Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU): Fulfillment of a Vision
A HUMBLE BEGINNING. In 1967, Jose C. Olivares, a Chemistry professor-entrepreneur and his son-in-law Dr. Vicente M. Santos, a physician, founded Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in Valenzuela, a former municipality of Bulacan. The hospital immediately became the primary provider of medical and health care services for the residents of Valenzuela.
Mr. Olivares, who was then a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, envisioned a dream for Fatima. He set his eyes in transforming the Our Lady of Fatima Hospital from a general hospital to a medical complex that will be the training ground for health care providers such as nurses and midwives. Thus, in 1973, the Our Lady of Fatima College of Nursing was established. And in 1976, the first batch of Nursing graduates garnered an unprecedented 100% passing average in the Nursing Board examinations.
As a result of the growth in enrollment in the mid-70’s, the College expanded its facilities and instituted more curricular programs. In 1979, Dr. Vicente M. Santos, together with his wife Mrs. Juliet Olivares Santos, pursued the vision of Mr. Olivares even further by establishing the Fatima Medical Science Foundation, Inc. - Fatima College of Medicine. Since then, Fatima College of Medicine has made its mark in medical education by producing holistically-empowered graduates who are consistent Medical Board topnotchers and highly respected medical physicians.
In the 1990’s, a more progressive and responsive perspective was embodied by Fatima Medical Science Foundation, Inc. and Our Lady of Fatima College. As a response to the changing social and technological environment, the college engaged in new academic programs particularly in technology, maritime education, and business while at the same time fortifying and improving its performance in the paramedical courses, which Fatima is known for.
In June 1979, the Fatima College of Medicine welcomed its pioneer batch of medical students with Dean Filemon T. Gozum, M.D. at the helm of the academic program. Underscoring its civic and humanitarian calling, the Fatima Medical Science Foundation Inc., established the Leonora Juzgaya Scholarship Grant, which bestows free tuition, board and lodging and textbooks to financially challenged but academically gifted medical students.
Through the years, the Our Lady of Fatima University has responded to the rapid changes in medical science and technology and the social milieu through constant modernization of its facilities and continuing development of its faculty. From the 1980s through the 1990s the country witnessed the development of OLFU with the inclusion of other courses and programs such as Physical Therapy, Hotel & Restaurant Management, Computer Studies, Maritime Education and Criminology.
In 1996, OLFU opened a new campus in Hilltop Subdivision in Fairview, Quezon City that provided the same course offerings as that of OLFU-Valenzuela.The unrelenting and concerted efforts to establish a center of excellence in the medical sciences and other disciplines by the administration, faculty and staff of the Our Lady of Fatima College have finally come to fruition. As an affirmation of the commitment to uphold the highest standard and quality of education, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted the College the University status in December 2, 2002 by virtue of Resolution No. 401, series of 2002. Dr. Vicente M. Santos, Sr. was installed as the first president of the University in solemn investiture rites held on December 18 at the main campus in Valenzuela City. After that, the university was granted Deregulated status by the CHED, a privilege given only to selected private universities.
With the status of University, OLFU in 2003, offered Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Elementary Education. It has since then produced teachers that mentor students in private and public schools throughout the country.In 2007, in answer to the growing demand to establish more OLFU campuses, the administration purchased and developed a 4-hectare area that is now OLFU-Antipolo. The sprawling campus provides the same course offerings as in its sister campuses.
In the same year, CHED granted the University “A (t) Status” after OLFU applied to the commission’s national program called IQUAME (Institution Quality Assurance through Monitoring and Evaluation) and was recognized as a “Mature Teaching Institution” and the College of Nursing was cited as a Center of Development by the Commission on Higher Education; and in 2010, the College of Nursing was awarded Level III by Philippine Association of Colleges, Universities Commission on Accreditation PACUCOA.2012 The University expands to Pampanga as it acquired East Central Colleges (ECC) of San Fernando which was integrated into the OLFU System. The OLFU Pampanga Campus will be opened this June 2013.To date, the Our Lady of Fatima University has 4 campuses: Valenzuela City (Main Campus), Quezon City (Hilltop Campus) Antipolo City and Pampanga.