Years ago, in the peaceful district of Cogon, Bogo, Cebu, the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges
was founded as a non-profit corporation with the end-view of providing residents of the locality and environs with a decent, relevant education which the average Filipino can afford without sacrificing too much the fulfillment of other basic needs.
In the summer term of 1947, the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges started operation with the barest educational facilities but with the noblest of vision, unwavering determination and high level of teachers’ qualification. A modest enrolment of 225 took courses in elementary, secondary, junior normal, liberal arts and education under a provisional permit issued by the Department of Education.
In 1949, the elementary, secondary and junior normal courses were given full recognition by the Bureau of Private Schools. This paved the way for what until then could only be considered as a consistent rise in the institutions academic population. This rise in the enrolment, consequently brought forth a need– the need for expanded facilities. To address this, the administration caused the construction of a three-storey building in the heart of downtown Bogo. In 1951, this edifice replaced the modest building at Cogon, and served the hub of the school’s operation. In the same year, the education (B.S.E) course was given full recognition by the Bureau of Private Schools. Then followed recognition of the two-year liberal arts (A.A.) course; the one-year secretarial (C.S.S.) course in April, 1955, and the vocational courses in dressmaking and cosmetology in May,1958.
Because of its highly improved standard of education and the modern facilities used towards maintaining such educational standard, the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges continued to attract students from most of its vicinity. Its prosperity was so phenomenal that it did not only become a contributor to the progress of the communities it served but also a leader towards attaining a better quality of life for the members of these communities.
In 1959, the founder and first president, Victor V. Lepiten, Sr. embarked on a new challenge: to lead the Public School System as Academic Superintendent in Cotabato, Province of Mindanao. It was then that the institution, thru the leadership of the founder’s only son, Atty. Victor Elliot L. Lepiten, Jr. (who was ably assisted by his only sister, Celerina L. Gimenez), converted itself into a stock corporation adding strength into the system as additional investors came in.
But the march to progress was not to remain unimpeded. The biggest fire to hit Bogo claimed as one of its victim the main campus of CRMC on May 15, 1963. For a moment it seemed that all was lost – the efforts of its founding father, Victor V. Lepiten, Sr., his family, the administrators, and the faculty; the patronage of the communities it served, and the community leadership. All these seemed to have gone up in smoke along with the volumes upon volumes of books, laboratory equipment and classrooms. It would have been a story of both success and failure – success, because it was able to really provide high quality education at a price everyone can afford; failure, because fire ate all that was brought by the success.
But luckily, treacherous elements could not swallow that intangible which made the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges what she was then. She was a child of determination. And, leaning back on her father (the founder) again, she rose amid the debris with a vengeance, shown by the much bigger and much taller 5-storey Christina Hall and the 6- storey Jacinto Hall which sprung from the very same site.
As was the case during its inception to the academic world, the task of rebuilding the physical attributes of the institution was led by no less than the founder, Victor V. Lepiten, Sr., who fresh from a fruitful but rigorous stint with the public schools, refused to be wooed by the bliss of a care-free retired life. In his capacity as President, he along with a handful of loyal board of directors, friends and family members, set sail for an unchartered course.
The voyage, though rough, did not prove to be lonely. Rather than be passive, the communities that were the consistent beneficiaries of CRMC service, enhanced their patronage to the point where the institution’s dynamic leaders could proclaim an unprecedented increase in enrolment.
Then came the inevitable clamor for more services. In response to this, CRMC opened its doors on July, 1964 bringing forth one of its most distinct achievements: Offering the degree of Master of Arts in Education. In the same year the 4-year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts was made complete.
In no time, other courses came. The College of Commerce opened with the 1st and 2nd year courses in 1967-68, which became complete in 1975. The College of Agriculture also opened in 1970. And with the introduction of the MATEA program by the then Ministry of the Education and Culture into the mainstream of the country’s Educational System, CRMC was picked by the national government to be one of the very few institutions in the country to spearhead the new program.
Anticipating the need for bigger space to accommodate the ever-increasing school population, the administration purchased a 22-hectare lot at Pandan. This site has over the years been developed that it had on it the needed facilities for the College of Agriculture and the Elementary School.
In the succeeding years, CRMC received government approval to offer more courses: Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Computer Science (BSC-CS) in 1992, Associate in Computer Science (ACS) in 1994, Associate in Criminology in 1995, Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) in 1996, Bachelor of Science in Criminology in 1998, Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Management Accounting (BSC-MA), and Hotel and Restaurant Management in 2001. All of these courses have already earned Government Recognition.
The story of the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges would not be complete without mention of its branches, namely: The Southern Masbate Roosevelt College at Placer, Masbate; the Western Masbate Roosevelt High School at Cawayan, Masbate; and the Tabogon Roosevelt High School at Ilihan, Cebu. All told, the CRMC and her branches are molding over 4,500 young minds.