HISTORICAL PRESERVATION. The Xavier University Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary sits in the center of the campus in Cagayan de Oro City. In a statement Tuesday (July 5, 2022), XU and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines say they have agreed to make the church and seven other buildings on the campus part of the school’s historical preservation zone. (Photo courtesy of XUICC Facebook page)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Eight buildings inside the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan (XU) campus here are headed for preservation following an agreement with the school and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

In a statement Tuesday, XU and NHCP said they agreed to establish a historical preservation zone within the main campus citing the buildings' “exceptional and historical significance.”

Fr. Mars P. Tan, university president, said that as early as 2014 XU has already petitioned for a historical marker for the school.

“We are grateful that NHCP welcomed and encouraged our desire to preserve the heritage structures of the university,” he said.

In May this year, NHCP Chairman Dr. Rene Escalante wrote to Tan that the Board of Commissioners appreciates XU's support to declare portions of the campus as a historical site.

Following site inspections, the NHCP agreed with XU that eight school buildings under the preservation zone will include the university’s Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lucas Hall, Campion Hall, Xavier Hall, and Science Center.

Also included are the old library, library annex, and Museo de Oro—considered the country’s first folkloric museum.

NHCP also will honor XU with a historical marker in 2033 when the university turns 100 years old.

XU was established by the Jesuits in 1933 and was the first Ateneo school in the country to be given “university status” in 1958, making it also the first university in Mindanao.

Last year, XU also formalized the partnership with developer Cebu Landmasters Incorporated to lead the “University of the Future” that will be developed on the city's Mastersons Avenue. (PNA)