History of St. Michael's College
Classes were opened in what may be considered as Grades 1 and 2 only for boys. English was taught in the morning and Spanish in the afternoon.
In May, 1915, three (3) Sisters of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM), namely, M. Ma. Micaela Cuenca, RVM, the Mother Superior, Principal M. Ma. Lorenza Tabiliran, RVM and M. Ma. Emerenciana Garcia, RVM arrived in Iligan in response to the invitation of Fr. Andueza, S.J. to assist in the administration and supervision of the school. It was in this year that the school was formally established as Escuela de San Miguel in honor of Iligan’s patron saint, Saint Michael the Archangel. Moreover, in June 1915, seven (7) grades were offered exclusively for girls. The morning session was devoted to English instructions in reading, writing and arithmetic while the afternoon session was devoted to lessons in Spanish, Religion and Labores (similar to Home Arts).
In 1917, M. Ma. Dolores Vega, RVM was appointed as principal. In the same year, Grades 1 to 4 were recognized by the government while Grades 5 to 7 were dissolved for lack of enrollment and classrooms. In the same year, a three-storey building was constructed along Agoncillo Street. It took eight (8) years, however, for the building to be finished due to the lack of funds.
With the completion of the three-storey building in 1928, Grades 5 and 6 were restored and in 1929, Grade 7 was added to the curriculum. Mo. Ma. Dolores Vega, RVM headed the school as principal until 1930.
In 1931, M. Ma. Laurencia Pacquing, RVM was appointed as Principal. During her time, the school was renamed St. Michael’s Academy. After seven (7) years, first year high school classes were opened with Mo. Ma. Marcela Ramos, RVM as the new Principal.
Due to the outbreak of the Second World War in 1941, classes were interrupted; the Sisters were dispersed; some went back to Manila while others remained in Mindanao. It was the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese that brought the Sisters back to Iligan with M. Ma. Marcela Ramos, RVM still as the Principal. It was in 1945 when classes resumed and complete secondary education was offered.
In 1949, the school had its first batch of high school graduates. In the same year, the Jesuits left Iligan, turned over the Parish to the Columban Fathers and the administration of the school was then completely led by the RVM Sisters. Mo. Ma. Marcela Ramos, RVM was then replaced by Mo. Ma. Elena Cinco, RVM as Principal. She became the first RVM Directress of the school.
In 1951, the first collegiate commencement exercise was held with S. Ma. Leoncia Taladua, RVM as the Directress.
In 1952, St. Michael’s Academy was renamed St. Michael’s College. The school became exclusive for girls in compliance with a Church directive in 1954. The boys were turned over to the Columban Fathers at the former Columban Academy (now La Salle Academy).
A big fire in 1962 brought to ashes the three-storey wooden building. Classes were temporarily held at the sister’s convent and La Salle Academy. From then on, St. Michael’s College grew by leaps and bounds.
The main campus consisting the Marian and St. Joseph Buildings, which were constructed in 1964, reflects the glow of the oldest Catholic learning institution in Iligan City.
S. Ma. Luz del Mundo, RVM became the Directress in 1969. It was during her time that the Chemical Engineering Program was added to the Collegiate Course. Within S.Y. 1970-1976, programs such as Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Junior Secretarial Course and Kindergarten School were opened. In 1971, the Graduate Education was recognized by the Government when S. Ma. Nicetas Dael, RVM sat as Directress.
Recognizing the need to upgrade the whole institution towards excellence, the three academic programs in the College Department, namely, Education, Liberal Arts and Commerce applied for PAASCU accreditation in 1984. Preliminary survey and first formal visit were conducted by the PAASCU Team in 1985 and 1987. These programs were granted formal PAASCU Accreditation in 1987. Moreover, the annex building in the Grade School campus in Brgy. San Miguel and Mother Foundress Building were also constructed in 1985 and 1987, respectively.
In December 1986, the College Community Extension Service Center in Canaway, partially funded by MISERREOR of Germany, was inaugurated and in 1987, the High School and the Elementary Departments also established CES Centers in Barangays Santiago and Bagong Silang, respectively.
In April 1987, construction began for another five-storey building which was blessed on June 5, 1988. It houses the Chapel, the College Library, Canteen, PE Court, the new Guidance Center, the offices of the Dean of Graduate School and the School Chaplain and the new Chemistry and Biology Laboratories. In 1989, the Basic Education completed PAASCU preliminary survey and was granted formal accreditation in 1990.
In January, 1990, St. Michael’s College grandly opened its Diamond Jubilee celebration with activities such as concelebrated mass, a parade, an open house, ground demonstration and others. It was simply yet meaningfully closed on December 8 of the same year with a Eucharistic celebration by the Bishop, Msgr. Fernando R. Capalla, D.D.
In School Year 1991-1992, S. Ma. Corazon M. Ricafrente, RVM opted for a change in ministry and was assigned in Betania Retreat House in Cebu City. S. Ma. Violeta H. Acosta, RVM replaced her, but stayed only for more than a month since she was appointed by the RVM General Council as the New Regional Superior for Visayas. Appointed to the vacant position was S. Ma. Anna Montilla, RVM who until then was the Superintendent of RVM schools in Southern Mindanao. S. Ma. Anna Montilla, RVM led the College to the preparation for the PAASCU team re-visit in the College Department programs, namely: Liberal Arts, Commerce-Secretarial and Teachers College-Home Economics.
In 1992 – 1993, SMC received DECS’ go signal to offer the following majors: Early Childhood Education for Teachers’ College and Entrepreneurship and Computer Science and One Year Certificate in Small Business Management for the Commerce-Secretarial Program.
In June 12, 1994, a new building for the school was blessed and the entire high school department was transferred to Tibanga Campus starting that same year. In School Year 1994 -1995, the Grade School, High School and Commerce departments were granted re-accreditation status by PAASCU.
In 1995 – 2003, S. Ma. Nora R. Joson, RVM led the school as the new SMC President. In 1996, an initial permit to operate the BS Computer Engineering, BS in Computer Science and Associate in Computer Engineering courses were granted. Furthermore, renovation of offices was done, new computer units were installed to facilitate and systematize enrollment, payment of tuition fees and requests of students’ records in the Cashier’s Office, Registrar’s Office and the President’s Office and networking for the three (3) Computer Centers and the preparation for Multimedia/Visuals for the Library became one of the administration’s priorities.
It was during the opening of School Year 1997-1998 that St. Michael’s College -Graduate School opened a Doctoral Program as a result of the tie-up between SMC and Cebu Normal University (then Cebu State College). The legality of the program was anchored on the Board of Trustees Resolution No. 42, s. 1998. The Board of Trustees Meeting was held on May 8, 1998 in Central Visayas Polytechnic State College, Dumaguete City, presided by Kate Botengan, then CHED Commissioner.
In 1998 – 2000, renovations of offices, improvements of the Library and Audio-Visual Center and the completion of the Graduate School Department building were realized. In the same year, the College, High School and Grade School Departments were re-visited by the PAASCU Team, and gratefully passed the accreditation. The College Department was given a re-accreditation status for three (3) years while the High School and Grade School Departments were given five (5) years.
Meanwhile, the institution kept improving not only in its facilities but also in the instruction and development of the faculty and staff. The majority of the faculty went for further studies, exposure and educational trips to different places in the country and abroad. Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Information Management and Management Accounting leading to BS Accountancy were added in the programs.