Foundation University (then Foundation College) marks its 70th year of existence today, July 4. The University bears the vision of its founder, Dr. Vicente G. Sinco, a passionate NegOrense in the field of public service and academia.
In retrospect, Foundation College was inaugurated, to provide equal access to education in Negros Oriental and nearby provinces and islands on July 4, 1949. From rented quarters located along Calle Alfonso XIII and San Jose St., the University now has two main campuses in Dumaguete along Miciano Road and Locsin St., and three satellite campuses in Tanjay City and Amlan which is home to the demonstration farms. From one graduate in September 1950, Foundation University is now home to around 3,000 students from kindergarten to postgraduate studies. The Department of Education granted the institution the University status in 1969.
The University was founded in the ideals of Dr. Sinco who had the goal of establishing a school with programs that are geared towards national development as the country was still at the brink of recovery from the second world war. He envisioned graduates who are nationalistic and ready to serve for the development of the nation, through their individual fields of specialties. The then Foundation College began as a school for those who are economically-underprivileged but mentally-capable individuals.
Dr. Sinco served as the Dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law and later on, was elected as the 8th President of the University of the Philippines. His achievement include being one the signatories of the United Nations Charter and he organized and served as the first commissioner of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Celebrating 70 Incredible Years
The current President, Victor Vicente “Dean” G. Sinco, grandson of Dr. Sinco from his son Leandro, described the celebration of Foundation University’s 70th founding anniversary as a source of pride because the institution has come a long way, far beyond the recovery period.
At a press conference this year, President Dean shared that the institution was almost to be sold to another Manila-based school system due to bankruptcy in the late 90s but his father, Leandro decided to takeover and continue to legacy of the founder.
For him who has been with the institution for 20 years now, President Dean sees every celebration as something of great significance.
“The 50th was our road to recovery, the 60th was the enforcement of former decade filled with countless efforts spent to better the school’s system and the 70th signifies that we are now beyond recovery,” said President Dean.
He also elaborated that during the 50th to the 60th year, the University had to undergo physical changes. While from 60th to the 70th year, the University’s focus was more on the academic reforms.
“It’s not necessary to be at par with other universities and institutions,” added President Dean, “as Foundation University assessed its problems and is continually working on it.”
He sees Foundation University as a fully-working institution and a fount of knowledge – enough knowledge to formulate solutions to one’s particular set of problems. And the main reason for not wanting to emulate or compare with the other institutions of higher learning, he is confident of Foundation University’s thrust of producing graduates who are knowledgeable in their specific fields of work.
Referring to one of the most successful programs in the University, President Dean describes the iPad as a gateway to knowledge and not as a mere electronic version of the books, as others would perceive.
For almost a decade now, the iPad program has been running successfully at Foundation Preparatory Academy (FPA) – the basic education arm of the institution. From Grade 4 until senior high school, the students utilize the iPad as a tool for learning. At FPA, classrooms are air-conditioned, 100% multimedia-equipped and complete with WIFI access.
With the emergence of Outcomes-Based Education, President Dean also mentioned of the Estudio Damgo, the first design-build program in the country, housed at the Department of Architecture and Fine Arts.
Every year, 5th year architecture students are tasked to design, build and fund their own thesis project which will respond to the needs in the community. Now on its 7th installation, the bamboo structure in Dauin is set to be inaugurated and turned-over by Saturday, July 6 through a formal ceremony.
Also, President Dean mentioned about the latest update for the College of Business Administration’s offering of Bloomberg special courses and professional certificates.
According to the President, this venture responds to how the corporations around the world are doing with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) programming. The main purpose is data security aside from keeping up with the business trends in the global scale.
Importing a cheer from Hawaii, “Chehoo!” President Dean expressed his pride for the celebration of the 70th year of Foundation University starting this July until December, culminating with the Kasadyaan Festival.
Foundation University, for President Dean, has done so much innovations over the years in order to effect change in the academic landscape in this part of the country and to assist continually in nation-building by producing work-capable and knowledgeable graduates.