The school was originally named St. William’s College after the Patron of the Parish of Laoag and was changed to Divine Word College of Laoag in October, 1964. This was done to identify the school with the SVD – “Society of the Divine Word” or in Latin, “Societas Verbi Divini”. This helped achieve a common identity with the other Divine Word Schools, like the Divine Word College of Vigan and Bangued.
It should be noted that the Society of the Divine Word was founded by Saint Arnold Janssen, a German Diocesan priest, in Steyl, Holland in 1875. He named the new Religious Missionary Congregation after the Divine Word, the second person of the Blessed Trinity. The name also indicates our commitment to live and proclaim the Word of God. The SVD arrived in the Philippines in 1909.
Saint Arnold died on January 15, 1909, and was canonized in October 5, 2003 together with Saint Joseph Freinademetz, the first SVD missionary to China. He envisioned that all Divine Word Missionaries, as well as their partners and all those they serve, live as “Companions and Heralds of the Divine Word”.
In February 1945, Rev. Fr. Alphonse M. Mildner, SVD upon the advice of the Father Provincial, Rev. Fr. Kondring, SVD, proceeded to Laoag, Ilocos Norte to see the possibility of establishing a Catholic School. This was the response to the persistent invitation of Rev. Msgr. Ignacio Cordero, the parish priest at that time.
From the time the school formally opened in July 1946, the administration composed of Fr. Alphonse Mildner,SVD Director, Fr. John D. Vogelgesang, SVD, Procurator and Mr. Federico D. Sales, Registrar, was beset with seemingly insurmountable problems such as the need of teachers, books, supplies and equipment. Dr. Felino Palafox is noted to have been the first teacher to sign up and then later became the first Physician. To meet the problems of classrooms and offices, the administration requested to owners of buildings near the parish for this temporary purpose.
Three months after the formal opening of classes, the first issue of the school’s official organ, the “Guide” was published with Leandro Batara as the First editor-in-chief. Today, it is called “Williamite”. One year later, the maiden issue of the school’s annual “Logos” came off the press. Both publications spoke loudly and still do of the lofty ideals fostered by the institution.
In 1947, Fr. John Simon,SVD came to Laoag to direct the construction of a combined high school and auditorium building which is now called the Mildner Hall in honor of the Founder.
The SVD day (September 8) of 1948 highlighted with the grand inauguration and blessing of theimposing three-storey building with an auditorium known as Mildner Hall. The College Hymn “Pride of the North” was sung for the first time. It was composed by Mr. Jose L. Pedro, an instructor of the school. It was also in the same year that the school seal was made, incorporating the motto “Deo et Patriae”.
The College first offered the following courses, namely, Commerce, Education, Liberal Arts, Junior Normal, Secretarial and High School. To add to these courses, the college started to offer Preparatory Law in 1946. Government recognition was obtained in 1951 for the following programs: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, and Bachelor of Science in Commerce. Two years after, government recognition was also given to 1-year Collegiate Secretarial Course. In 1963, the Diploma in Secretarial Science was granted government recognition.
In September 21,1968, the SVD Superior General, Very Rev. Fr. John Musinsky came to study the school’s situation and consequently announced the approval of the construction of a new building on a sprawling eight hectares of land. It was under the supervision of Fr. Bernard Donahey, SVD that the said building was erected.
The SVD did not only expand and improve on the school’s physical structure, but also on the other areas like the library. Donation of reference and research materials by the SVD Friends abroad helped in the improvement of the library. It was in October 1964 when the school changed its name from St. William’s College to Divine Word College of Laoag in order to achieve uniformity in identity with other SVD-run schools. It was on that same year that the school established a guidance office.
It was during the incumbency of Fr. Ambrosio Manaligod, SVD that the DWCL Graduate School of Business Administration opened and began functioning as the first in Northern Ilocos. Government recognition for the Master in Business Administration program was obtained in 1977.
July 18,1988 is a date to reckon in the History of DWCL. The Department of Education, Culture and Sports, upon the certification of the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines, awarded the deregulated status – Level II- to the Divine Word College of Laoag for its Liberal Arts. Education, and Commerce.
The College has since continued to reap further recognition. Among the more important ones are the school’s being chosen as a Learning Center for the University of the Philippines’ Open University and a participating institution to the Commission on Higher Educations’ Expanded Tertiary Education and Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP).
Today, with more than half a century of educational experience, activity and service behind it, the Divine Word College of Laoag continues to meet the challenge of providing quality Christian education and turning over to society graduates who have become assets to their respective professions and communities.
Through the years, it can be truly said that the SVD community, the academic and administrative personnel, the students and their parents have been partners of Divine Word College of Laoag.
We, members of the Divine Word College of Laoag, a Catholic institution, envision ourselves to be a truly educative and evangelizing community able to face life’s challenges with dignity and actively participating in the upliftment of life.
As members of the Divine Word College of Laoag (DWCL) community, we commit ourselves to practice justice, peace, truth and love in:
- developing intellectual expertise for God and country;
- nurturing a scholarly attitude towards research;
- instilling the spirit of meaningful community involvement with preferential option for the poor;
- in order to improve the quality of life and realize the full potential of every member.
The members of the Divine Word College of Laoag are our greatest assets. Our community is built on a dynamic and professional foundation that values:
- honest and hard work
- individual excellence and expertise
- social responsibilities
GENERAL OBJECTIVES & SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
To educate and form the young to become true Christians, open to the needs of the Church, society and the world; to promote a personal contract with Christ through the formation of a Christian community by means of Word and Sacrament; to witness to the true faith through the practice of Christian morality, fraternal charity and commitment to the building and promotion of justice and peace for all; to foster religious instruction and guidance, thus, developing Christian leaders.
Promotion of the Social and Cultural Values
To develop a deeper appreciation for and to preserve our social and cultural values and integrate these into the different sciences and disciplines, thus preparing the youth to analyze changes and solve the problems brought about by modern diversities in our family, our country and the rest of the world.
To provide for a broad general education that will aid the youth in acquiring the essential educational foundation for his development into a competent, cultivated, creative, communicative, and well – rounded citizen of the community through the effective application of the skills and knowledge gained from his chosen profession, thus preparing in meeting the challenges of national development.
The official seal of the Divine Word College of Laoag depicts its prime objective to educate and form the young for the service of God and country (pro Deo et Patriae). This is shown by the burning torch shining eternally to illuminate the book of knowledge.
The open book shows the responsibility of the College in the education and training of the young. The Laoag bell tower with its cross in the background is the symbol for Christianity that is the source of its strength, the College being a Catholic school run by the Society of the Divine Word.
The colors red, white, yellow and blue are taken from the Philippine national flag, indicating that in its search for knowledge and truth, the Divine Word College of Laoag shall forever uphold the values and traditions of the Filipino nation.
The College was founded in 1946, hence the year is written in the seal to indicate its historic establishment.
PRIDE OF THE NORTH
by Jose L. Pedro
Here we are all together
In sunshine or in rain
From many places we come,
All bound for a common aim,
Join and we must sing,
Let every heart keep ringing
That’s the spirit we share
Now that we are all together.
Divine Word College “Pride of the North”
Fountain of knowledge
To thee we give our love
We give our loyalty
Let’s lift our eyes to heaven above
Let’s not deny her truth
So let us give our love
And we must give our loyalty.