Through the years, one sees how talented and motivated Lasallians acted on their ideas and dreams. They were more than willing to follow the vision of our beloved Founder—teaching minds and touching hearts.

Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts: A Hundred Years of Lasallian Education

ollowing the footsteps of St. John Baptist De La Salle, the 17th century priest who developed the classroom method of teaching, is a daunting task. But follow we did because, as Lasallians, we have experienced first-hand how empowering and transformative quality education can be. With such a heritage behind us, De La Salle University-Manila is setting trends in Philippine tertiary education.

Since 1911 when the Brothers of the Christian Schools opened the first La Salle school in Paco, Manila, the institution has evolved and developed steadily, meeting the intellectual and spiritual needs of the Filipino youth, while at the same time, fulfilling its vital role in national development. By the time it made 2401 Taft Avenue its home in 1921, the school the Brothers built was known as De La Salle College.

In 1957, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Commerce underwent their first Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) formal survey. At the height of socio-political upheaval in 1973, De La Salle College opened its doors to 38 female students, turning coeducational almost overnight. Two years later, the College was granted university status—a fitting acknowledgement for its important contributions to Philippine private education.

Always driven by the pioneering spirit of its Founder, De La Salle University in 1981 made the radical switch from the traditional semestral schedule to a year-round trimestral calendar. The year 1987 ushered the birth of the DLSU System, composed of DLSU-Manila, DLS-Zobel, DLSU-Dasmariñas, DLSU-Health Sciences Campus, and DLSU-College of St. Benilde. In 1996, the College of Computer Studies, the Graduate School of Business, and the Information Technology Center formed a formidable triad known as the DLSU Professional Schools, Inc. The DLSU System Schools welcomed the newest member school, DLSU-Canlubang, in 1999.

Entering the 21st century, the University continues to mold its students into leaders equipped with the spirit to excel. Backed by distinguished faculty, the University provides a sound Lasallian education through multi-disciplinary orientation and technical expertise. It also created an ideal environment for both teacher and student. Ever seeking new in-roads to quality education, La Salle invested its resources on synthesizing formal education with information technology. For instance, the University became the first in the country to have an intelligent classroom equipped with the online merging of classes from different parts of the world through video conferencing. This will give the students the unique experience of working together with their counterparts abroad, learning about business, technology, and other cultures.

While the University has grown, its vision is the same as it was more than 90 years ago. It remains committed to make Lasallian education empowering and transformative to the youth and to our needy brethren. The Centennial Fund Campaign will be launched on November 29 which will culminate in 2011, the 100th year of Lasallian education in the Philippines. Through the activity, the University aims to raise more funds for student scholarships, faculty development and research, and community service. It also seeks to diversify the endowments received—through Professorial Chairs, Special Purpose Endowment Funds, Scholarship Endowment Funds, and Research Project Endowments.

Through the years, one sees how talented and motivated Lasallians acted on their ideas and dreams. They were more than willing to follow the vision of our beloved Founder—teaching minds and touching hearts. Through our own brand of education, we have enabled others to fully utilize their talents and capabilities. Our mission, simply put, is to provide Lasallian education to those who are entrusted to our care—the youth and the poor brethren.

Then and now, may this Lasallian spirit of zeal and innovation be our uniting force.