Ateneo De Zamboanga University
The Ateneo de Zamboanga began in 1912 as Escuela Catolica, a parochial school run by Spanish Jesuits at the old site of the Immaculate Conception Church, right across the Sunken Garden. Fr. Manuel M. Sauras, S.J. was the first director.
In 1916, the Escuela Catolica became the Ateneo de Zamboanga.
In 1930, the American Jesuits took over from the Spanish Jesuits with Fr. Thomas Murray, S.J. as the first American director. Classes were also held in the Knights of Columbus (K of C) buildng, now the site City Theater.
The first high school students graduated from Ateneo in 1932.
The high school reopened in 1947, with a nipa-sawali building on a new site outside the poblacion called Jardin de Chino along Camino Nuevo. It was providential that shortly before the outbreak of the World War II, Fr. Eusebio Salvador, S.J. had bought 18 adjoining lots in that section.