Dr. George Lucas Adamson, a Greek chemist from Athens, founded the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry (ASIC) on June 20, 1932 to train young men and women along the lines of practical industrial chemistry. It started as a one-classroom school that evolved into the Adamson School of Industrial Chemistry and Engineering (ASICE) on February 19, 1936. Upon approval by the Secretary of Public Instruction of its application for university status on February 5, 1941, it became known as Adamson University(AdU).
Shortly after the opening, the Founder invited his cousin Alexander Athos Adamson to work in the school. The latter joined the administration on July 15, 1932, serving at one time or another as Vice-President, Treasurer and Registrar. Much later, Alexander's brother, George Athos Adamson, also came to work in the school in 1934, as school Dean, Dean of the College of Engineering and professor. Evdoxia Savaides Adamson, wife of George Lucas, started working and teaching in the university in 1939, then served as Dean of the College of Education and of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Sofia Adamson, George Athos's wife taught in the College of Education after arriving in 1939 and briefly served as Directress of the Junior Normal College. Except for George Athos who left after the war with his wife, all the Adamson’s remained working in the university until its turnover to the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers of the Congregation of the Mission in 1964. George Lucas Adamson served as President from the beginning until 1967, for a total of 35 years including a three-year holdover stint.
Before finally settling on its permanent home along San Marcelino St. in 1946 after the war, the school stayed in three different locations, namely: Sta. Cruz (1932-1933), San Miguel (1933-1939) and Intramuros (1939-1941). In San Marcelino, the university expanded with the acquisition of the Meralco building in 1968 and the St. Theresa's College-Manila campus in 1977, both just across the street.
Fr. Leandro I. Montanana, C.M., a Spanish Vincentian was the second President, but the first under the C.M. administration. He served in that capacity until 1985 when Fr. Rolando S. Dela Goza, C.M., the first Filipino President, succeeded him all the way to 1994. Next came Fr. Jimmy Belita, C.M., university President until 2003 who in turn was succeeded by the current President Fr. Gregorio L. Banaga, Jr., C.M.
Although best known for its Chemistry and Engineering programs, Adamson University gradually added Architecture, Sciences, Pharmacy, Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Law, Graduate, Basic Education, and Theology courses as it grew bigger. In the '90s, it registered its highest enrollment figure ever: 21,994 students. The transfer of ownership in 1964 incorporated the university into the Adamson-Ozanam Educational Institutions, Inc. It also led to its transition from a secular to a Catholic institution, with the Vincentians holding top administrative posts and becoming majority members of the Board of Trustees. St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the C.M., was declared university Patron Saint and the motto "Veritas in Caritate" (Truth in Charity) was adopted. A new vision was articulated, basically that of offering affordable quality education especially for the socially disadvantaged - one not substantially different from the Founder's who wanted to help Filipinos gain a livelihood by offering a maximum amount of practical education in a minimum amount of time. In keeping up with the new millennium's challenges and demands, the university responded by offering information technology (Computer) and health care (Nursing, Caregiver) courses. Adamson University celebrated its Diamond Jubilee on February 5-11, 2007 during which occasion it was also declared a Historic Site by the National Historical Institute.
Today, it is a dynamic and harmonious community of...