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History of the UST School of Fine Arts, Chapter 3

History of the UST School of Fine Arts, Chapter 3

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Published by Hannibal F. Carado
School of Architecture and Fine Arts, 1938-1946
School of Architecture and Fine Arts, 1938-1946

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Published by: Hannibal F. Carado on Jul 24, 2013
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CHAPTER 3SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND FINE ARTS1938-1946By this period, the university-wide expansion that began in 1927 was infull swing. More new colleges were opened, new courses were introduced, andthe old ones were revised to suit the pressing needs of the time. As theprogram shifted into high gears, the departments of Architecture and Fine Artswere fused together into one academic unit thus establishing the School of  Architecture and Fine Arts (SAFA) in 1938. This merging of the twodepartments was announced by Rector Magnificus, Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho,O.P., on October 26, 1937 during a meeting of the College of Engineering. Inhis announcement, Fr. Sancho declared that SAFA was to be a separate andindependent from the College of Engineering. The original plan was to appointa Dean to administer the new school and be responsible for all mattersaffecting its operations and organization. In the words of Fr. Sancho, O.P., “next year the School of Architecture will be separated from the College of Engineering, with its own Dean, and if possible its own Professors andInstructors also.” 
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82
Justo N. Lopez, Minutes of the Meeting of October 26, 1937: College of Engineering, October 28,1936, TMS (photocopy), 1.
 
 65
 Another important milestone for the school of fine arts during thatperiod was the official recognition of its courses from the government. Thethen Secretary of Public Instruction, Jorge Bocobo, signed the on May 19, 1939which recognized the School and empowered it “to grant the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts to students who have successfully completed inaccordance with the regulations of the Department of Public Instruction all of the prescribed work of the said courses.” 
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Pre-War Organization, 1938-1941 Administrators
Only two Rectors were at the helm of the university during the school’sSAFA years. They were Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P. and Rev. Fr. EugenioJordan, O.P. The former was Rector Magnificus when the period started. Hewas, however, not able to finish his term because the Pacific War erupted whilehe was in Spain on official business. He left for Spain on April 1, 1941 but theoutbreak of hostilities late that year prevented him from returning to thePhilippines to finish his term. Fr. Eugenio Jordan, O.P. took over the job andserved the remaining term of Fr. Sancho as the university rector.
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83
School of Architecture and Fine Arts,
UST General Bulletin 1939-40,
p. 26.
84
De Ramos,
I Walked with Twelve UST Rectors,
85. 
 
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The School of Architecture and Fine Arts was initially organized as anacademic unit with two departments; the Department of Architecture and theDepartment of Fine Arts. Contrary to earlier announcement, no dean asappointed to administer the school when it opened, so for the meantime, the Victorio C. Edades, the Director of the Department of Architecture, took chargeof SAFA. He served in that capacity until 1941 because that year DirectorEdades left for the United States to participate in the 1941 Golden Gate SanFrancisco World Fair and Exposition. He was to execute two murals during theexposition so he took a leave of absence because the preparations took upmuch of his time. While Director Edades was away, Architect Julio Rocha took over the directorship of the School. Director Rocha was head of the schoolwhen the Japanese invaded Manila.
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Faculty
In 1939 the school, in what could be considered the most importantappointments for that period, engaged the services of renowned Filipino artistsGalo B. Ocampo and Carlos V. Francisco to reinforce the professional roster of its faculty staff. Ocampo and Francisco, together with Edades formed thetriumvirate that became the nucleus of the group which called itself simply the
85
De la Torre,
The National Artists of the Philippines,
132.

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