History and Milestones

A Brief History
of the


The phrase “normal school” is traceable to the French “école normale”, the institution for higher learning in France in the 18th century.

The present Philippine Normal University was originally the Philippine Normal School (PNS), the first institution of higher learning established during the American occupation of the Philippines. Created by Act No. 74 of the Philippine Commission, it gave Filipinos training in the science of teaching. The PNS formally opened on September 1, 1901, with Mr. Elmer B. Bryan as its first superintendent. Seven other Americans succeeded him before the designation of Mr. Manuel Escarilla as the first Filipino superintendent in 1939.

With the signing of the charter, Republic Act No. 416 on June 18, 1949 during the term of President Elpidio Quirino, PNS was converted into the Philippine Normal College, authorized to grant undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. Republic Act 6515 mandated the offering of doctorate and other academic programs relevant to the training of teachers. On December 6, 1991, the Philippine Normal College was converted into the Philippine Normal University. Finally, on January 12, 1992, it was elevated into a full-fledged university by President Corazon C. Aquino.

Dr. Macario Naval was installed as the president of the college. He was succeeded by Dr. Emiliano C. Ramirez in 1957, Dr. Gregorio C. Borlaza in 1971, Dr. Bonifacio P. Sibayan in 1972, Dr. Edilberto P. Dagot in 1981, Dr. Gloria G. Salandanan in 1991, Atty. Lilia S. Garcia in 1998, Dr. Nilo L. Rosas in 2002, Atty. Lutgardo B. Barbo in 2006, and Dr. Ester B. Ogena in 2011.

In recognition of its continued leadership in teacher education, PNU was designated as the National Center for Teacher Education by virtue of R.A. 9647 on June 30, 2009.

The main campus of the University is in the City of Manila with branches in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; Alicia, Isabela; Cadiz City, Negros Occidental; and Lopez, Quezon.