The University of Antique, formerly known as the Polytechnic State College of Antique and Antique of Arts and Trades was established by virtue of R.A 857 approved on January 19, 1954 through the efforts of the late Congressman Tobias A. Fornier.
UA has humble beginnings. A temporary 5-room building made of bamboo and nipa was all it had a few months after it was established on January 19, 1954. Indeed it was not made to last a decade. Typhoon “Delta” in July 1956 finally devastated it to the grounds. But the destruction of the temporary edifice did not crush nor dampen like spirit of unrelenting pioneers, a handful of teachers and staff under Superintendent Fermin Taruc Jr. The beginnings of this institution may be humble, yet the people who founded it and strived hard to make it grow can only be described as illustrious.
One of the Congressman Tobias Fornier’s greatest achievements in his stint as representative to Congress and for which he will be greatly and dearly remembered is ASAT. By virtue of R.A 857, Antique School of Arts and Trades (ASAT) were established. The school did not have a permanent site and building then. Yet, Mayor Santiago A. Lotilla immediately took initiative in donating land where the school will be permanently located. Many benevolent Sibalomnons followed suit. When construction commenced men and women worked in shifts, all generous with their time, effort, material resources and moral support. The founding years was the time of big dreams and indomitable spirit to pursue these dreams. The hard struggles to overcome the challenges of breaking and clearing the grounds, leveling the hills, steadying the posts, rebuilding devastated structures, providing more accommodations to the growing number of students were never more than the determination and fortitude of the pioneer administrators, teachers, students, supporters, and the community. Among the administrators and important people responsible for securing the foundations of the schools were Supt. Hilarion Agustin, Supt. Gil Tenefrancia, Supt. Rogelio Cachuela and Supt. Victor Blacer.
The turbulence in the political scenario of the 70’s and changing tide of socio-cultural events threatened to shake the foundation of a young school like ASAT. Yet, instead of giving in to the menace, it was propelled to function. In 1970’s the school which specialized in ceramics, a field which also gave added reason for its existence, rose to prominence when it was acclaimed as one of the best ceramica school in the country. The creativity of Mr. Donato Sermeno Jr. was given honor. Behind him was the support of the people like Supt. Avelino Asuncion, Supt. Paulino Villagonzalo, Supt. Salvador Navarro, Mr. Olimpio N. Madiangbayan, Supt. Adriano S. Sullesta, and Mr. Teopisto Umpad.
The school was like the humble day, supple and formless, yet when in the hands of an artist, becomes a masterpiece. The artistry of the Sibalomnons was expressed in the production of figurines and pottery. And art, like any other noble pursuit of the human mind gave wings to the spirit of exploration and higher achievement. Toward close of the 70’s Supt. Godofredo E. Gallega was given the reins of administering ASAT after the term of Supt. Adriano Sullesta. With the support of Assemblyman Arturo K. Pacificador who passed Batas Pambansa Blg. 912, ASAT took an ambitious step. It was converted into a college on November 14, 1982, thus, being known from then on as the Polytechnic State College of Antique. The conversion of the school is not only a change in its name. It dared more impressive changes in its buildings, grounds, and physical structure, in facilities and equipment. It enjoyed improvements in curricular offerings, structure and administration, faculty qualifications and trainings, programs and thrusts.
The decade of conversion was the time of renewed visions and directions. It was the time of hope. It was a happy era of cultural revival as well as euphoric decade of freedom fought in. The byword of the 90’s was expansion. This expansion was in the colleges growing population, curricular offerings, and facilities but also in its thrusts and programs. The idea of expansion brought with it the challenge of accreditation. Seven areas of its operation, later expanded to twelve, were subjected to closer scrutiny in order to bring the college to the level of excellence. This was the time that the word EXCELLENCE was taken to heart and made an ever-present tenet in our school life. It was a time when the meaning of excellence was made the essence of our existence. It was also the centennial of the Philippine revolution, thus, awaking the nationalistic spirit of the majority of the citizens.
This decade was not only the expansion of thrusts, from the mere instruction to the triumvirate of instruction, research and extension. It was also the years when other tertiary schools were integrated with PSCA, thus, giving birth to daughter campuses in Hamtic (formerly ACA) and Tibiao then TLMASOF.
The turn of the century, the ushering of the new millennium. It was the year 2000. It was the year of jubilee, a celebration. Just as we rejoiced in having reached a new epoch of eternity, we rejoiced that PSCA has turned fifty!
Time has passed swiftly by PSCA was invigorated with new vision and hope. The last struggles and victories strengthen them as they rejoiced in their success. They were ready to take leap to reach university status. Such as it was in the past, PSCA is never alone in its dreams. Former Congressman Jovito Plameras helped PSCA shape this dream, which was later pursued in Congress by the incumbent Congressman Exequiel B. Javier.
Meanwhile, on March 2005, Dr. Godofredo E. Gallega was appointed president of TCP-Manila so, Dr. Benny Palma the then ASU President temporarily served as OIC-President until Dr. Victor E. Navarra was chosen as the second President and the assumed his duty on March 25, 2006.
The struggle in converting UA into a University continued for many years even during the time of Gov. Salvacion Z. Perez.
Finally, on November 10, 2009, during the incumbency of congressman Exequiel B. Javier, Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed R.A. 9746, converting PSCA into the University of Antique.
At last, the dream has come into a reality! It was a very glorious day for the UA community and for the Antiqueños as a whole.
Since its conversion into a university, UA’s population has increased significantly so this requires more instructors, more classrooms and other facilities to accommodate the increasing number of students.
UA is undergoing lots of changes and developments and its envisions to become a leading University in science and technology by 2022 and its adheres to its mission, that is, to provide quality, relevant, and responsive scientific, technological, and professional education and advanced training in different areas of specialization and shall undertake research and extension services in support of the socio-economic development of Antique, the Filipino nation, and the global community.