LAGAO CAMPUS –A BRIEF HISTORY
In 1953 the Director of Notre Dame of Lagao opened two extension classes in the old church of the boom town of Dadiangas. The school blossomed along with the town in 1955, eight new classrooms of sawali and cogon were built on a centrally located campus in a church property. Still more rooms were needed to take care of the ever growing number of students, even before the end of the same school year. The first Marist Brother continued to reside in Lagao until 1957 when they moved to a small house across the street from the school.
In 1958, the Dominican Sisters of the St. Catherine of Siena agreed to take over the girls and work side by side with the Marist Brothers in building a greater Notre Dame high school. In 1959, the Marist Brothers moved the Boy’s Department to its present location of the Dadiangas Campus and handed over the original site to the sisters. The ever growing numbers in both departments made the move imperative. The new Boy’s high school first building was completed in time for the opening in June 1959, and the expansion of Notre Dame of Dadiangas College has continued.
In response to the repeated entreaties of the people of Dadiangas, the Marist Brothers began a coed college in 1959 with the college of Liberal Arts, Commerce, and the Secretarial course, with the grand total of 161 students. In school year 1960-61, Education Courses, B.S.E. and B.S.E.Ed. were opened. This necessitated the opening of an elementary training department for boys and girls.
The NDDC Elementary Training Department was formally established in school year 1960-61 with an enrollment of 108 pupils under the supervision of Bro. Patrick Nicolas, FMS., the school’s director. There were only three teachers at the start and each has to teach two grade levels. There were only ten Grade VI graduates for that year. Agusto Diaz, Cristina Llido, Andresito Lamboso, Elizeada Vicente, Armando Zetha, Florie Battung, George Nunez, Heber Pelias, Pete Badoria, Ramon Basco.
The following school year 1961-62, the enrollment increased by about 38% of the previous year. There were four teachers assigned to teach all elementary grades. The principal took charge of teaching the graduating class.
From then on, the Elementary Training Department steadily increased its enrollment. Ten years later, the increased in enrollment reached 433%. The last enrollment for girls was in school year 1966-67. By school year 1968-69, enrollment in the Elementary was mainly for boys.
In 1989-90, the Elementary Training Department resumed the enrollment of girls in the Day Care Class, an experimental class of the Early Childhood Education Center. The Kindergarten I program was opened in school year 1993-94 while the Nursery program opened in school year 1994-95. The first batch of girls graduated in March 1998.
In response to the Marist mission of providing education to the less fortunate, the school opened an extension in Espina, Labangal, General Santos City in SY 1995-96 for grades 1-3. Complete Elementary Curriculum was offered starting SY 1999-2000. The 2 storey elementary building in the extension school was put up through the effort of Bro. Robert McGovern, FMS, VP for External Affairs. The chapel that serves as an important landmark of the school was constructed in December 1998 through a grant. The Espina Campus Extension offered socialized tuition fees to make education more available for the least favored. The Espina Campus starting SY 2001-2002 becomes the Basic Education Department with the opening of the high school department. The eventual separation of the Espina Campus is envisioned, the spirit of being school for the poor will still be the main thrust.
The Elementary Training Department pursue PAASCU accreditation in school year 1992-1993 and was granted accreditation in 1999 since then elementary department has committed to quality education. In school year 2002-2003 in line with the desire to have an articulated, basic education program in the three campuses (Dadiangas, Lagao, Espina), restructuring was done, Dr. Alma S. Hordista became the first Director-Principal of the Integrated Basic Education Department.
NDDC celebrated its Golden Jubilee Year in 2003. Its fifty (50) years of continued dedicated service of excellence prompted the school to intensify its preparation towards becoming a university. On June 26,2006, marked a milestone in the history of NDDC, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) granted the university status. Notre Dame of Dadiangas University was inaugurated on August 15, 2006 during the Feast of the Assumption with Bro. John Y. Tan, FMS as the first president.
On April 28, 2007 marked the ground breaking ceremony of the four storey building named as St. Marcellin Champagnat Hall. The blessing of the building took place on March 20, 2008, on the occasion of the 219th birthday of St. Marcellin Champagnat. Starting school year 2007-2008, St. Marcelling Champagnat Hall is occupied by the grade school (Preschool to LC6) as well as the LC7 students.
The completion of the St. Marcellin Champagnat Hall and the transfer of the elementary department in Lagao Campus has brought fast development in the area. New subdivisions and businesses were opened. The school foresee a more dynamic school imbued with the rich Marist tradition of providing quality Christian education to all – faithfull to its motto, “In order to educate children you must love them.”