History of CNU

1902: Established as Cebu Normal School by Americans as a provincial branch of Philippine Normal School, in Manila
1967: Renamed as Cebu Normal College by virtue of R.A. 5128  and BPS Memo. No. 79, s. 1967
1976: Established as Cebu State College by virtue of Presidential Decree 944
1998: June 27, established as Cebu Normal University by virtue of R.A. No. 8688


1901 - With the arrival of the Thomasites, tha civilian American teachers who replaced the soldier- mentors, on August 21, 

1901, primary schools were formally established throughout the country. 1901 was also the year when the Philippine Normal School was established.

1902 -Provincial Normal Schools on the secondary level were established as branches of the Philippine Normal School. 

Among these normal schools were those in Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Nueva Caceres in Bicol; Iloilo; Cebu; and Cagayan de Misamis in Mindanao.

It was also in 1902 when the American Teachers Institute was held in Cebu, most probably in the building which housed the Cebu Normal school. This was the old Colegio Logarta on Colon Street, said to be the oldest street on the country. It saw the graduation of the first batch of students of mixed ages in 1904.

1906 - With the establishment of the Cebu Provincial High School, whose building was constructed on the site of the present Abellana National High School on Jones Avenue (now Osmeña Boulevard), the CNS curriculum was lengthened to four years. CNS occupied a building beside the CPHS, with the students sharing teachers (especially Americans) with the CPHS students. John Barrows, the Acting Superintendent of schools for Cebu Province, became its principal.

Grade V-VII of the elementary training department later shared a building with the neighboring City Central School, which was constructed in 1910.

1915 - Cebu Normal School became independent from PNS, but it continued as an adjunct of the Cebu Provincial High School.

1925 - In June, 1925, the CNS formally separated from the CPHS with the opening of a new building across the street, on a site which used to be known as the Plaza Esportiva.

This is the present administration building of the Cebu Normal University. Some classes, however, like two combination classes, Grades I-II and Grades III-IV, continued to be held at the CPHS building which was known as the CNS Extention School.

Class 1926, which included former Undersecretary of Education

Narciso Albarracin,was the first batch to graduate from the new educational institution. The first principal of this new CNS was Miss Ines Crawford, an American; while the first training department supervisor was Mr. Lazaro Milaor, a Filipino.

1936 - With the advent of the Philippine Commonwealth, Filipino administrators also took over. Mr. Miguel Gaffud was the first Filipino principal of the CNS. He later became a noted author of professional books.

In the same year, the secondary normal curriculum was replaced with a two-year college curriculum (ETC or Elementary Teacher Certificate).

1938 - Was unique in the annals of the school. It saw the simultaneous graduation of the last batch of secondary normal graduates and the first batch of college graduates.

1941 - World War II broke out. Cebu was invaded by the Japanese on April 10,1942. CNS was used as the headquarters of the Japanese Kempeitai or Military Police up to 1945.

Many guerrillas, their suspected sympathizers, patriots and freedom-loving Filipinos were imprisoned, tortured and executed by the Japanese, usually by beheading. Among those who were imprisoned in this building prior to execution in an undisclosed place was then the governor of Cebu, Hilario Abellana, after whom the CPHS was subsequently renamed.

1946 - After Cebu was liberated, classes resumed. CNS adopted the two-year general curriculum which was changed into the four-year Elementary Education curriculum in 1952. It was later changed to Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE) in 1954, which in turn gave way to Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEED) in 1959. 1954 was truly a high-water mark in the history of the school, because this year saw its birth as a tertiary institution under the leadership of Dean Ramon Melgar.

1956 - The CNS Parents-Teachers Association organized the kindergarten with an alumna, Ms Lourdes Suico, as the teacher. The kindergarten became a regular component of the school a year later.

1960 – The Graduate School was opened with Dr. Tecla P. Revilla, another alumna, as its first dean.

1967 – Cebu Normal School became Cebu Normal College with Superintendent Rafael Pastoriza at the helm.

1974 – CNC opened its high school training department. Dr. Victoria Cervantes, a Silliman University

alumna, who was appointed in 1978, was its first principal. Also in the same year, the college offered a two-year Certificate in Tourism and started consortia with the Southern Islands Hospital School of Nursing (now the Don Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center), Cebu City Medical Center College of Nursing. Bohol Provincial Hospital College of Nursing, and Sudlon Agricultural School.

1976 – Through the efforts of Dr. Tecla P. Revilla, Cebu Normal School was converted into a chartered state college and renamed Cebu State College. Dr. Camilo Aliño was its

first president. As a state college, CSC was authorized to offer other degree courses, such as Bachelor of Arts (1977), Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education, the four-year Bachelor of Science in Tourism, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) whose graduates were qualified to teach in both the secondary and elementary schools (1978).

1986 – President Tecla P. Revilla reorganized Cebu State College and created three new colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences which offered Bachelor of Arts and

Bachelor of Science Courses; the College of Nursing, and the Teacher Education College, with its Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEEd) and

Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd) programs.

June 27, 1998 – Cebu State College was granted university status and the incumbent president, Dr. Heidi Limosnero, was installed as its first president in the same year.

2000 – Dr. Ester B. Velasquez, became the second CNU president. During her term, she initiated several major academic programs which greatly increased the enrolment of the university and enhanced its prestige. Notable among these are the CEFTEX (Center for Excellence in Teacher Education), LIKE (Language- Intensive Kindergarten Education), AMUMA (a school for caregivers), BSN – HAP or BSN for Health – Allied Professionals, DPE (Diploma in Professional Education) for graduates of other courses who wish to teach; GASAKA, and many more.

2008 – Dr. Marcelo T. Lopez, the third CNU president, has already shown a predilection for improving on the accomplishment of his predecessors barely a few months after his investiture in 2008. Infrastructure enhancements are very visible in the CNU campus such as the renovation of the College of Nursing, the P.E Hall; the construction of the U-Cafe, the U-Store, the new CNU Clinic, the Integrated Laboratory School Stage and many other projects lined up geared towards reinventing CNU for greatness.

Added to academic excellence as the main goal and making CNU an A-R or research university, is CNU President Lopez's passion for cultural and heritage preservation. In this regard, this more than-one-century old educational institution stands to gain much.