On August 25, 1975, a brood of nine sisters from the Limaco family envisioned of providing quality education to the masses of Biñan, Laguna and its neighboring municipalities. Known for their integrity, religious and civic involvement, and business acumen, the sisters firmly believed that education should empower the least able and ennoble the most capable to improve their quality of life and in the long run, propel the whole community into growth and development.
To fulfill their vision, the Limaco sisters founded the Miguelunda Educational Corporation to run Saint Michael’s College of Laguna (SMCL), formerly known as Biñan College. Two of the Limaco sisters played key and active roles in SMCL’s founding. Pura Limaco provided the necessary financial support for the Institution’s operations, while Milagros Limaco, a seasoned educator, was later elected as the Chairman of the Board and Director of the Institution.
Working under the inspiration of the philanthropic ideals of the Limaco patriarch, Miguel, after whom the Institution was named, Miguelunda Educational Corporation set out to establish a learning institution that provides quality education at reasonable costs and more importantly, addresses the demands of an education that is responsive and relevant to ever-evolving needs.
The College started offering Commerce, Junior Secretarial, and General Clerical programs in June1976, with an initial enrolment of 115. In the next six years, additional college programs were opened: Graduate in Midwifery, Associate in Tourism, Preparatory Dentistry, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing, in addition to Secondary and Elementary education were offered later.
As the years unraveled the College’s potential to bring out the best in the students that came under its care, Biñan College was renamed Saint Michael’s College of Laguna in 1983, reaffirming its serious and focused position in performing its mandate and corporate social responsibility. In the same year, the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and the Bachelor of Science in Education were offered. Enrolment escalated at dramatic levels, especially with the closure of two private high schools in the area. This enabled the College to expand its reach and to touch more lives.
Milagros Limaco assumed the Presidency in 1986. In the years that followed (1990-1994), degree programs in Accountancy, Hospitality Management, and Computer Science; an associate degree in Computer Secretarial and a graduate school were opened.
Amidst these improvements, after twenty-one years of committed service, failing health forced Milagros Limaco to retire in 1997. Her older sister, Rosa Limaco-Cruz once again assumed the Presidency, with the assistance of a niece, Lourdes Almeda-Sese, Ed.D. as Executive Vice-President. It was during this time that the College took a dramatic transformation not only in the campus’ physical infrastructure but also in service delivery.
The performance of the tandem leadership was marked by the construction of the Learning Resource Center in 1996 and the conversion of a large covered court into an airconditioned, multi-purpose hall.
Other developments included the initial offering of human resources management, and information services as majors under the Business Administration program (AY 1998-1999), the launching of the College community extension program, Lingkod at Pagmamahal ng SMCL (LINGAP-SMCL), and the forging of an academic exchange program with Namhae College of Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea (1999), with the first term of the program commencing in 2000.
In 2004, Lourdes Almeda-Sese became the third College President after the retirement of Rosa Limaco-Cruz. Across the two generations, keeping the faith in maintaining a tradition of quality and excellence has been the leadership’s living advocacy.
SMCL’s success can be attributed to its academic strength, which has served as a source of pride not only in the SMCL community but in the region as well. The Institution maintains competitive faculty members plus a curriculum that adheres and reflects the current trends and changes in the different programs that it is offering. These are complemented by the Institution’s modern facilities and technology that address the needs of each program.
With its high scholastic standards, SMCL’s academic excellence has been acknowledged in the academic community. One of the foremost accrediting bodies of the country, the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA), awarded SMCL with a Level III Reaccredited Status for its Liberal Arts, Business Administration and Education programs.
Likewise, the Nursing, Grade School, and High School programs received Level II Reaccredited Status and the Hospitality Management Program, Level I Accredited Status. The Computer Science program was granted Candidate Status.
The College was given the Gold Award by the PACUCOA for 100% of its programs accredited in 2015. It was also awarded Deregulated Status by the Commission on Higher Education in 2003 and has retained its status in 2009. In 2016, CHED granted SMCL Autonomous Status effective for three years.
SMCL has been awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification by TUV Rheinland effective 24 April 2014 until 23 April 2017 proving its commitment to be globally comparable and competitive in its operations. On April 7, 2018, the certification was upgraded to ISO 9001:2015 standards.
Undoubtedly, Saint Michael’s College of Laguna will continue to mold minds, touch hearts, and transform lives. It will send forth to the world graduates imbued with the values of service, moral uprightness, commitment to excellence, and love for humanity and intercultural sensitivity. It earnestly hopes that these Michaeleans will aspire to share the fruits of their endeavors with their communities, with the country and the world. If they do and SMCL is certain they will, in their own individual ways; then the Institution can unequivocally declare with pride that it has been able to achieve what it has set out to do when it was founded.