The 106 years of excellence of the Centro Escolar University

Cognizant of a need for a center of learning for Filipino women focused on teaching ideal womanhood, intelligent citizenry, and democratic leadership that would instill in them the tenets of science and virtue, Doña Librada M. Avelino and Doña Carmen V. de Luna established the Centro Escolar de Señoritas.

With some benches, a single blackboard, and a few books, the two educators steadfastly nurtured a dream of establishing a nationalistic center of learning for Filipino women. The first college, Pharmacy, opened in 1921. The Colleges of Liberal Arts, Education, and Dentistry followed one after the other. Three years later, the College of Optometry was established.

Doña Librada was known as a person of great soul; she remained gentle, modest, humble, and unassuming even in the hour of success. She was courageous in time of difficulties and put the interest of her fellowmen and country above her own. As a great educator, she was a leader with a mission and a vision, combining the best qualities of the idealist and the practical man. She was also a pioneer woman educator and foremost exponent of higher education for women in the Philippines. She graduated with the highest honors at the Assumption Convent at the age of 20 during which time she started her own free school in her father's house in Pandacan after passing the elementary teachers' examination.

Doña Carmen is unquestionably the educator of educators, a distinct adherent to religious teachings while allowing technical and academic pursuits in the University. She graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences early in the American regime and went to Hong Kong with Doña Librada Avelino for advanced studies in English language and school administration. It was upon their return to the Philippines in 1907 when they founded the Centro Escolar de Señoritas, the pioneer Filipino college for girls.

Doña Carmen received many honors as an educator. Among them: an award of merit for her services to the Filipino Youth, given by President Elpidio R. Quirino on July 3, 1949 under the Civic Assembly of Women; the Papal Award by Pope Pius XII for her excellent leadership in Catholicism on August 10, 1949; the Pro Ecclesia at Portifice Award at the Manila Cathedral, an award which no other school executive in the Philippines has so far received; a Medal and Diploma of Merit awarded by the Spanish government in recognition of her 57 years of hard work in propagating the Spanish language and culture in the Philippines on November 29, 1950; and the Presidential Award for her distinguished role as an educator and civic leader on March 25, 1969.

The pioneering efforts of the two founders paid off. In 1930, Centro Escolar de Señoritas began to operate as a university, and because of the immediate need to cope with the expansion of the school, it was converted into a corporation in 1932 and was then known as Centro Escolar University (CEU).

Under the helm of its presidents, Dr. Pilar Hidalgo-Lim, an educator and civic leader, Dr. Dionisio C. Tiongco, another renowned scholar and educator, and Dr. Lourdes T. Echauz, a distinguished philanthropist and educator, Dr. Rosita L. Navarro, a recognized educator, a role model, leader of knowledge workers and an advocate of balance between globalization and Filipinization, and current President Dr. Ma. Cristina D. Padolina, former commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Chancellor of University of the Philippines Open University, CEU continues to uphold academic excellence through its philosophy "Cienca y Virtud" (Science and Virtue).

CEU's commitment to its founders' vision paved the way for the accreditation of all its programs as certified by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), full autonomy grant by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the ISO Certification under the 9001:2008 standard, issued by Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS), Philippine Quality Award for Proficiency in Quality Management System, the Companies Circle Award given by the Institute of Corporate Directors, and the Institutional Accreditation Status awarded by FAAP.

With four campuses - Manila, Malolos, Makati (Gil Puyat and Legaspi Village), Cebu (opening soon) - and more than 50 academic programs, CEU has gone far beyond its founders' vision, building steps towards the dreams and goals of the Filipino youth.



Guided and inspired by the University maxim Ciencia y Virtud, CEU seeks to be the university of first choice-the leading higher education institution fostering excellence in the pursuit of knowledge while engendering personal integrity and social responsibility.

It is committed to:

Provide a rich and stimulating academic environment in order to promote creative and scholarly academic pursuits among its faculty and to equip students with the knowledge, skills, sound moral values, and an appreciation of arts and culture that would prepare them to become productive and innovative professionals with a commitment to nation building in the context of one world;

Enhance the development of higher education in the Philippines through its exemplary academic programs and practices, leadership in professional organizations, and participation in academic consortia;

Contribute to the promotion of human health and well-being through high-quality programs in health professional education, research, and community service.


Centro Escolar University


Dr. Emilio T. Yap

Dr. Ma. Cristina D. Padolina
Vice Chairman

Dr. Angel C. Alcala

Dr. Emil Q. Javier

Dr. Ricardo F. De Leon

Dr. Emilio C. Yap III

Dr. Alejandro C. Dizon

Dr. Johnny C. Yap

Corazon M. Tiongco

Atty. Sergio F. Apostol
Corporate Secretary


Dr. Ma. Cristina D. Padolina
Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Ricardo F. De Leon
Executive Vice President

Cesar F. Tan

Dr. Teresa R. Perez
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Carlito B. Olaer
Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Maria Clara Perlita Erna V. Yabut
Vice President for Research and Evaluation

Dr. Juliana M. Alvaro
Vice President for CEU Malolos

Dr. Priscilla A. Panlasigui
Vice President for CEU Makati


Dr. Ma. Flordeliza L. Anastacio
School of Accountancy and Management

Dr. Maria Jona D. Godoy
School of Dentistry

Dr. Teresita G. Carey
School of Education-Liberal Arts-Music-Social Work

Dr. Charito M. Bermido
College of Medical Technology

Dr. Teresita I. Barcelo
College of Nursing

Dr. Cecilia C. Uncad
School of Nutrition and Hospitality Management

Dr. Jessica F. Torre
College of Optometry

Dr. Olivia M. Limuaco
School of Pharmacy

Dr. Julieta Z. Dungca
School of Science and Technology

Dr. Nilo V. Francisco
College of Management and Technology

Dr. Elizabeth C. Roces
College of Education, Liberal Arts, and Science