Administered by the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM)
…the response to the needs of the national and global community.
St. Mary’s College, Quezon City is one of the oldest, native institutions offering formal education for girls in the Philippines. Its history is closely linked with the history of the Beaterio de la Compañia de Jesus, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM). This group of native religious women was founded in 1684 by Mother Ignacia del Espiritu Santo, an Yndia-Chinese mestiza from Binondo. Since 1684, the foundational community of Mother Ignacia lived in the Casa Madre, Intramuros. These Beatas de la Compania de Jesus, as they were popularly called, took steps in educating young girls.
They opened a boarding school for girls which became known as the Colegio del Beaterio. This marked the first step towards formal education. The Colegio del Beaterio was open to Yndias and Chinese mestizas as well as Creoles (Spanish mestizas) and pure Spanish girls. The increase of students and wards (internas recogidas) resulted in the separation of the administration of the school from the management of the dormitory. In 1725, the school was placed under the formal administration of the Madre Prefecta de Estudios while the dormitory was administered by the Madre Rectora.
In 1912, Colegio del Beaterio received formal government recognition of its elementary and secondary courses. To answer the need for qualified teachers to serve its teaching apostolate, the Beaterio obtained the formal recognition of the Junior Normal College course in 1935. And in 1939, upon the advice of its spiritual and legal advisers, the name Beaterio College was formally changed to St. Mary’s College in honor of the Blessed Mother, Patroness of the Congregation which at that time had also formally changed its name from Beaterio de la Compania de Jesus to the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary.
In 1941 during the outbreak of the second World War, St. Mary’s College moved temporarily to the Immaculate Conception Dormitory, Sampaloc, Manila. In 1945, it resumed operations and was the first girls’ school to open after the liberation of Manila. Two years after, in 1947, the school began accepting boys for the preschool and grade school. In 1950, St. Mary’s College moved to its present site at 37 Cebu Avenue (now Mother Ignacia Ave.) Diliman, Quezon City. It was in the same year when the classes from Kindergarten to College were simultaneously opened.