Cagayan De Oro City’s 88-year-old institute of learning has seen plenty of history and life-altering events, after being ravaged by various forces in World War II. Despite its rough and humble and beginnings, the learning institute has since bounced back and is aiming to leave its own mark in history.
What started as a two-story building meant to school 17 male high school students is now a full-fledged university with over 13,000 students as of 2016.
Xavier University, or Ateneo De Cagayan, is aiming to be a leading ASEAN university by its centennial in 2033. In line with this vision, XU is constructing a 21-hectare ‘Campus of the Future’. Named after the late Fr. William Masterson SJ, the Masterson Campus honors him, the great visionary Jesuit who foresaw the potential of Manresa in the 1960s.
Ateneo de Cagayan University Town
Plans are set to create the world-class campus. One of the most prominent features of the masterplan is to merge the campus with Manresa Town. This seamless blend between Masterson Campus and Manresa will create large open spaces with safe and convenient housing and commercial options for students and staff.
Manresa Town is to be developed by Cebu Landmasters, Inc., the leading local developer in Visayas and Mindanao. The 14.3-hectare mixed-use university town will provide housing, commercial establishments, and future-ready offices – all within easy access of the campus.
This fusion of academic, residential, and commercial spaces is expected to benefit the surrounding uptown Kagay-an communities, as well as Xavier Ateneo and its students. The town will be supplemented by a large expanse of forest, since plans for The Campus of the Future will retain the 25-hectare area of protected forest and animal reserves.
Construction of the state-of-the-art campus is expected to start in the second quarter of 2022, with safety health protocols considered in all processes.
Given the pandemic, the campus will provide innovative and smart components for synchronous and asynchronous learning, pioneering research, artistic expression, and whole-person formation.
Expect to see an abundance of space, lots of green spaces, wide roads and dedicated bike lanes, adaptable facilities for virtual and in-person classes, sports facilities, an amphitheater, and campus-wide wireless connectivity. A University Forum will also be built, which incorporates a museum, theater, and an art gallery.
Coming Plans and Current Developments
The XU Board of Trustees has been developing a masterplan for the Masterson Campus for more than five years now, and it is scheduled to open in 2024. Prior to that, the current campus will still continue operating in downtown CDO.
In more recent developments, the Vatican has finally given its seal of approval for the “Campus of the Future” project, ultimately expanding the school’s post-pandemic learning spaces and opportunities.
“The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, having attentively examined the documents submitted, grants the request in conformity with the petition,” reads the Letter of Approval from the Vatican.
XU President Fr. Mars P. Tan SJ says, “This is good news for those who truly value education and formation of our young people and I am excited and happy because this will fulfill Xavier Ateneo’s dream to give the best Jesuit education possible in the region and in Mindanao.”
“First-class education needs first-class building and campus design,” Fr. Tan adds.
The campus is also going to feature state-of-the-art school buildings and administration facilities to cater to the academic courses of XU’s colleges and schools. This will make the campus adaptable to developments in academic disciplines, 21st-century learning curriculum, and technological innovations.