20th Century Period

Isabelo F. de los Reyes
Obispo Maximo Gregorio Aglipay
St. Vincent Liem de La Paz
Pedro Abad Santos
Bishop Alfredo Verzosa
Manuel L. Quezon
Jose P. Laurel
Sergio Osmeña Sr.
Augusto T. Antonio (OP)
Pedro Mateos (OP)
Ramon C. Salinas (OP)
Rogelio B. Alarcon (OP)
Pompeyo F. de Mesa (OP)
Edmund C. Nantes (OP)

1901 – Letran alumnus Cayetano L. Arellano was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court under the American Civil Government. His immediate successors will also come from the same venerable institution.

1902 – Isabelo de los Reyes became the founding president of the Philippines’ first modern trade union, the Unión Obrera Democrática Filipina on February 2, 1902. The federation aimed to emancipate workers through protective labor legislation. It had 150 affiliated trade unions. representing 20,000 members by 1903. De los Reyes also founded the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, the second schism to be led by a Letran alumnus.

1902 – Letran alumnus Gregorio Aglipay was installed as the first Obispo Maximo of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente. Through the active participation of the laity in the affairs of the Church, he made use of the vemacular in worship and established a liturgy that expressed the culture of the Filipino people.

1906 – Blessed Vicente Liem de la Paz (OP) was beatified by Pope Pius X on May 2, 1906. Letran students and alumni donated a commemorative marble monument built in Italy. It was inaugurated the following year.

1915 – Letran alumnus Ignacio Villamor became the first Filipino President of the University of the Philippines.

1916 – Bishop Alfredo Verzosa was the first Filipino Letran alumnus to be consecrated a bishop of the Philippines.

1917 – The first recorded alumni homecoming was held at the Salon de Actos during a Dia de Letran celebration on November 11, 1917. As proposed by then-Senate President Manuel L. Quezon, an association with its rules and bylaws was to be formed the following year. It was one of the first associations of its kind in the Philippines.

1922 – The Letran Cadet Corps and the military band were established.

1930 – The first troops under the Boy Scouts of America were introduced in Letran.

1930 – Letran celebrated its Tricentennial Foundation. The year-long celebration and the school’s outstanding alumni were featured in a souvenir publication, Recuerdo del Tercer Centenario del Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1630-1930).

1932 – Letran alumnus Pedro Abad Santos y Basco founded the Socialist Party of the Philippines on October 26, 1932 to represent the peasant farmers against the oppressive and unjust land tenancy system at that time.

1935 – On September 17, 1935, three Letran alumni, Manuel Luis Quezon, Emilio F. Aguinaldo, and Gregorio Aglipay, ran for the presidency of the Commonwealth. Quezon and his running-mate, Sergio Osmeña Sr. won.

1936 – Silvio D’Birri Rojas of High School 1936 designed the Arriba Letran Knight icon which was to become an immortal symbol of Letran.

1938 – Letran won its first Senior NCAA Basketball Championship. The champions were skippered by Fely Fajardo and mentored by Coach Ciriaco Cruz. Fajardo was Salutatorian of BSC Commerce ’40.

1941 – Three candidates vied for the Presidency in the 1941 elections. Two were Letran alumni, Manuel L. Quezon and Juan M. Sumulong Sr.

1943 – Letran alumnus, Jose P. Laurel was elected President of the Second Republic by the National Assembly on September 25, 1943.

1945 – Manuel L. Quezon died on August 1, 1945 in Saranac Lake, New York. He was succeeded by Sergio Osmeña, another Letran alumnus.

1946 – Within the same year, the Philippines witnessed three Letran alumni leave the Presidency. On May 27, Sergio Osmeña accompanied Manuel A. Roxas to Luneta for the latter’s inauguration as the new president. On July 23, Jose P. Laurel was flown from Japan and imprisoned to face 132 counts of treason in the People’s Court. On August 1, Manuel L. Quezon was interred in the North Cemetery after being officially shipped to the Philippines from the United States on board the USS Princeton. A glorious era in history ended.

1946 – Letran students returned to Intramuros after being housed at the Santuario de Santa Cruz in San Juan. Two years earlier, the Intramuros campus was converted into a Japanese garrison.

1946 – Brother Augusto Antonio (OP), the first Filipino alumnus Dominican priest, was assigned to Letran upon the completion of his studies and ordination at the Dominican House of Studies in Hong Kong.

1948 – The Instituto de Español was established in Letran for the primary purpose of training and preparing teachers of the Spanish language. The first co-ed students of Letran belonged to the Instituto’s 1949 Teacher’s Diploma Major in Spanish.

1952 – The LAA under the presidency of Joaquin Preysler reconstructed the present monument of St Vicente Liem de la Paz (OP) located on the northern garden square of the campus. The monument’s sculptor was alumnus Antonio Garcia Llamas.

1963 – Fifty-two passengers and eight crew members perished in the flight of United Arab Airlines Flight 869. Twenty-four of these were Filipino Boy Scouts and scout officials on their way to the 11th World Jamboree in Marathon, Greece. Three were Letran scouts – Air Scout Observer Ramon Valdes Albano, Senior Scout Pathfinder Henry Cabrera Chuatoco, and Star Scout Wilfredo Mendoza Santiago.

1964 – P. Fr Pedro P. Mateos (OP) became the first and only Spanish alumnus Rector of Letran. He belonged to the BSC Class of 1939 and was the College of Commerce’s first Dean.

1965 – Letran alumnus Br. Ramon C. Salinas (OP) became the first Rector of University of Santo Tomas-Legaspi (now, Aquinas University).

1968 – Letran alumnus Jose Maria Sison founded the Communist Party of the Philippines on December 26, 1968.

1970 – The Bagong Kabataan ng Letran (BAKAL) a coalition of nationalist students was founded by Benjamin Atienza Jr. and Francisco Liongson IV to clamor for the Filipinization of Letran. The Letran Central Board of Students was officially recognized by the School. The Letran News became a free college newspaper managed entirely by students. The school approved student representation in its Board of Trustees. All these unprecedented events were mandated by Executive Order 200 issued on December 5, 1969.

1970 – In a simple celebration, Letran observed its 350th foundation with a Filipino Rector, Br. Antonio Posadas (OP), in preparation for the school’s Filipinizaton. A monolith in honor of the school’s founding founders was built in front of the gymnasium by the Fraternal Order of Knights.

1971 – The Dominican Province of the Philippines was inaugurated on December 8, 1971 with Letran alumnus Br. Rogelio Alarcon (OP) as its first Prior Provincial.

1972 – Br. Pompeyo de Mesa (OP) became the first Filipino alumnus Rector of Letran. He belonged to the Grade School Class of 1950 and High School Class of 1954.

1977 – The shortest team to ever play women’s college volleyball shocked everybody for winning Letran’s first National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Volleyball championship. Led by Alicia Abuel and the Magnificent Seven, the volley belles won the championship crown for four consecutive seasons.

1981 – The LAA, headed by Jaime A. Cura, formed a non-stock and non-profit corporation under the laws of the Philippines. Henceforth, the informally organized Ex-Alumnos de Letran was endowed with a legal personality as the Letran Alumni Asso- ciation Inc. on September 30, 1981.

1982 – The Letran Senior Basketball team, under alumnus Coach Laurentino Albano, wins the first of a record three succeeding NCAA championships.

1986 – The LAA, under the presidency of Francisco Liongson IV, founded the Letran Alumni Foundation Inc. (LAFI), adopted the Hall of Great Knights Awards, and launched the Knightline.

1988 – Vicente Liem de la Paz (OP) was canonized saint by Pope John Paul II on June 19, 1988.

1988 – The Ruby Jubilarians were acknowledged for the first time on the petition of the High School Class of 1948.

1994 – The first comprehensive Alumni Directory was published by the LAA under the presidency of Captain Ben Hur D. Gomez. The two-volume publication contained a list of graduates from 1900 to 1993 and historical facts and trivia about Letran and its academic community.

1996 – Br. Pompeyo F. de Mesa (OP) became the first Dominican priest to be elected LAA President. De Mesa was also the first Filipino Alumnus Rector of Letran who faithfully served as a director of the LAA Board for many years.

1996 – HS Class of 1971, headed by Eduardo Ramos, hosted the Annual Grand Homecoming Reunion, holding the campus’ very first al fresco banquet at no cost to the alumni guests. This memorable event established the tradition for the host Jubilarian class shouldering the cost of the annual affair.

1999 – Letran Alumnus Br. Edmund C. Nantes (OP) became the first Filipino and Asian Syndic of the Order of Preachers.