FOUNDING THE VISAYAN INSTITUTE
The University of the Visayas was founded by the late Don Vicente Gullas in 1919. His purpose was to provide young people from average-income families to acquire high school and tertiary education.
The first class of the Visayan Institute (the original name of the UV) consisted only of 37 high school students who occupied two rented rooms in the City Intermediate School (now the City Central School) in the Osmeña Avenue.
The following school year the enrollment increased to 87 students. To accommodate them Gullas rented a semi-concrete building owned by Mr. and Mrs. Candido Rubi in barangay Kamagayan at the corner of Juan Luna and P. del Rosario streets.
On the third year of operation, another building was rented, this time at the back of the main building. Situated beside the Cebu railroad station, two buildings had eleven rooms all of which had a capacity of the 45 to 50 students.
For physical education classes, the V.I. students were allowed to use the grounds of the Cebu Normal School and for a library they made use of the books at the public library near Fuente Osmeña.
In 1926, the Rubi and other buildings were completely burned down. As a result, classes had to be held in the twelve-room Tisa building at the corner of Colon and Norte America Streets (now D. Jakosalem Street). It was a Spanish-style builing with tiled roofs and bricks walling; however the rooms were small and could accommodate only about forty-five students.
The UV through the Years
The following year, the Visayan Institute again moved to another building in P. Gomez street near the Metropolitan Cathedral. (This building later was occupied by the little Flower Academy). For Home Economics classes, another building was rented in La Solidaridad street near the present site of the University of Southern Philippines.
Six years later the school transferred to still another location, this time at the former Sun Yat Sen School building, the place now occupied by the Cebu Eastern College at D. Jakosalem Street.
Sometime in 1935, Don Juan Rivera, the father-in-law of Vicente Gullas, purchased a lot which was formerly the site of the YMCA building in Colon street, the present site of the Don Juan Rivera Building (named in his honor). In 1936 they purchased the YMCA building itself and another one which they converted into classrooms. Remodeled the building contained 20 classrooms, ten on both sides of the U-shape office.
After the war in 1945, the Visayan Institute first opened classes in the poblacion of Argao. Then a year later it transferred to its present site in Colon street.
After post-war reopening, an upsurge of students made it imperative for the school to construct several structures made of light materials to house its various levels of program. Then starting in 1948 after it was granted a university status, Mr. and Mrs. Gullas embarked on a building construction program, which with the help of brothers Eduardo’ and Jose (Dodong) Gullas reached its peak in the 1960’s and 70’s with the construction of several five-storey concrete buildings.
Towards the next two decade, new courses such as master of education, engineering, maritime, criminology and nursing were opened. In the early 1994 the Gullas Medical Center and the College of Medicine were opened in Banilad.
In 1992 PACUCOA accreditations were granted to four of UV’s college programs, thereby signifying the University’s attainment of excellence in tertiary education.