Lyceum of the Philippines University prides itself with its long and rich tradition of Academic excellence through the legacy of its founder, Dr. Jose P. Laurel. The only Philippine President to have served in all three branches of the Government, Dr. Laurel was a successful lawyer, legislator, constitutionalist, jurist, writer, scholar, statesman, philosopher, and above all things, an educator.
Dr. Laurel’s concern for education was his most abiding passion. A graduate of top educational institutions such as University of the Philippines College of Law, Escuela de Derecho, University of Santo Tomas and Yale University, his credentials as an educator were unassailable. He wrote extensively on education and managed to teach in several educational institutions in Manila, despite his numerous commitments.During the Second World War, as the leader of the nation during its darkest period in its history, he introduced educational policies that emphasized and upheld national morale and character.
The inspiration to establish a school came to him in the early 1920’s while a student at Yale. Three decades later, along with some of his close friends, he turned this dream into a reality. With the aim of becoming a center of academic excellence in the Philippines and the Far East, Lyceum of the Philippines University (as it is now known) formally opened its doors to the public on July 7, 1952.
With his admiration for knowledge and his appreciation of classical thought, Dr. Laurel named the school Lyceum of the Philippines after Lykeios, the site in ancient Athens where the great Philosopher Aristotle nurtured the minds of his protegees. The school’s motto, “Veritas et Fortitudo”, “Pro Deo et Patria”, reflects Dr. Laurel’s belief in the value of learning and character formation for God and country.Unfortunately, Dr. Laurel unexpectedly died in 1959.
On his third son Sotero, who was then in the practice of law, fell the mantle of responsibility of running the school. He was the natural choice as, in years earlier, it was Senator Sotero who helped his father organize LPU and acted as the first executive secretary to his father.For the next forty-three years, it was this chosen son, Sotero, who nurtured the school and made it grow beyond Manila into the provinces.In 1966, he founded the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas followed by Lyceum of the Philippines-Laguna in 2000. Both campuses are now headed by Senator Laurel’s fourth son Dr. Peter P. Laurel.
In 2008, another campus in Cavite was established to bring the total number of LPU campuses to five with a grand total enrollment of approximately 37,000 students, about 15,000 of whom are enrolled in various hospitality courses. Senator Laurel’s eldest son, Atty. Roberto P. Laurel, heads the Manila, Makati and Cavite campuses.