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Ateneo de Naga University

The Ateneo de Naga University (AdNU) is a private research university run by the Society of Jesus in Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines. It was established in 1940, the fourth school named Ateneo opened in the Philippines by the Jesuits. Typical of universities in the Philippines, AdNU has primary (since 2014) and secondary levels, which are all coeducational.

Ateneo de Naga University
Pamantasang Ateneo de Naga
Latin: Universitas Athenaea Nagaensis
Former names
Camarines Sur Catholic Academy (1935-1939)
Ateneo de Naga
MottoPrimum Regnum Dei (Latin)
Motto in English
First, the Kingdom of God
TypePrivate Roman Catholic research university
Non-profit Coeducational
Higher education institution
Established1940; 79 years ago (1940)
FounderSociety of Jesus (Jesuits)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Academic affiliations
ChairmanAtty. Avelino Sales, Jr.
PresidentGorgonio Procopito
Vice-presidentAntonito Bagalbal (Vice President for Higher Education)
Batman (Vice President for Basic Education)
DeanDigna P. Alba
(College of Humanities & Social Sciences)
Christopher Abelinde
( College of Business & Accountancy)
Marlinda S. Regondola
( College of Computer Studies)
Tony Stark
( College of Science & Engineering)
Maria Luz Badiola
( College of Education)
Delia B. Oco
( College of Nursing)
Michael Cuesta
(Graduate School)
PrincipalRonald S.P. Elicay
(Senior High School)
Angelo A. Silerio
(Junior High School)
Honesto S. Bermudo III
(Grade School)
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students186 (Grade School)
1,500 (High School)
6,000 (Undergraduates)
7686 Total
Ateneo Avenue
, , ,
CampusBagumbayan Sur, Naga City (College)
Bonoan Annex, Pacol, Naga City
(Grade School & High School)
Marching Song"The Regnum Dei"
Patron SaintSt. Francis Xavier
ColorsBlue      and      Gold
Sporting affiliations
Naga City Inter-Collegiate Basketball League
Catholic Educational Association of Caceres and Libmanan (CEACAL)
Sportsbasketball, volleyball, football, badminton, swimming, tennis
MascotGolden Knight
Website University High School


Early historyEdit

The Ateneo de Naga University was established in 1940 when American Jesuits took over the Camarines Sur Catholic Academy, a small private school under the supervision of the Diocese of Nueva Caceres, at the invitation of the bishop. On May 2, 1940, the Jesuits changed the name of the school to Ateneo de Naga. During its first year of operation, it included intermediate grades 4-6 of elementary school. In 1941, however, the elementary school students were transferred to the nearby school run by the Daughters of Charity, and the Ateneo became an all-boys high school. It was only in June 2014 when AdNU reopened its elementary department when it accepted students for Grades 1-3. The college department opened with 20 male students on June 5, 1947. Six years later, on October 26, 1953, the college became coeducational with the admission of five female students.[1]

Recent historyEdit

The Graduate School, which had a brief existence in the 1970s, was revived in 1993. In 1997 the Ateneo expanded into four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Commerce, Education, and Information Technology and Engineering. In 2001, a College of Computer Studies was established.

University statusEdit

The Ateneo de Naga was granted university status by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on November 11, 1998. The inauguration as a university was held February 20, 1999. Raul Bonoan, S.J., was installed as the first university president.


From 1947 to 2003, the college and high school were on the same campus. The Bagumbayan campus became crowded when AdNU became a university. Student population grew as the university added more undergraduate programs and built more buildings. In the early 2000s, land in Barangay Pacol, Naga City, was donated to AdNU. This property became the new home of the high school in the summer of 2003. The same year, the high school became coeducational with the enrollment of 185 female students.

Up to the year 2013, Ateneo de Naga was the only Ateneo without a grade school. On June 4, 2014, AdNU opened its grade school at the Bonoan campus in Barangay Pacol, Naga City. Grades one to three were begun at a high school building while the new grade school building was being constructed. The kindergarten facility (the Ateneo Child Learning Center) on the Pacol campus began operation in school year 2014-15.

It was announced that the university is opening a law school starting in the first semester of school year 2017-2018. The new college of law offers a four-year program leading to a Juris Doctor (JD) degree.

Undergraduate programsEdit

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Business and Accountancy
  • College of Computer Studies
  • College of Education
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • College of Nursing

School sealEdit

The Ateneo de Naga seal is similar to the seals of four other Ateneos. It is circular and the school motto in Latin is on top of the circle with the name of the school at the bottom of the circle.

At the center of the Ateneo de Naga university seal is the escutcheon of the family of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus. The shield is divided vertically. The right panel shows two wolves on the sides of a hanging cauldron. The design symbolizes the hospitality and generosity of the Loyola family. On the left panel, symbolizing nobility and heroism are seven red bars on a field of gold, honoring the seven heroes of the family who distinguished themselves in the battle of Beotibar in 1321. The shield is part of the seal of many Jesuit schools in the world with which the Ateneo shares a 400-year tradition of Jesuit liberal education.

Immediately above the Loyola escutcheon is a gold crown of Mary, Mother of God, who under the title of Our Lady of Peñafrancia is the patroness of Bicol. Over Mary's crown shines the sun, symbol of Christ. On its face is the seal of the Society of Jesus in calligraphic form: the first three letters in Greek of the Holy Name of Jesus (IHS) with the cross on top and the nails of his sacred Passion underneath. The sun's rays shine over Mary's crown, the Loyola shield, and the six stars and beyond. The Sun, symbol of Christ, truth and life, shines over Mary, Ateneo, Bicol, and the world.

Arranged in a semi-circle under the shield are six gold stars representing the six provinces of Bicol Region: Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes, and Masbate.[2]

School mottoEdit

The school motto in Latin, "Primum Regnum Dei", means "First the Kingdom of God" from Matthew 6:33: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice and all things shall be added unto you".[3]

School nameEdit

The name Ateneo is the Spanish form of Athenæum, which the Dictionary of Classical Antiquities defines as the name of "the first educational institution in Rome" where "rhetoricians and poets held their recitations." Hadrian’s school drew its name from a Greek temple dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom. The said temple, according to the Encyclopædia Britannica, was where "poets and men of learning were accustomed to meet and read their productions." Athenæum is also used in reference to schools and literary clubs. The closest English translation is academy, referring to institutions of secondary learning.

The Ateneo de Naga is not the only Jesuit school that the Jesuits named Ateneo. The Society of Jesus in the Philippines has established 16 schools all over the Philippines since 1590 and named nine of them Ateneo. Ateneo de Naga was the fourth school named Ateneo. Over the years, the name "Ateneo" has been recognized as the official title of Jesuit institutions of higher learning in the Philippines and synonymous with academic excellence.

Jesuits honoredEdit

The following Jesuits have a building named after them, to honor their services.

  • John Joseph Phelan, S.J., science building – for his 40-plus years service.
  • James J. O'Brien, S.J., library – for his long years of service.
  • Francis D. Burns, S.J.. academic building – first rector, helped establish AdNU, 1940.[4]
  • Fr. Raul Bonoan, S.J., Pacol campus and building on Bagumbayan campus – first president.
  • Michael Rooney, S.J., high school building – guidance director, Jesuit Superior of Philippines.[5]
  • Pedro Arrupe, S.J., convention hall – world-renowned Jesuit, Superior General 1965–83: coined "men and women for others" and gave social justice thrust to contemporary Jesuit education.[6]
  • Richard M. Fernando, S.J., conference hall – sacrificed his life to protect Cambodian students.[7]
  • Francis Xavier, S.J., student organization building – patron saint of the university.


In 2001, Ateneo de Naga was among the first 22 private, higher education institutions granted by CHED deregulated status for five years. At the same time CHED recognized its colleges. In 2007, CHED re-designated the College of Computer Studies as a Center for Development for Excellence in Information Technology Education and designated the College of Commerce as Center of Development in Business Administration and also in Entrepreneurship. In 2007 CHED identified the Graduate School as a delivering institution for its Faculty Development Program. On June 2, 2008 CHED granted Ateneo de Naga autonomous status and approved the designation of the College of Education as a Center of Excellence in Teacher Education.[citation needed]


On May 25, 2009, the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) granted institutional accreditation status to Ateneo de Naga, a first for a private educational institution.[8] The Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP) certified AdNU's institutional accreditation on June 22, 2009.

University pressEdit

Since 2005 the Ateneo has a publishing house for university research work and for outside manuscripts. While its daily operations are managed by the university press director, all publications receive final approval of the university president, upon the recommendation of the University Press Board.[9]

Student publicationEdit

The official tertiary student publication of the university is The Pillars which was founded in 1961.[10] The senior high school student publication is Kurit Bulawan while the junior high school student publication is The Blue and Gold.

Notable alumniEdit



  1. ^ "University". Archived from the original on 2013-09-04.
  2. ^ "University seal". Archived from the original on 2013-11-04.
  3. ^ "Ateneo de Naga University | Ranking & Review". Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  4. ^ "Google". Archived from the original on 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  5. ^ Rooney
  6. ^ user1. "Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)". Ignatian Spirituality. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  7. ^ "Richie Fernando SJ | walk the way". Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  8. ^ "The City of Naga [الأرشيف] - أرافيل:كل شئ عن الفلبين والعرب فى الفلبين". (in Arabic). Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  9. ^ Team, i-Governance. "Ateneo de Naga opens university press with launching of 2 Bikol books «  Dagos po sa Maogmang Naga". Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  10. ^ Team, i-Governance. "Book Launchings, Art Exhibit in Ateneo «  Dagos po sa Maogmang Naga". Retrieved 2017-10-01.