It was this need by their kababayans for an institution that would provide not only quality but accessible education, that led two sons of Batangas, Juan Y. Javier and Atty. Jesus Lorenzo Arguelles, to come up with the idea to form a school of their own. With the help of Rev. Fr. Vicente R. Catapang, a noted educator from Taal; Atty. Francisco G. Perez, a senior board member of the Province of Batangas; Mayor Roman L. Perez of Batangas; and Atty. Pablo C. Umali of Lipa, plans were made and resources were pooled together for the founding of the Western Philippine Colleges, which is now the University of Batangas.
The Western Philippine Colleges saw its first day of classes on April 28, 1947 in a small rented house on Rizal Avenue with a roster of 48 students. The first courses offered were Education, with Juan Javier as the Dean; Liberal Arts, headed by Atty. Francisco G. Perez as Dean; and Commerce, which was under Dean Pablo Umali. The High School and Elementary departments were also established, with Atty. Arguelles’ spouse, Flordeliza, and Ms. Gliceria Martinez who acted as principals for the respective departments.
The next few years had its challenges and changes, but all in all, they were for the good. Enrollees increased, prompting the school to expand bit by bit – a testament to the dedication of its founders. From a small house on Rizal Avenue, they moved to a humble wooden and semi-permanent building in the M.H. del Pilar campus. Now the university has grown to three campuses across Batangas City and that of Lipa. The once main campus on M.H. del Pilar (now the Elementary Department) branched out to Hilltop Campus (the new main campus which homes the High School, College Departments, Graduate School and College of Law), and Lipa City campus. In addition to this is an ongoing construction of additional building located at Sitio Lawas which will home the Junior High School students by the year 2018. Newer buildings have been constructed while the old underwent extensive renovations.
The years have seen the “changing of guards” within the university but its core philosophies of Faith in God, Love of Wisdom and Service to Fellowmen translated to Spirit, Intellect and Purpose remains. Hard work and the commitment of the people behind its operation to its core values is integral in enabling the university to continuously provide quality education to all those who enter its portals. True to its mission, the University of Batangas has created an environment that provides opportunities for students to strengthen their faith in God, boost their love of wisdom, and enhance their services to fellowmen – principles that guide the daily lives of the Brahmans.
The University has achieved academic prominence in Engineering, Business and Accountancy, Liberal Arts, Education, Allied Medical Sciences, Law, Technical Education, and Nursing so as to cope with global trends in education. Many of its graduates have grown to hold successful positions in all aspects of society not only in Batangas, but in the country and the rest of the world.
Long after its humble beginnings in 1946, the University of Batangas continues to embody the spirit behind its founding, and it expects to continue to grow and contribute to the betterment of its students, its faculty and staff, their respective families and the communities they belong to, into the 21st century and beyond.