History of the Ateneo

The Ateneo de Davao is one of the nine schools in the Philippines owned and run by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The school tradition of total, harmonious formation and personal, academic excellence, product of over four centuries of educational experience of the Society since the establishment if the College of Messina in October 1548, is St. Ignatius’ legacy to the religious family he founded in 1540.

At the request of the Most Rev.Luis del Rosario, S.J., Bishop of Zamboanga, the Jesuit Fathers, under the leadership of Fr. Theodore E. Daigler, S.J., took over the St. Peter’s Parochial School and renamed it the Ateneo de Davao.

In June 1948 the Ateneo de Davao opened on a six-hectare piece of property in Matina with 71 grades 5 and 6  elementary students and 131 first, second, and third year high school students. The first high school graduation was held in March of 1950.

In 1951 the Jacinto campus was obtained through the generous support of the Most Rev. Clovis Thibault, P.M.E., Prelate of Davao. In July that same year, the college department opened with 130 students. The course offerings were: Liberal Arts, Commerce, Education, Associate in Arts, Pre-Law, Secretarial, Teacher’s Certificate.

The grade school moved to the Jacinto campus in 1951 and returned to the Matina campus in 1962. The high school moved to the Jacinto campus in 1962 and returned to the Matina campus upon completion of a two-wing, three storey building in 1967. The Ateneo de Davao High School turned co-educational in 1977 with 28 girls accepted into the freshman year. In 1977, the Ateneo de Davao gained University status with Fr.Emetrio J. Barcelon, S.J. as its first University President.

In its ardent desire to ensure quality education, Ateneo de Davao went through an accreditation process by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU). The college was first accredited in 1969, the grade school in 1974 (the first PAASCU accredited elementary school in the Visayas and Mindanao), and the high school in 1975. The Ateneo de Davao High School attained reaccreditation in 1978 and 1984. In 1990 and 1997, it attained reaccreditation with Mrs.Katie B. Delima as its Principal, the fist lay Principal of the high school (1988).

The increasing number if student population in both the grade school and the high school prompted Central Administration to build a five-storey high school complex in what used to be the school’s backfield. The high school transferred to the new building in June of 1996; its formal inauguration, however, was eld the following year on March 12, 1997. The Administration Wing houses the different administrative offices, Instructional Media Centre, St. John Berchman’s Chapel, school clinic, and the Student Development Centre. The old high schools building o 1967 was turned over to the grade school.

The school year 1999 was the creation of an integrated program of basic education from preschool to high school. To this end, Fr. Edmundo M. Martinez, S.J., University President, appointed Fr. Oscar A. Millar, S.J., Vice President for Formation and Basic Education, and Mrs. Suzette D. Aliño, Director of Basic Education and concurrent grade school Headmaster and Mrs. Gloria G. Dolar, high school Principal.

In 2001, Fr. E. Martinez, S.J., University President, initiated changes in the administrative structure with the abolition of the office of Assistant Principal doe Academic Affairs to make sure that the academic leadership be dines the prime responsibility if the Unit Head. The Principal, then, had a direct hand in all matters involving faculty and academics. To help the Unit Head in this task the positions of Executive Assistant to the Principal and the Year Level Heads were created. In addition, the Committee on Instruction was formed assist the Principal in upgrading the quality of classroom instruction through class observations / visitations. The position of Assistant Principal for Formation was created to help oversee the activities and processes aimed at the total formation of students – their attitudes, values, behaviour, and character, The creation of the Formation Cluster composed of Student Development Centre (SDC), Campus Ministry Office (CMO), Christian Life Education (CLE) Department, Sports and Student Activities was designed to intensify the Jesuit ideals of formation and tradition fo excellence.

In school years, 1999-2000 and  2000-2001, the high school added more computers for the I.T. program, upgraded the Mathematics curriculum and a consultant assisted in the training of the teachers. It was in 1999 that the high served as the locus for the Regional Science Training Centre (RSTC), the Reorientation of Instruction of Science Education (RISE), and the regional training for public school teachers among others.

Structural and academic reforms were made to rescind to the different recommendations raised by the PAASCU Re-Accreditation in February of 2002. Dr. Perla E. Funa, Dean of Arts and Sciences became Vice President for Basic Education and concurrently, the high school Principal. Moreover, Sr. Guia Jambalos, RC was appointed as the Assistant to the President for Formation.

Towards the appointment of Fr. Anthony C Pabayo, S.J. as the Principal of 2006, the school focused not eh three C’s namely: character formation, community-building and the challenge to be a better Ateneo. With these thrusts, several changes were implemented. An Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs, the Sports Coordinator, the Assistant Prefect of Student Affairs, and the ICT (Information  and Communication Technology) Coordinator were appointed. Technology and Home Economics (T.H.E.), Scouting and Citizenship Advancement Training (CAT) were revived. A Faculty Development Coordinator was appointed to track the formation of the faculty and staff especially the probationary teachers. He also worked for the installation of an elevator to serve the needs of the high school community and it was inaugurated and blessed on September 23, 2011. When Fr. Pabayo had his tertian ship, Mr. Antonio S. Lumactod became the OIC Principal in school year 2010-2011.

Even as the faculty recognizes that they share in the management’s goal to pursue and attain the vision and mission of the university, they also recognize the benefits and potentials of entering into a collective bargaining agreement. The High School faculty decided to form a union which the majority certified in July 2009. The Unyon ng mga Guro sa Ateneo-High School (UGAT-HS) and the administration of the university signed its first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on February 1, 2010, effective June 1, 2009 until May 31, 2014.

Fr. Antonio S. Samson, S.J. retired in March 2011 after almost eight years as university president since his resumption into office in 2004. During his term, the Grade School Chapel was constructed, the Jubilee Building was finished, and beautiful glass-stained windows were installed in all the chapels in Matina and Jacinto. He was also responsible for the financial stability of the university. Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J., the former president of Ateneo de Naga took his place and was installed into office on June 1, 2011. 

Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J instituted organizational change. He had the vision-mission of the university revised to reflect the university’s thrusts of excellent instruction and formation, robust research, and vibrant community service. To carry out the thrusts, he created the offices of the Academic Vice President, the Deputy Academic Vice President for Formation, the University Research Council (URC), the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC), the Al Qalam Institute, the University Sports Director, and the Campus Minister for Faculty and Staff. He spearheaded educational reform, the K-12 Program effective school year 2012-2013. Curricular revisions and articulation from preschool until college were conducted to provide direction. Fr. Tabora, SJ also improved the physical facilities of the university which includes the Matina campus oval track, the Grade School swimming pool, and the 4-storey parking building in Matina. 

In June 2011, Fr. Michael I. Pineda, S.J. became the new Principal. Having care for the environment as one of the major thrusts, Fr. Pineda launched ECOTENEO Waste Management Program. Aside from this, facilities were installed namely the student satellite canteen, the faculty dining area and the faculty workroom. Not only were there changes in the infrastructure, there were also curricular reforms. Special Christian Life Education (SCLE) and the Library Instruction Program (LIP) were pilot- tested. The Special Filipino Class, the Citizenship Advancement Training, Honors Program and Learning Enhancement Advancement Program (LEAP) were refined. The faculty and staff participated in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) for collaboration and professional growth to better respond to the needs of the 21st century learners. To respond to the vision-mission thrust of robust research, the administrators and faculty engaged in conducting Action Research with ten (10) researches in school year 2012-2013 and twelve (12) in 2013-2014. In 2013, curricular reforms included the Reading Program for Filipino and English, Academic Probation Program, collaboration of CSLP and CLE and most of all, implementation of the K to 12 Curriculum. With the support from the Administration, action researches continue to flourish in ADDU-HS until the present. 

ADDU-HS was PAASCU Re-accredited level 2 for another 5 years on November 23, 2012. It was awarded Region 11 Champion in the 2013 National Search for Sustainable- High School category and eventually the National Champion of the same contest on November 20, 2013. When Fr. Pineda had his tertianship, Dr. Angela Nina R. Ingle, became the Acting Principal in school year 2014-2015. 

Fr. Pineda SJ, on behalf of the ADOU-JHS, received the ASEAN Eco-Schools Award 2015 Secondary Schools category in Myanmar. Beginning November 03, 2015 the ADDU-HS will be officially known as Ateneo de Davao University – Junior High School (ADDU-JHS). 

With renewed vision, the Ateneo de Davao University – Junior High School confidently steps forward to fulfil its mission of providing and integral formation of leaders in Daao and in Mindanao

Following is the list of ADDU_JHS Principals since its foundation in 1948:


FR. JOHN J. MCKEANEY, S.J. 1951-1953
FR. MARTIN J. CASEY, S.J. 1953-1955
FR. J. HUDSON MITCHELL, S.J. 1955-1960
FR. THOMAS P. MURPHY, S.J. 1960-1962
FR. FRANCIS L. BOWLER, S.J. 1962-1965
FR. FRANCIS C. DOLAN, S.J. 1965-1969
FR. JUAN E.BONAFE, S.J. 1969-1971
FR. ENRIQUE M.LLANA, S.J. 1982-1985
DR. PERLA E. FUNA 2002-2005
FR. IRVIN B. SALANIO, S.J. (OIC-P) 2005-2006
FR. ANTHONY C. PABAYO, S.J. 2006-2010

University Seal

The Official Ateneo de Davao University Seal


The two top panels of the shield represent Davao. The gold and silver inverted crossed keys against a light blue background represent St. Peter, patron of Davao parish church (now Cathedral). The light blue background represents Our Lady, patroness of the Philippines and of the Ateneo de Davao University (under the title of the Assumption of Our Lady). The green mountain peaks in the other panel represent Mt. Apo and its neighboring peaks, clearly visible from Davao City.

The two lower panels of the shield are the family arms of the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola of the House of Onaz y Loyola. The seven red and gold stripes represent the seven sons of the House of Onaz who fought under their king for the liberties of the Christians in Spain. The wolves-and-pot (lobos y olla) are a pun on the family name Loyola.

The crest above the shield is a silver medallion containing the monogram of the Society of Jesus: IHS are the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek; the cross and the nails recall His passion and death as savior of mankind. The Latin motto Fortes in Fide (Strong in the Faith”) is from 1 Peter 5, 9. It is also the burden of a passage from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians: Eph. 5, 10-20.

Legal Notice: 

The use of the University Seal, per Articles and By-Laws as well as school regulations of the Ateneo de Davao University is solely for official transactions and correspondence. Student organizations and others should ask permission from the Office of the President prior to publication or any other form of usage of the official seal. Unauthorized publication or any other form of usage may result to legal action from the University.

Atty. Manuel P. Quibod
University Legal Counsel
Dean, College of Law
Ateneo de Davao University


Men and women, Knights in Blue
For Christ, King, fight strong and true!
With flashing steel and ringing shield,
Let us sweep our battlefield!
With visor high and swords in hand,
Come, Blue Knight, take your stand!
Fight on with virtue, strength renewed
In Our Lady’s white and blue!


Let all you, Knights of Davao,
To God’s High Command, your hearts bow,
Go onward on to the fight,
Where glory is shining bright,
O shake the mountains with your song
And with your banners march along!
Onward, speed, you gallant knights!
Trusting God, proclaim your right!
The clash of battle is sweet to hear
When the victory is near.
So grateful knights, spread o’er the land
To the farthest ocean stand.
With hearty song, sing loud of fame
Of our Ateneo name.


Let all you, Knights of Davao,
To God’s High Command, your hearts bow,
Go onward on to the fight,
Where glory is shining bright,
O shake the mountains with your song
And with your banners march along!