Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ecija’s oldest private university turns 68

CABANATUAN CITY – Nueva Ecija’s first-ever private university has turned 68th, surviving through roller-coaster years, including a turbulent past year which saw a sitting president taking an indefinite leave of absence amid graft allegations.
          The Methodist-run Wesleyan University of the Philippines observed its 68th founding anniversary at its Main Campus along Mabini Extension through a six-day festivity which kicked off last February 10 with a thanksgiving and worship service, motorcade, film showing and the opening of college booths and tiangge.
          WUP president Pacifico Aniag said this year’s anniversary rites, which have as its theme : “Sustaining Excellence at 68,” were also marked by medical and dental mission, blood-letting, the “my teacher and I got talent” competitions, jingle and digital photography competitions, the search for Mr. and Miss Wesleyan 2014, beach volleyball tournament, sportsfest, the Run for Kids 2014 fun run and the Grand Alumni homecoming Saturday.
          Aniag, a former three-term provincial board member of Bulacan, said this year’s festivities represent a high-water mark for the university which has been offering high-quality education for the past 68 years.
He said WUP has become synonymous with lofty academic standards, broad course offerings, highly competent faculty and personnel, wide range of facilities and excellent record of community service.
          Described as a non-stock, non-profit, Methodist-related but non-sectarian institution, WUP started in 1946 as the Philippine Wesleyan College (PWC) after it was founded by a group of Methodist religious and lay persons who saw the need to provide Novo Ecijanos the opportunity to receive college education without going to Manila.
          In 1978, it was granted university status and renamed WUP, in the process becoming the first private university in the province in recognition of its role as a credible institution of higher learning in the province.
          In 2009, WUP was given a five-year autonomous status by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched), thus, becoming the first and only autonomous private university in the province. With the accolade, WUP also joined the elite list of best private universities in the country.
The festivities also came at a time when the university was on a transition from a potential leadership crisis owing to a power struggle involving factions loyal to his predecessor and the Board of Trustees (BOT).
          Aniag’s predecessor was facing corruption allegations and was given a graceful exit by the BOT by allowing him to go on an indefinite leave. The Board later named Aniag as new president to steer the school to new heights.
          Aniag said the school has gone a long way, with its student population now at 8,200. Of these, some 5,700 are college students while 1,500 are primary and secondary students. It also has 1,000 students at its extension campus in Maria Aurora, Aurora.
          Aniag said the students from the Cushman campus have been availing of the school’s state-of-the-art facilities that include the university hospital, library, auditorium and chapel, computer center, radio station, function hall, food court, the Wesley Park and Plaza Acacia among others.   
          WUP has eight colleges offering 17 baccalaureate degrees. The colleges are arts and sciences, business and accountancy, education, engineering, computer studies, criminal justice education, hotel restaurant and institution management and nursing and allied medical sciences.
          These colleges offer bachelor of science degrees in arts, accountancy, accounting technology, business administration, secondary education, elementary education, social work, electronics engineering, computer engineering, information technology, criminology, hotel and restaurant management, tourism management, nursing, physical therapy, medical technology and radiation technology.
          It also hands over a diploma for midwifery courses.
          For its graduate school, WUP has a doctorate degree in education and business administration and masteral degrees in education, sociology, business administration, nursing and criminal justice education. – Manny Galvez 

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