Opinions75 years of Students Services

75 years of Students Services


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“…to record the history of each of these institutions that the fruits of their experience may be garnered while those who know their work intimately are able to put down the story…. ” Henry P. Van Dusen of the Union Theological Seminary


In 1947, the Silliman University Student Government was established. This is the very first one after the war; Dean of Men William R. Hamme was assigned as their adviser.

By 1949, all activities for students were placed under a new heading, The Student Personnel, as approved at the Trustee Meeting in April. With the Dean of Men Dr. Hamme and Dean of Women Mrs. Genoveva Bernardez followed as coordinators. Their offices was previously headed by Mrs. Mary Winterheimer who served as the first dean starting in 1938.

On its first year as the Student Personnel Office, new international students were welcomed as part of the growing Silliman international community: seven from Thailand and an Indonesian scholar of the US 13th Air Force. The biggest group of international students were the resident Chinese students from all over the Philippines.

In 1951, the Dormitory Management & Maintenance unit was under Julian Demerre Sr. His leadership led to the opening of three dormitories in 1953.  These dorms for men were built at the north end of the old athletic field (now named Ravello Field) and were dedicated on Founders Day: the adjoining dormitories are named Woodward, Larena, and Doltz — in remembrance of the pioneers of Silliman Institute: Rev. Frank Woodward of the Congregational Mission in Mindanao, Gov. Demetrio Larena, our welcoming father, and Rev. Paul Doltz, the first pastor of the Silliman Student Church.

Alumni of these dormitories are now preparing for their grand homecoming in 2028 for their diamond year celebration.

Towards the closing of the school year of 1959-1960, Silliman established the annual co-curricular awards with Esperidion Ga. Heceta Jr. as Most Outstanding Student.

The visit of Dr. Arthur L. Carson, Silliman University’s third president (1939-1953), and his wife Edith in 1968 led to the birth of Edith Carson Hall, the biggest dormitory for women, in 1973.

Dr. Quintin Doromal, sixth President of Silliman, worked with Atty. Mercedes E. Gomez who became dean of Student Welfare in 1975. They worked on the establishment of 43 endowment scholarships. They expressed much gratitude to the generous alumni and friends of the University.

In 1980, students added avenues for leadership through the Dormitory Religious Life Council as organized by Silliman Church and  the Dormitory Youth Dynamic Council that was created by the Student Personnel Office.

The Advent Parade, the packed All-Dormitory Acquaintance Fellowship, the Choral Competitions, and Sportsfest were all managed by dorm residents through the Dorm Youth Dynamic Council.

In 1995, the Student Union for Reforms (SURE) reached nine straight years as the ruling political party, with the election of Myrish T. Cadapan as SG president.

As gifts to Silliman University’s 100th birthday in 2001, buildings were constructed. Among these were dormitories built and blessed in 2000: the New Men’s Dorm and the Visiting Professors’ Pads which included the new Cafeteria kitchen, and dining hall. Both buildings were renamed Vernon Hall, in honor of the Founder of Galilean Fellowship; and the Pulido Pads, in honor of former President Agustin A. Pulido in 2010.

In 2007, with Dr. Edna Gladys Teves-Calingacion as dean of Students, Silliman University was recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as the institution with Best Practices in Student Services.

In the school year 2024-25, the unopposed Sabrina Ysabelle C. Ledesma, and Luke Timothy R. Burbano will lead the studentry as SG president and vice president, respectively.

They just placed the Concerted Action for the Upliftment of Students’ Endeavors (CAUSE) as the leading campus political party, garnering the greatest number of elected officials in the history of SUSG.

In celebration of the Diamond Year of Student Services this year with the theme ANKLA: Assembling Networks for Knowledge of Leadership Action, Silliman University aims to go beyond the portals in reach.

As the leading Christian institution in Asia, Silliman is welcoming networks of student leaders and student services practitioners within and beyond the Philippine archipelago with international programs that are more inclusive like Zeitgeist 2024 – celebrating student potentials with much respect to the global culture colors.


Author’s email: [email protected]







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