with an M.A. (1924) from the former institution, as well as a Ph.D. (1942) from the University of Southern California.
In the same decade of Ruiz's appointment, the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) in New York, an interdenominational group, assumed responsibility for channeling all church aid to Silliman. The United Board is an international organization supported by ten Protestant mission boards. Long after Ruiz's appointment, however, Americans and other nationals still constituted a considerable portion of the faculty. Up to the present, American and foreign visiting professors are still regularly assigned in specialized areas.
In the early 1960s and toward the beginning of the Martial Law years, the university embarked on a "Build a Greater Silliman" program in response to the growing student population and the corresponding need for more facilities. With much help from many donors, mostly alumni and entities from abroad, the program saw the construction of more academic buildings, dormitories, housing units for the faculty and other facilities. These constructions included the now famous Luce Auditorium which was funded largely by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Science Complex, equipped with an observatory on top of the third floor, the Engineering Complex, and the Silliman University Medical Center.
When Martial Law was declared in 1972, Silliman became one of the first two universities ordered by the government to be closed and one of the last to be opened. On the morning of September 23, 1972 some faculty members and many students were rounded up by the local Philippine Constabulary (now the Philippine National Police), some of whom were detained for one to six months. Many offices of the university, including the Weekly Sillimanian, the student paper, were raided by the PC.
The year 1979 became a landmark year for Silliman when its Van Houweling Research Laboratory, then headed by Dr. George Beran, produced a dog vaccine that gave a three-year immunity from rabies, making it the first and only laboratory to produce a rabies vaccine with long-term immunity in the whole of Southeast Asia. The development of the vaccine resulted in the elimination of rabies in many parts of the Visayas and Mindanao Islands and was later on used by other countries in their fight against rabies conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization.
The 1980s saw the restoration of the University’s Student Government and the approval of its constitution. After years of suppression by the Marcos regime, students were again allowed to self-organize in 1981. The decade also witnessed the 100% board exam ratings of the Electrical Engineering, Nursing and Accountancy programs and the installation of solar-powered light posts in the campus in the years 1986 and 1989 respectively.
In the 1990s the University shifted its grading system from alphabetical to numerical. In 1994, eleven Sillimanians landed in the top ten of that year’s nursing board exam, with twenty two other Sillimanian takers occupying the top twenty posts. In that same year, Silliman alumnus Gonzalo O. Catan Jr., was awarded Most Outstanding Inventor in the 5th National Technology Fair. The decade also witnessed Silliman being cited as the university with the best published scientific paper in the Dr. Elvira O. Tan Awards; and in 1995, the university hosted the first ever International Conference on Biology and Conservation of Small Cetaceans of Southeast Asia, as well as the International Coral Reef Initiative Workshop.
Toward the end of the decade, Silliman prepared for its centennial celebrations. To strengthen its local area network technology, the university installed fiber-optic cables that span the entire 62 hectare campus in 1999. In 2000, the Silliman Accountancy program ranked 1st in the country, culminating in its Physical Therapy program ranking 1st in 2001.
Silliman University continues to draw support from the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA), as well as from its alumni and other benefactors. The university has adopted a policy of providing education to the surrounding regions without depending much on tuition and other fees to meet its operational expenses. Recently, Silliman constructed the Portal West Building, a five-storey commercial building on campus, to help augment its operational expenses. In line with the same policy, it has leased portions of its properties to business entities to further raise its financial base.
Because significant portion of the student population ride on motorbikes and scooters, the university has also aggressively adopted a "No Helmet-No Entry" policy. Silliman has likewise adopted a "No-Smoking Policy" on campus.
Silliman is one of few private higher educational institutions in the country that have been granted full autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the same government agency that recognized some of its programs as Centers of Excellence and Centers of Development. To date, the university has the highest number of accredited programs, fourteen of which have been granted Level IV accreditation status, the highest level that can be granted to individual programs.
Silliman is located in Dumaguete City, a quiet, peaceful seaside community with a population of 116,392. The university campus has a total land area of 62 hectares composed of the main campus along Hibbard Avenue, and the campus for the College of Agriculture and the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences to the north. Dotted by large acacia trees, the main campus is home to most of the colleges and schools of the university and is adjacent to the city's downtown district. Occupying almost one-third of the downtown area, the campus faces the sea to the east, flanked by its portals which are now considered symbols of the school and city. The three most prominent portals are the Gates of Knowledge, Opportunity and Service. The Gate of Knowledge is the current and main entrance; it is the starting point of the two-kilometer-long Hibbard Avenue which was named after Dr. David Sutherland Hibbard, one of the founders of the institution. The other prominent landmarks on the main campus are the Silliman Hall, which now houses the Anthropology Museum; the Silliman University Church; the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library; and the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium, the largest theater outside Metro Manila. It is frequented by tourists so the university maintains a campus cruiser, a 15-seater golf cart or tram-like vehicle, to ferry visitors around the campus. It is used to transport students during regular days.
Two kilometers to the north (the other end of Hibbard Avenue) is the campus for the College of Agriculture and the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences. It has a land area of 29 hectares, and houses the College of Agriculture Complex, the Silliman Farm, a number of dormitories (known as the Cocofed Dormitories) and the Marine Laboratories of the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences. Adjacent to it is the Silliman Beach.
Silliman has off-campus facilities located in Camp Lookout, Valencia and on Ticao Island, in the Province of Masbate. The Camp Lookout facility houses the University's Creative Writing Center which now serves as the venue and permanent home of the Silliman National Writers Workshop. The Center has a two-storey main function hall and five duplex cottages.
The university's Ticao Island facility, on the other hand, is a 465-hectare property in the Province of Masbate, another island in Bicol Region. Donated by the family of Elizabeth How, the facility is a combination of a working ranch, agricultural plantations, and patches of secondary forests. A framework for a long-term development plan has been made and is now the subject for validation by local stakeholders. The plan includes programs for agriculture, Christian ministry, coastal resource management and public health.
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Dumaguete has been called a "center of learning in the south" or a "university town" due to the presence of Silliman and other universities that have made their mark nationally and abroad. The city has become a melting pot of students, professionals, artists, scholars and the literati coming from the country and the world.
Silliman maintains four museums: the Anthropology Museum, the Gonzales Museum of Natural History, the Marine Mammal Museum of the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences (IEMS), and the SU-ROTC Museum
The Anthropology Museum was relocated from Silliman Hall to Hibbard Hall in 2015. Established in 1973, it was opened to bring the importance of the Filipino’s cultural heritage to the attention of the public. The bulk of the artifacts displayed came from fieldworks, excavations, purchases and donations. The museum has seven galleries. The first three, contain exhibits which have been collected from known cultural or ethnic groups all over the country. These items or artifacts include simple tools and instruments such as basketry, agricultural and aquatic tools, weapons, clothing and ornaments as well as musical instruments. The display is based on two general criteria: the type of social organization (incipient, tribal or sultanate) and the type of economic subsistence (hunting, and gathering, marginal agriculture or farming) under which ethnic group is categorized. The exhibit on the last four galleries are artifacts excavated from different parts of Negros Island and in the mountain areas of Cotabato. A number of excavations done by Sillimanian anthropologists in the 1970s yielded ancient artifacts, like burial urns, and porcelain pieces which date back to the Sung period in the twelfth century.
The other two museums are the Gonzales Museum of Natural History and the Marine Mammal Museum. The Gonzales Museum of Natural History is located at the first floor of the Science Complex. It showcases a collection of preserved animals traditionally found in the tropics such as different kinds of fishes, crustaceans, snakes, eagles, birds, flying lemurs, etc. The museum was named in honor Prof. Rodolfo Gonzales, a former biology teacher of the University. The Marine Mammal Museum on the other hand contains a large collection of whale and dolphin bones. It is located at a facility of the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences two kilometers north of the main campus. In 2015, the University opened its SU-ROTC Museum located on the first floor of Roman Yap Hall which houses the rare artifacts and equipment used in the Second World War and military uniforms of high-ranking Sillimanian military officials over the years.
The A.Y. Reyes Zoological and Botanical Gardens or the Silliman University Zoo is the university zoo. It is also the home for the Center for Tropical Conservation Studies. The garden started in the 1960s as a tree planting project and field laboratory studies facility by the Silliman University Biology Department. In 1990, it became the country's first captive breeding center for the Philippine Spotted Deer (Cervus Alfredi). Since then, the garden's captive breeding program has expanded to include other endangered wildlife unique to the Philippines. By 1996, the garden had grown to include over twenty animals and twenty-four plant species. The place was named the A.Y. Reyes Zoological and Botanical Garden after the late botanist, Prof. Alfredo Y. Reyes who helped start and develop the garden.
Silliman University has its own beach. It is situated at the front of the university's marine laboratory building. Extension programs like local fishing has been a project to the university and to the local fishermen in Dumaguete City.
Silliman is governed by an independent Board of Trustees composed of fifteen members. Five of its members come from the Silliman University Foundation Incorporated (SUFI), five from the UCCP, and another five from the alumni. The president of the university sits as an ex-officio member. Under the board are the administrators composed of the University President, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Vice-President for Finance and Administration, Vice-President for Development, the University Registrar, Treasurer, and the Manager for Human Resource (HRD). Assisting the Vice-Presidents are the Deans, Directors, Department Chairpersons, Coordinators, Officers and Unit Heads of the various colleges, schools, institutes, units, research centers, offices, programs and extension projects of the University. Though historically Protestant, the University is academically nonsectarian. Its learning environment has remained generally liberal and its religious orientation has in no way discouraged the expression or exercise of other beliefs. A majority of the University's student and faculty population are Roman Catholics, with a significant portion of Muslims from Mindanao and the Middle East.
|David S. Hibbard, 1901–1930|
|Roy H. Brown, 1932–1936|
|Arthur L. Carson, 1939–1953|
|Leopoldo T. Ruiz, 1953–1961|
|Cicero D. Calderon, 1962–1971|
|Quintin S. Doromal, 1973–1982|
|Venancio D. Aldecoa, Jr., 1983–1986|
|Pedro V. Flores, 1987–1989|
|Angel C. Alcala, 1991–1992|
|Mervyn J. Misajon, 1994–1996|
|Agustin A. Pulido, 1996–2006|
|Ben S. Malayang III, 2006–2018[a]|
|Betty Cernol-McCann, 2018-Present|
In a 2007 report released by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Silliman University was ranked 4th in the country, following three schools of the University of the Philippines (UP) namely, UP-Diliman, UP-Los Baños, and UP-Manila, which ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively. The survey was based on average passing rates in Board examinations from 1991 to 2001 in all courses of all universities and colleges in the Philippines. The study is conducted every ten years.
In other board or licensure examination-related reports released by the CHED in the year 2009, Silliman was ranked 1st in the country in the field of Nursing Education and 2nd in the fields of Accountancy and Mechanical Engineering.
Internationally, Silliman is ranked among the top 150 universities in Asia based on International Students' Review by the QS Quacquarelli Symonds, an institution that ranks the world's top universities.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) designated Silliman as a Center of Excellence in Information Technology, Marine Science, Nursing Education and Teacher Education, and a Center of Development in Anthropology, Biology, Medical Technology and Accountancy Education. Aside from these, the University was also named by the United States Agency for International Development as a Center of Excellence in Coastal Resource Management, and by the Haribon Foundation as an Academic Center of Excellence in Biodiversity Conservation. Due to the University's community-based coastal resource management program, Apo Island, a small island off the coast of Dauin, was recognized as one of the best diving spots in the world.
On top of its strong affiliation with the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (UBCHEA) and other international development organizations, Silliman maintains linkages on collaborative research as well as on faculty and student exchange, with universities in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Its longest running student exchange programs are with three Japanese universities: International Christian University, Ferris University and Shikoku Gakuin University. Silliman also maintains research and academic linkages with the University of Washington (USA), California State University, East Bay (USA), Gordon College (USA), the Smithsonian Institution (USA), Texas Tech University (USA), Old Dominion University (USA), Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan), Chonbuk National University (South Korea), Hanshin University (South Korea), Sookmyung Women’s University (South Korea), Soongsil University (South Korea), Hanyang University (South Korea), Sam Ratulangi University (Indonesia), the Asian College of Nursing and Health (Malaysia), Hannam University (South Korea), Madras Christian College (India), Kinki University (Japan), and Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany).
The Silliman Library System is composed of the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library, which serves as the university library, and the local libraries of the College of Agriculture, College of Business Administration, College of Law, the Divinity School, the Allied Health Sciences, High School, Elementary and Early Childhood Schools. Among these libraries the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library (university library) serves as the largest repository of books, periodicals and other reading materials. Built in 1978, the university library is a four-story structure with a seating capacity of 490 readers. It holds over 250,000 volumes, with enough space to accommodate 400,000 more. It also subscribes to 500 periodicals. Some courses provide instruction in the location of books and publications for research and other school work. Students can search for library materials using the On-Line Public Access Catalogue. Instructions on how to use it are posted on the stations were the system is installed. Research can also be done using the Internet through the Cyberlibrary. Students pay a semestral fee to avail of this service.
Aside from the main section of the library which contains the bulk of its book and periodical collection, other notable sections of the facility include the Filipiniana section, containing books and materials published by famous Filipino authors during the Spanish and pre-war periods of the country, and the Sillimaniana section, containing Silliman memorabilia from 1901 up to the present (e.g. trophies, plaques of recognition, portraits of past presidents, etc.), and an archive of past publications and documents.
The university library is likewise home to two notable centers: the American Studies Resource Center (ASRC) and a World Bank Knowledge for Development Center (WB-KDC). The American Studies Resource Center is a result of a memorandum of agreement between the United States Embassy in Manila and Silliman University. It is the only ASRC in Region VII hosted by an academic institution. The ASRC provides a variety of materials: books, periodicals, CD-ROMS, DVDs, VCDs, VHS tapes, electronic materials for those interested in studies and issues related to the United States.
The World Bank Knowledge for Development Center is a result of a partnership between the university and the World Bank. It contains an extensive collection of development publications and World Bank project documents to people involved in the academe, researchers, NGOs, media, government agencies and the business sector. The section is open to the public.
To date, the Silliman Library remains as one of the biggest libraries in the Philippines. In 2008, the Silliman University Library System was given the "Outstanding Library Award" by the Philippine Association of Academic and Research Librarians (PAARL) for its growing collection and ongoing computerization program.
The Silliman University Medical Center is a university-owned hospital that is currently being operated and managed by the Silliman University Medical Center Foundation Inc. (SUMCFI), a separate and distinct foundation with its own Board of Directors. The hospital supports the academic institution by serving as the university's base facility for the internship programs of the College of Nursing, School of Medicine, the Institutes of Clinical Laboratory and Rehabilitative Sciences, the Divinity School (for its chaplaincy program), and the Nutrition and Dietetics Department.
It is a 140-bed hospital located on campus with comprehensive medical services available to both the university and the community in general. The SU Medical Center started as an infirmary in 1901 and later became a hospital in 1923. In 1974, the cornerstone for a New Medical Center was laid down by the Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines to commence the building of a four-storey structure with passenger elevators (the first in Negros Oriental). Inaugurated in 1976, it is considered as one of the most modern hospitals outside Metro Manila and Cebu. In 1979, the Medical Center made history when its Van Houweling Research Laboratory discovered and produced a dog vaccine that gave a three-year immunity from rabies. The development of the vaccine was later used by other countries, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, on their fight against rabies. Recently, a new Medical Arts Building was added to the main structure of the hospital to further address the growing needs of the surrounding community. The SU Medical Center has collaborative ties with St. Luke's Medical Center.
Concurrent with its academic undertakings, the University is engaged in collaborative research and community extension programs. From 2000 to 2011, it has been designated as a CHED Zonal Research Center for Region VII, and in 2011, was chosen by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as one of few academic institutions to comprise a national research network which entitles the University to receive an annual allocation of P10 million for a three-year period.
Selected researches are published in the Silliman Journal, the university's research publication. Foremost among the university's research outputs are those that have been undertaken in the field of Environmental and Marine Sciences, historically spearheaded by the Silliman University Marine Laboratory (SUML) now the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences (IEMS). IEMS is a research institute in the field of marine sciences located at Silliman Beach, two kilometers north of the main campus. Established in 1974 through a modest grant from the United Church of Canada, it has produced notable research that are presently being applied in various cooperative projects in different local communities, such as the conservation programs in Sumilon and Apo Island. This research institute also led in the establishment of 20 marine protected areas (MPAs) and has provided assistance to 61 others in the Visayas and Mindanao. For its research and biodiversity conservation efforts, it was recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as the best in research program in the country. On July 2013, Greenpeace an international environmental organization partnered with Silliman University in conducting a reef check at Apo Island to determine the damage on the reef caused by climate change.
Other units engaged in either research or extension include the Center for Gender Studies and Development; the Center for Tropical Conservation Studies (CENTROP); the Salonga Center for Law and Development; and the SU-Angelo King Center for Research and Environmental Management (SUAKCREM).
Extension projects of the university also include the SU-Affiliated Non-Conventional Energy Center (SU-ANEC); the SU-KNH Kaugmaran Child Development Center (SUKCDC); the Alternative Lifestyle for Women in Negros Project; H. Capability Program (CBP) for the Province of Negros Oriental; HIV-AIDS Prevention Project; the Marina Clinic Outreach Program, Rural Development and Credit Program (On Monitoring); and the SU-AADC Integrated Agro-Forestry Participatory Program for Negros Oriental (On Monitoring).
"Via, Veritas, Vita" is a Latin phrase which means “The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” Chosen by the University as its motto, this phrase is attributed to Jesus Christ and is found in the Gospel of John chapter 14, verse 6, which reads “5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" 6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." (New International Version) The choice of the motto is firmly rooted in the University’s belief that religious instruction, particularly in the teachings of Jesus Christ, is essential to the moral development of every young person. Incidentally, the motto has been adopted by the Province of Negros Oriental by incorporating it in its provincial seal.
Once every semester, the Silliman academic community celebrates the University Christian Life Emphasis Week (UCLEW). In this week-long celebration, the University encourages all students to participate in the different Bible study or fellowship activities held in the homes and cottages of assigned members of the Silliman academic or religious community. Conducted after classes, these sessions are called the Galilean Fellowships. Galilean fellowships are brief devotional sessions where participants are given the opportunity to reflect on the teachings of the Bible, relax, share their thoughts and experiences, and have fellowship with other members of the academic community.
Founders Week is part of a two-week-long event conducted by the Silliman community to commemorate the founding of the university. This event is held in the last week of August. The celebration is characterized by class reunions, alumni, fraternity and organizational gatherings, concerts, exhibits, booth-building, awarding ceremonies (e.g. the Outstanding Sillimanian Awards), and invitational games with other schools. The week-long celebration is traditionally commenced by an early morning worship service called Sunrise Service at the Silliman University Church and culminated with a citywide parade held on the anniversary of the university's founding, August 28. The parade is referred to as the "Parada Sillimaniana" and August 28 is referred to as the "Founders Day" in honor of the pioneers. For the past few years, however, the University moved the parades to August 27. Traditionally, the parade is characterized by the use of floats, with each representing a particular college, department, or school.
Before the end of an important event or ceremony the Silliman Song is sung by the attendees. The lyrics were written in 1918 by Dr. Paul Doltz, then the vice-president of Silliman Institute and pastor of Silliman Church. The tune of the song is an adaptation or modification of "The Orange and the Black" of Princeton University, Dr. Doltz's alma mater. The melody is based on the original song "Sadie Ray" composed by J. Tannenbaum late in the 19th century. The Silliman Song briefly describes Silliman's tranquil location; the student's college or university experience; the student's victories, whether it be in the classroom, the court, the track, or the field; the highs and lows in life; and the principles that the graduate brings as the latter leaves the halls of the university. Sang by the Silliman community for almost a hundred years, the Silliman Song has popularized the phrases "Dear old Silliman" and "Silliman beside the sea".
Silliman has several athletic facilities. The University Gymnasium is a multipurpose facility used for basketball, volleyball, badminton, rock-climbing, table-tennis, cheering, and other indoor activities. The Cimafranca Ballfield is primarily used for football, and for track and field events. Other athletic facilities include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, tennis courts, pelota courts, and an archery ranges.
Silliman has varsity teams for almost every major sport. A regular participant of the Philippine University Games (UniGames) and the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA), Silliman is represented by a red and white Stallion or Mare. In the recent Beijing Olympics, Mark Javier, a Sillimanian, represented the Philippines in the field of Archery. He was the lone male archer that represented the country. Other notable Philippine Olympians that came from Silliman include Jennifer Chan, who recently won a gold medal in the 25th SEA Games, Lisa Ygnalaga, and long jumper Simeon Toribio.
The coordination of student activities and student organizations are handled by the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG), established in 1912 and interrupted during World War II and briefly suspended during Martial Law. Under the present set-up, the Student Government is divided into three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments. The executive power is exercised by the President with the assistance of the Cabinet. The Cabinet is composed of the President, Vice President and the respective heads of the Executive Committee who are appointed by the President. The legislative power of the SUSG is vested in the Student Assembly. It is composed of elected representatives of the different schools and colleges. The Judiciary exercises judicial power. It is composed of the Prime Justice, who must be a junior Law student, and six other justices appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Committee on Appointments. Election of Student Government officers are held before the close of the academic year. Political campaigns or rallies may be held after securing the necessary permits. Political campaigns in the University are characterized by rallies in the Amphitheater, classroom-to-classroom speaking engagements, and dorm-to-dorm campaigns.
Currently, there are two student political parties in the university, the Students' Union for Reforms (SURE) Party and the Concerted Action for the Upliftment of Student Endeavors (CAUSE) Party, established in 1980 and 1981, respectively.
The incumbent SUSG officials are Mr. Gil Buenavista, President; Mr. Cedrick Louis Antiquina, Vice-President; Ms. April Rains Maramara, Speaker of the Student Assembly.
Their term expires by the summer of 2017, as soon as new officials take their Oath of Office.
The Student Government and the existing political parties, unlike other university Student Governments/Councils, does not adhere to any political ideology and instead, focuses on the importance of volunteerism.
The Student Government is under the supervision and oversight of the Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD). However, it maintains full independence from the university administration when it comes to decision-making.
Numerous student organizations are registered in the University. Some are regional societies organized to promote fellowship among students from particular geographical areas. There are service clubs such as fraternities and sororities which carry out, as part of their activities, projects on campus and in the community. Others are identified with particular academic disciplines such as physics, chemistry, and mathematics known as course-related organizations, and still others belong to the special or interest groups. The supervision and coordination of student organizations are undertaken by the Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD) together with the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG).
Student publications include the Weekly Sillimanian, one of the first weekly student newspaper in the country, with its existence dating back as early as 1903; the Portal, official yearbook, first published in 1913; the Dark Blue Southern Seas, a literary journal published in cooperation with the Department of English; the Junior Sillimanian, a publication of students from the High School Department; and the Stones and Pebbles, a publication of students from the Elementary School. In addition to the Silliman Law Journal, the College of Law in partnership with the Salonga Law Center maintains its own publication called the Purple Map, a legal discussion platform for law students which was started in 2010.
Most of these publications, particularly the Weekly Sillimanian, the Portal, Junior Sillimanian and the Stones and Pebbles are supported by the students through a publication fee; the Purple Map is maintained by way of endowments from law alumni.
Silliman operates regular and cooperative dormitories which can provide space for approximately 800 students. These dormitories are named after Philippine trees, flowers, and significant historical figures of the university. The University categorizes these dormitories as either regular or cooperative. Of the first type, housekeeping is generally maintained by a dorm staff and meals are supervised by the University's Food Services. There are six regular dormitories (four for women and two for men) and seven cooperative dormitories (four for women and three for men). The regular dormitories for women are Edith Carson, Ethel Chapman, Larena and the Woodward Hall. For men, the regular dormitories are the Vernon Hall (formerly New Men's Dormitory) and Doltz Hall.
The second type of dormitories are the cooperative dormitories. In these dormitories, residents undertake the housekeeping and planning of the food. With the exception of Channon Hall, cooperative dormitories for women are named after flowers like Azucena, Rosal, and Sampaguita. For men, the dormitories are named after trees like Ipil, Molave, and Narra.
In addition to the foregoing, the university maintains a number of cottages for members of its faculty and staff as well as for guests and visiting alumni.
Presently, Silliman has forty duly organized and recognized alumni chapters throughout the world. Five of these are based in the U.S and Canada. Notable alumni of the university include Carlos P. Garcia, 8th President of the Philippines;, Senators Robert Barbers, Lorenzo Teves, and the Great Filibuster Roseller Lim;, House Speaker Cornelio Villareal;, John Gokongwei, Sr., a Philippine business magnate;, Frederick Dael, former CEO and President of Pepsi Cola Asia Pacific, and former CEO of Islacom;, William Torres, "Father of Philippine Internet" and co-founder of Mozaic Corporation;, Vicente Sinco, one of the signatories of the UN Charter in 1945, the 8th President of the University of the Philippines, and founder of Foundation University;, MacArthur Corsino, former Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba;, Antonio P. Villamor, Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia;, Juanita Amatong, former Secretary of the Department of Finance and first woman executive director in the World Bank Group from the Philippines;, Angel Alcala, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Public Service and former Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Leonor M. Briones, former National Treasurer of the Republic of the Philippines;, Emilio Macias II, former Governor of Negros Oriental;, Efren N. Padilla, Executive Director, Center for Filipino Studies California State University, East Bay;, Jose Andrada, first commanding officer of the Philippine Navy (formerly Off Shore Patrol) under the Philippine Commonwealth in 1939 and after whom the Headquarters of the Philippine Navy is now named;, Edith L. Tiempo, National Artist for Literature (1999);, Edilberto K. Tiempo, Filipino writer, professor and founder of the Silliman National Writers Workshop., Eddie S. Romero, National Artist for Cinema and Broadcast Arts (2003);, Leoncio P. Deriada, Palanca Awards Hall of Famer;, César Ruiz Aquino, Filipino poet and fictionist;, Simeon Toribio, one of few Filipinos who won medals in the history of world Olympics.
Sillimanians have also excelled in the field of journalism such as Claire Delfin of GMA Network and Ina Reformina of ABS-CBN; while there are those who entered showbusiness such as Bret Jackson and Beauty Gonzalez.
Angel Alcala, National Scientist.
Eddie Romero, Film director and National Artist.
Roseller Lim, Senator of the Philippines.
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