Silliman University (Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental)

A big portion of Dumaguete City’s progress was said to have been due to the presence of the Protestant-run Silliman University, founded as the Silliman Institute (an elementary school) by American Presbyterian missionary Dr. David Sutherland Hibbard and his wife Laura, through a grant, on August 28, 1901, by Dr. Horace Brinsmade Silliman.  It was later converted into a college in 1910 and into a university on March 1938.  This 61-hectare university, with its 13 colleges and schools, is the first university outside Manila and is also the first and only Protestant university in the Philippines.  It is dotted with many old and shady acacia trees.

Silliman University campus

The university is another showcase of American-era architecture.   Silliman Hall, built along Silliman Ave. in the Southern U.S. architectural style, is the oldest building within the campus.  It was inaugurated on 30 November 1903 and was restored in 2000.  The iron posts supporting the metal ceiling of the south wing was salvaged out of construction materials from a New York theater.  The S. U. Ethnographic Museum, at the building’s second floor, houses an extensive collection of artifacts and archaeological findings, 2,000-year old Sung and Ming porcelain, voodoo paraphernalia from Siquijor and rare shells such as Glory of the Sea (Conus gloriamaris).

Silliman Hall

Other old buildings within the campus include Guy Hall (completed in 1918), Oriental Hall (built in 1921), Channon Hall (built in 1923) and the Schiede Chapel, the former Mission Hospital Chapel (built in 1937).  Hibbard Hall, started in 1930 and completed in 1949, was the former library building (since 1932).  Built on a more modern note is the 900-person Henry Luce Auditorium, named after Claire Isabel McGill Luce, the founder and publisher of Time-Life magazines.  It was built at a cost of PhP5 million from January 2, 1973 to October 6, 1974.  The Chapel of the Evangel, along Hibbard Ave., was completed in 1957 and was designed by world-famous Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei.  The S.U. Main Library and Media Center, built at a cost of US$ 1.275 million through a grant from USAID and inaugurated in 1979, is reputed to have the biggest collection (more than 100,000 volumes) of books and publications in Asia.  The 188-bed S.U. Medical Center Hospital, along Aldecoa Drive, was built at a cost of PhP5.5 million and was inaugurated on 28 August 1976.

Silliman University: Real St., Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

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