In its 42 years of meritorious existence, the Divine Word College of Urdaneta has stood as the citadel of learning and culture in the community as well as its environs. An institution built on solid foundation of love, cooperation, service and sacrifice, it stands majestic as a beacon to the youth in their eager search for knowledge, truth and wisdom. The magnitude of services it has been rendering is beyond measure as evidenced by the vast number of students who passed its portals and are now among the frontiers in businesses, arts, industries, priesthood, and in the professions.
1967 saw the birth of this educational institution – the realization of a long cherished dream of its Founder , Rev. Fr. Augustine Herbers, SVD.
The idea of opening a Minor Seminary in Pangasinan was thoroughly discussed at the Provincial Chapter held in January 1963. Hence, a resolution was passed to open a Minor Seminary in Urdaneta. The six and half hectare lot in Bayaoas, Urdaneta was bought from the Sison Family. The lot is close to the highway crossing of the national highway leading to the North, South and West-East road, Dagupan and Eastern Pangasinan. The place is secluded and quiet enough for a seminary, the Superior General at that time decided to connect the Seminary with a High school and College. On March 20, 1966, the cornerstone was blessed with great solemnity by Most Reverend Mariano Madriaga, DD, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.
The three – storey building is a functional structure for school purposes which has a length of 98 meters. The axis of the building runs from East to West to minimize exposure to direct sunshine. A unique feature of the building ins the ramp that leads to the upper floors.
The consecutive presidents of the school were; Fr. George Hardwart, SVD(1967 -1970), Fr. Augustine Herbers, SVD and Fr. Panfilo Ginan, SVD (1970 – 1975), Fr. Alfredo A. Reyes, SVD(1975 – 1979), Fr. Luis B. Lapus, SVD (1979 – 1983), Fr. Dennis D. Lucas, SVD (1983 – 1987), Fr.Edwin T. Canonizado, SVD (1987 – 1990), Fr. Michael O. Padua, SVD(1990 – 1993), Fr. Dominador O. Ramos, SVD(1993 – 1997), Fr. Limneo O. Dangupon, SVD(1997 – 2002), Fr. Randolph D. Botial, SVD(2002 – 2008), Fr. Dominador O. Ramos, SVD, (2008 – 2011) and Fr. Gil T. Manalo, SVD (2011 – up to present).
Mr. Reynald Mamasig is now the newly appointed High School Principal.
In the College Department, Mrs. Estrella Agawin was the head of the Secretarial department since 1967. When the school applied for the change of its status from Divine Word Academy to Divine Word College of Urdaneta, she was appointed as the College Coordinator. Succeeding her were Mrs. Eliza Raras-Estrella 1990 – 1992, Mrs. Joelita M. Bernabe 1992 – 1999, Dr. Trofima M. Pangonilo 1999 – 2005, Mrs. Leonida Javonillo 2005 – 2011, and Mrs Joelita Bernabe again, the new College Dean. The school survived with flying colors its first trying years of existence.
It is worthy to mention that the Divine Word College is a Catholic Institution administered by the Society of Divine Word Missionaries of the SVD ( Societas Verbo Divini.) It upholds its motto, “Verbo Veritatis, Verbo Vitae” – “To the word of truth and to the word of life.” The school is a non – stock, non – profit. Since the establishment of the school, the Board of Trustees has been serving the school through prayers, time and energy without remuneration except for the satisfaction for the privilege of service. The school continues to march on progress. The little amount realized at the end of the school year is flowed back in the form of improvements.
Conferences, seminars and workshops are permanent fixtures in the school program for the educational uplifts of the personnel. The school is also extending financial aid to faculty and personnel who pursue higher academic qualification.
Infrastructures rise gradually from time to time. In 1987, the college chapel was constructed to accommodate a bigger number of students during masses, novenas, and prayer services. Immediately following it was the construction of the extension of the Seminary building which is located at the back of the chapel, in 1988, not long after the construction of the first building of the Formation Center which was completed in 1980. Now the two buildings, cater to the seminarians and priest for their offices and official residence. The main building that used to be the home of the seminarians, and classrooms for the high school and college students during the early years of the institution has branched into several separate buildings, one of which is the gymnasium which was constructed in 1992. It is now the favorite venue for school programs, division conferences and community masses.
In school year 2003 – 2004, the institution welcomed the younger brothers and sisters, the pre-elementary pupils. That same year started the construction of the elementary building, to be ready for the incoming Grade I – VI for the next coming school year.
This April 1, 2007, the first fruits of toil will be harvested as the first batch of Grade VI pupils march on the stage to receive their diplomas.
The Parents – Teachers’ Association always has a financial share in the numerous school projects and the Alumni Association continues to participate in the schools’ activities.
The present status of the school can be traced back to the integrity of its founding father, the altruism and tenacity of the administrators, the selflessness of the staff and personnel, and the sprit the corps of the academic community. Its forty years of existence rings the manifold achievement attained through the years amidst the countless trials and tribulations.
The people who saw the need and sowed the seeds of service are now reaping the fruits of their endeavor in the form of inner pride , joy and satisfaction for having shared the gigantic tasks of molding the youth and building the nation.
The DWCU will continue to be an eternal foundation of wisdom, and truth whereby the youth could come to somehow satisfy their unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
To the students, may they continue to uphold the legacy of this institution not only till the break of dawn but also till the twelfth of never.
– O0O –