Father Saturnino Urios, S.J. (1843 – 1916)
Saturnino Urios was born to a barber and a ___ on the 12th of November, 1843. At the advice of the parish priest in his hometown of Játiva, Spain, he studied in their local school. After primary school, he proceeded to take further studies at the Seminario Conciliar in Valencia, Spain. At 24 years old, he was ordained as a diocesan priest on the 6th of June, 1868. By January the following year, he left for France, feeling God’s call to join the Jesuits who were then exiled from Spain by the September Revolution.
On July 30, 1974, Father Saturnino Urios embarked from Marseilles, France for Manila, and proceeded to the island of Mindanao, where he would work as a Jesuit missionary for the next four decades. The Jesuits had first come to Butuan on the Northeastern part of Mindanao in 1596. Father Urios was among the first Jesuits to return after the suppression by Governor- General ___.
Father Saturnino Urios’ mission consisted mostly of conversion and the evangelization of Butuan’s natives. As he spread the Good News, he founded towns along the Agusan River and its tributaries. His love for Spain and the Valencia countryside are evident in the names he gave the towns he founded: Las Nieves (in honor of Our Lady of the Snows, patroness of Játiva), San Vicente Ferrer (patron of Valencia), Játiva, Novelé, Segorbe, Alberique, Alcira, Gandía, Morella, and Sagunto.
Father Saturnino Urios was also a peacemaker, ending tribal slavery and warfare, and negotiating peace between the Americans and the resisting peoples of Mindanao. In 1901, on the same year that the Americans arrived, he founded what was to become Fr. Saturnino Urios University in Butuan. He continued evangelizing to his last day, on October 27, 1916, when he succumbed to ___. His exemplary work as a God-fearing missionary and peacemaker guides the school up to today.
Fr. Saturnino Urios University
Founded by Fr. Saturnino Urios on October 21, 1901, the school was originally named Butuan Parochial School, a non-graded, catechism school exclusively for boys. The small school was made of bricks, It received government recognition in 1927, under the leadership of Fr. Jose Buxo, S.J., and changed its identity over the next 40 years, when the Dutch Missionario Sagrado Corazon/Missionario Sacre Cordis (MSC) handled its affairs. The name shifted to Father Urios High School (1939), to Father Urios College (1950), to Urios College (1970), and finally, to Father Saturnino Urios Univeristy (2006).
Father Saturnino Urios High School (1939)
When classes resumed after the Second World War, two buildings were constructed. A low-ceilinged brick building housed the grade school classes, while a wooden one was built beside the convent for high schoolers. In 1947, the high school department turned out its first graduates.
Father Urios College (1950)
Once the school had regrown its roots, the elementary school building was transformed into a church; another facility was constructed in San Francisco Street for the relocation of the grade school. In the same year, the high school wing was renovated into a two-story concrete building. The college department started as a two-year commercial course. In 1955, three courses were offered: Commerce, Liberal Arts, and Bachelor of Science in Education. In subsequent years, other courses were added: Collegiate Normal (1958), Collegiate Secretarial Science (1959), and Secretarial Course (1960).
To cater to the increasing student population, a three-story high school building was first built along Zamora Street; the old Home Economics building was turned into a dormitory; and the grade school building made way for the administration building.
Urios College (1970)
The change of name meant that a new era had dawned in the school. Over the years, the school would add 15 undergraduate and technical courses. The Urios College Graduate School was also opened, offering six MA and PhD courses. The Filipinization of schools under the 1972 Philippine Constitution gave way to the diocesan administration of Urios College with Fr. ___ for its President.
In 1990, the main campus was constructed with a four-story building to house the Engineering and Technology classes. Nursing classes were held at the smaller faculty center and chapel. A 32-classroom building, with spaces for laboratories, libraries, and offices, was constructed in 1997. It was used for high school instruction during the day and college classes at night. It was adjacent to the gymnasium which could accommodate 6,000 persons max.
Father Saturnino Urios University (2006)
When the school was declared a university on July 10, 2006, it became the first homegrown university in the Caraga region. It now offers complete elementary and secondary education—fully capable and compliant to the standards set by the new K-to-12 program. The college level offers tertiary courses in accountancy, business and management, computer science, engineering and technology, nursing, arts and sciences, and teacher education. It also offers Graduate Studies courses in Nursing, Business Administration, Educational Management, and Public Administration. PhD programs are offered in Management and Education. These are all accredited by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) and the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA).
From the 1990’s to the first decade of the new millennium, new buildings were constructed in Libertad, Butuan to house additional grade school classes, administrative offices, library and bookstore, an HE building, speech building and computer room. Its campuses are located in three separate parts of Butucan City—in Libertad, in ___, and in the main campus along J.C. Aquino. Indeed, what once started as the small Butuan Parochial School had grown through the years.
Today, FSUU is considered as one of the leading educational institutions in the whole of Northern Mindanao. It has kept faith with its mission as a Catholic educational institution continuing the work of Christ by building communities for truth and justice in search for peace and genuine people’s development. It looks forward to the future as it sticks true to its motto of Luceat Lux Vestra—let your light shine!