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Silliman University
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Silliman University

Address : Hibbard Avenue , Dumaguete City , Negros Oriental
Phone : +63 (35) 422 6002
Fax : +63 (35) 4227194
Zip Code : 6200 

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Silliman University

Motto: Via, Veritas, Vita
Motto in English: "The Way, the Truth, and the Life"
Established: 1901
Type: Private, (Protestant) Presbyterian University
Religious affiliation: United Church of Christ in the Philippines,Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia
President: Ben S. Malayang III
Staff: 500
Students: 8,400
Location: Dumaguete City, Oriental Negros, Philippines
Campus: Urban
Colors: Red and white         
Nickname: Stallions and Mares
Affiliations: Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia

Silliman University is a Christian institution of higher education located in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines. It was the first Protestant school founded in the Philippines and the oldest American-based university in Asia. The university holds the distinction of being one of the 30 private higher education institutions in the Philippines that have been granted autonomy by the Commission on Higher Education.[citation needed]



In 1899, Dr. Silliman, a retired businessman of the town of Cohoes in New York State, appeared at the office of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions with the conviction to help shape up Philippine education. To support his vision, he contributed the initial sum of $10,000 toward the founding of an industrial school using the Hampton Institute of Virginia model.

The mission in the Philippines started with Dr. David Sutherland Hibbard and wife, Laura, commissioned to head it. Three areas were considered: Cebu, Zamboanga and Iloilo. But eventually they settled in Dumaguete.[1]

Silliman University was founded on August 28, 1901, making it the oldest American university in Asia.[1] Originally named Silliman Institute, an elementary school, it was established by Protestant missionaries of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

The school began with 15 male students,[1] four long desks, two tables, and two chairs with the help of Meliton Larena the first town mayor of Dumaguete & Hon Demetrio Larena. The First President of the University, David Sutherland Hibbard of Lyndon, Kansas. He has a statue in front of the CAP Building, Rizal Boulevard, Dumaguete. The first faculty was the Reverend Hibbard and his wife Laura. From 1901 to 1912, it was a boys school. In 1910, Silliman was given the right to confer degrees. In 1912, girls were admitted for the first time. In 1938, Silliman became a university, the first school outside of Manila to be granted university status.[1]


Silliman Hall is a landmark of Dumaguete City, and an example of American architecture found in many of the college's buildings.
Silliman University Church

Silliman has a main campus near the center of Dumaguete City, dotted by large acacia trees. The campus has a land area of 61 hectares (the Hibbard Avenue main campus is 33 hectares and the Marine Lab & College of Agriculture are 29 hectares) adjacent to and intermixed with the city's downtown district.. It faces the sea to the east and its gates are flanked by the portals which are now symbols of the university.

Dumaguete has earned the distinction of being known as "the center of learning in the south," or a "university town" due to the presence of these universities that have made their mark nationally and abroad. The city has become a melting pot of students, professionals, artists, scholars and the literati coming from different parts of the country and the world.[citation needed]


The university confers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in 13 schools and colleges:

  • College of Agriculture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • School of Public Affairs and Governance
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering and Design
  • College of Computer Studies
  • College of Law
  • College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences
  • College of Performing Arts
  • Divinity School
  • College of Mass Communication
  • Medical School
  (Basic Education)
  • High School
  • Elementary
  • Early Childhood


The University Press primarily serves the university and the Silliman community. It also accepts orders for personalized letterheads, printed envelopes, birthday cards and/or invitations, souvenir programs, posters, certificates, binding of magazines and manuscripts, and repair of old books.

Guidance and testing

The guidance and counseling program at Silliman complements the instructional program and is geared towards fulfilling the academic, psychological or personal needs of students.

This unit of the Office of Student Affairs adopts the centralized set-up but a qualified counselor is assigned and holds office in each of the University’s academic unit. The GTD head who holds office at the Guidance Center coordinates and supervises all activities.


The Silliman University Library caters mainly to the book needs of its faculty, staff and students, with a seating capacity of 490 readers at any given time. The Main Library holds over 200,000 volume of books, with enough space to accommodate 400,000 more. It also subscribes to 500 periodicals. Some courses provide instruction in the location of books and publications for research and other school work. Instructions on how to search for library materials through the On-Line Public Access Catalogue are posted at computer stations outside the CyberLibrary. Students pay a semestral fee for Internet through the CyberLibrary.


The Anthropology Museum houses contemporary ethnographic materials and archaeological artifacts. The collection were acquired through fieldworks, excavations, purchases or donations from the students, alumni, faculty, missionaries and other individuals who are friends of Silliman University.

The exhibits on the first three galleries are those which have been collected from known cultural or ethnic groups all over the country. These artifacts include basketry, agricultural and aquatic tools, weapons, clothing and ornaments as well as musical instruments. These are displayed according to two general parameters – the type of social organization (incipient, tribal or sultanate) and the type of economic subsistence (hunting, and gathering, marginal agriculture or farming) under which ethnic group is categorized.

The archaeological artifacts on exhibit in the last four galleries are those which have been excavated from the different parts of Negros Island and the highlands of Cotabato. The collection includes the different mortuary vessels and urns which were used by prehistoric Filipinos for burying their dead.

Student life

Medical Care

Student automatically becomes a member of the Silliman Medical Care Plan. The Silliman University Medical Center Foundation, Inc. is a hospital located on campus, with comprehensive services available to students at all times.


Silliman an athletics program with a Gymnasium, Ballfield, Swimming Pool, Basketball Court, Volleyball/Badminton Court, Tennis Court, and Archery Range


The Silliman University Church is a member of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. Its services are ecumenical and attendance is open to all.

Cultural Affairs Committee

In 1905, the Cultural Affairs Committee was founded. Every week, there is always a concert, a literary workshop or poetry reading, a play, a dance, an exhibit, a film showing, or some other cultural activity taking place in a number of exhibition halls and performance spaces within its campus. The Committee continues its mission by exposing students to all the arts—with a subsidized fee, perhaps the most generous of its kind in the country, allowing students and the Dumaguete community to see cultural presentations, join in the lectures, and view art exhibits by such national companies as Ballet Philippines, the Manila Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Manila, Dulaang U.P., the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, the Bayanihan National Dance Company, the Ramon Obusan National Dance Company, the New Voice Company, and others. The Committee functions to help promote Philippine culture by especially promoting Filipino artists, and to screen or audition University performing groups who wish to perform outside and inside of the university.


These activities vary from student organizations to student publications, and from dramatics and music to athletic groups.


The Weekly Sillimanian is one of the first weekly student papers in the country. Its creative outlet is the semestral Silliman Magazine. The high school department puts out the Junior Sillimanian. The Sands and Coral, a literary journal, is published with the cooperation of the Department of English and Literature. Portal is the yearbook of the graduating class.

Key positions in these publications carry honoraria and are available to all students through competitive examinations. These publications are supported by the students through a publication fee.

Residence life

Silliman operations regular and cooperative dormitories. These dormitories provide space for approximately 800 students.

Regular dormitories

There are four regular dormitories for women and three for men. Lodging in the regular dormitories is payable at the Student Personnel Office. Fixed board is paid two months in advance at the University Business and Finance. There is also a regular dormitory for high school girls. High school boys are accommodated on one floor at Doltz Hall.


• Edith Carson Hall • Ethel Chapman Hall • Larena Hall • Woodward Hall


• New Men’s Dorm • Doltz Hall • Occidental Hall

Cooperative dormitories

There are three cooperative dormitories for women and three cooperative dormitories for men on the main campus. The residents undertake housekeeping and the planning of the food. The adviser is authorized to collect the board money, which is payable two months in advance, and other incidental fees prescribed by the Office of Student Affairs. Lodging is paid at the Office of Student Affairs.


• Azucena Cottage • Rosal Cottage • Sampaguita Cottage


• Ipil Cottage • Molave Cottage • Narra Cottage

Food services

Aside from the main University Cafeteria, dining services are available at some dormitories. These dining halls are under the supervision of the University Food Services.

Post office

The Silliman Post Office is a mail distribution center located at the ground floor of the Hibbard Hall. Private boxes are for rent.

Notable persons

  • Carlos P. Garcia
  • Edith L. Tiempo
  • Edilberto K. Tiempo
  • Eddie S. Romero
  • César Ruiz Aquino

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d Silliman University History. Silliman University Official Website. February 11, 2009.
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