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Ateneo de Manila Beyond 145
Ateneo de Manila Beyond 145

Ateneo in Ever Greater Service to the Nation
by Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J.

In the tradition of Ignatius' Contemplation on the Incarnation, our vision of the Ateneo of the future begins with looking at the Philippines and the world of our time. We see signs of a threatened future, of a nation at risk of breakdown. We also see signs of hope: a growing number of individuals and organizations reaching out and creating hope. Our vision then is for the Ateneo of the future to commit itself firmly on the side of hope, to be an Ateneo focused on our mission of greater service to the nation, forming strong leaders committed to the public good and creating institutions that build communities and the nation.

 

Leaders for the Future
The Ateneo has always seen itself as a school for leaders. In the face of a more competitive world and the growing needs of our country, the need for more and better leaders has become even more pressing.

There is already a more intense focus on leadership formation in the University.

Our Office for Mission and Identity and Organizational Development (OMIOD) is now focused on programs to prepare future leaders, Jesuit and lay, for the Ateneo de Manila and other Jesuit institutions.

With the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Center for Leadership and with the help of Gonzaga University's program in Leadership Studies we will do research on effective leadership in the Philippine setting and create programs for academic training and personal formation for future leaders.

Center for Student Leadership
Next year a new four-storey Center for Student Leadership will rise in the Loyola Schools. It will house most of the student organizations and bring together the offices of the formation programs in leadership skills, personal growth, spirituality, and social concern and involvement. It will be an icon of Ateneo's commitment to preparing leaders for the future.

Measuring ourselves against the best
In a world of greater international competition and a nation in ever greater need, this service demands new and higher levels of excellence. We have embarked on benchmarking with the best grade schools and high schools in Singapore. We have learned from them that their achievement is based on a commitment to solid fundamentals, to strong partnership between school and home, and to school structures that protect learning and formation time.

Ateneo teams have competed against the best in the world in international debate, in the Jessup moot court competition, in computer programming, and in choral contests. They have shown that with training and hard work we can run with the best.

We will continue to measure ourselves against the best and prepare our students to serve with excellence in an internationally competitive world.

Building institutions for national development
Through the 1970s and 1980s we spoke much of changing unjust structures. We realize today that building a better future demands as well that we build good institutions, graced structures. Among the institutions for building a better future, Ateneo has been focusing on those that build capability for the many. Among these institutions and programs are:

• Research focused on areas critical for national development
• Governance through the Ateneo School of Government
• Health through the Leaders for Health Program and the future Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health
• Basic education through the Ateneo Center for Educational Development, Pathways to Higher Education, Tulong Dunong, and teacher-training programs of the Loyola Schools
• Building homes and communities with Gawad Kalinga

Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health
The most important new school initiative is the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health to begin in school year 2007. This is in partnership with The Medical City at its new home and in the same compound through a generous donation from Meralco. It will be a School of Medicine, committed to preparing the clinician of the future by bringing together the strong academic traditions of Ateneo College and the expertise of the outstanding clinicians of The Medical City. It will also be a School of Public Health, committed to making a difference in the health needs of the majority of Filipinos. To address the pressing needs of society, the clinician will need to be a manager and a leader. The School will thus provide a dual degree of Doctor of Medicine/ Master of Management. An ambitious goal, but Ateneo believes that health for the many is central to our dream of a better future for our country.

Fine Arts
Among the newest programs in Loyola Schools are those in Fine Arts, anchored on our humanist tradition and beginning in 1999 with the programs in creative writing and theater, traditional strengths of the Ateneo. Approved in principle in 2000, the programs in Art Management and Information Design were officially launched in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Art Management takes advantage of the Ateneo Art Gallery’s substantial study collection of modern Philippine art and its tie-up with the recently renovated Ayala Museum and the Lopez museum. Information Design brings together communication theory, information management, IT and art direction and design. The Fine Arts Program is aggressively pursuing the upgrading and improvement of its facilities and studio.

Study Abroad
The Loyola Schools has embarked on innovative programs for a term of study abroad for our students. One of the first groups went to Budapest, Hungary on a program run by a French School of Management. They studied with colleagues from France and other countries in Europe and Asia. They traveled extensively to Italy, France, and Germany. For them, internationalization and multi-cultural learning are no longer just a notion, but a lived experience. We now have arrangements for our students to spend a term in universities in Europe, U.S., Japan, China, and Hong Kong.

International Partnerships and Online Learning
Internationalization and the pursuit of excellence also invite us to international partnership. The Ateneo Graduate School of Business has been partnering with Regis University in Denver in innovative management programs for working professionals. Ateneo will also be partnering with Regis in online courses beginning with management and IT. The Konrad Adenauer Center for Journalism at the Ateneo now offers an online Masters in Journalism.

The Ateneo of the future will engage in more international partnerships and online learning. We are privileged to be part of a network of 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. and over 100 Jesuit institutions of higher learning worldwide.

Love of country
Our teachers who have been going on benchmarking visits to Singapore were struck to find that in practically every class they attended, the teacher would ask the students to "Think Singapore". How can what they are teaching and learning make a difference for their country? Faculty and students who went to a China program in Beijing last spring were also much moved by the deep love of country of all whom they met. They have returned with a stronger commitment to do more, to teach and develop love of country.

The Ateneo is committed to a stronger "Think Philippines" program focused on knowing our country better and growing in a deeper love for her. In the new Araling Panlipunan series in the Grade School and High School we are committed to the teaching of Philippine geography, history, and culture that will inculcate deeper love of country.

Vision and Mission
Our vision and mission is to build leaders and institutions for the future

• Able to excel and compete in an internationalizing world
• Committed to use this excellence and competitiveness to help build a better future for our people
• Coming from spirituality and a deep love of God and our people

The Ateneo Community in service of one another and the nation
What the Ateneo de Manila is today after 145 years is the achievement of the Ateneo community through the years: Jesuits, parents, alumni and alumnae, faculty, staff, administrators, students, and friends.

Through the crises of the Philippine revolution of 1896, the fire of 1932, World War II, Edsa Uno and Edsa Dos, through the ups and downs of the Philippine economy, we always came together for one another and for the nation.

We begin our countdown today for our sesquicentennial, our 150th anniversary, in 2009.

The same spirit and sense of community will ensure an Ateneo in greater service of one another and the nation in 2009.





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