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Albay, Legazpi, Philippines
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1st BU President

The Trailblazer

On March 24, 1971, Atty. Ricardo A. Arcilla was appointed as the university’s founding president. The historian-lawyer developed and institutionalized the foundations of Bicol University. With his sterling qualifications, policy-making was systematized at the university. In his first year as BU President, he standardized the salaries of the teaching and non-teaching personnel in accordance with their ranking, which was considered as his major administrative achievement.

       In his vision of “Making the University a Sanctuary of Scholarship, a Training Camp for Professionals, and a Social Service Orientation,” Arcilla’s tenure as President was known as the university’s “difficult
years,” since Martial Law was proclaimed and the socio-political context was not conducive to the exercise of academic freedom.

       The early years of Atty. Arcilla’s leadership was also considered a “transition period” for the university – from independent colleges and schools with different aims and policies to an integrated, centrally governed university with a chartered-defined mission.

       Through the provision of its charter, Bicol University was composed of the following integrated units: the Bicol Teacher’s College (re-established in 1962, the former Albay Normal School), under it are the Daraga East Central School and the Albay Provincial High School (established in 1905); the Bicol Regional School of Arts and Trades; the Roxas Memorial Agricultural School in the municipality of Guinobatan, Albay; and the School of Fisheries in Tabaco City, Albay.

       In 1969, the Bicol Regional Schools of Arts and Trades became the School of Arts and Trades, now the College of Industrial Technology (CIT), College of Engineering (CENG), and Institute of Design and Architecture (IDeA).

       In the same year, Guinobatan Rural High School was also integrated into Bicol University, where it became the College of Agriculture (CA) to the College of Agriculture and Forestry, now BU Guinobatan.

       On April 24, 1971, Bicol University held its first-ever commencement exercises with 348 Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education candidates, four Master of Arts Degree in Education candidates, and 3
candidates for the Certificate in Health Education program.

       In the same year, the provincial school in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, was integrated into Bicol University.In the following two years, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing were established,
respectively.

       The ensuing decade of university existence was marked by a period of linkages with several organizations and agencies, rapid growth, and new spectra of activity such as the establishment of the Center of Cultural Studies, Computer Center, and Audio-Visual Production Center, including the expansion of a number of community and extension projects.

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