The University of Southern Philippines Foundation was founded by men and women who felt the need of establishing an educational institution that would offer relatively high standards of instruction within the reach of the average man in the community.
These men and women were: Agustin Jereza, a Civil Engineer from the State University of Iowa; Virgilio Gonzales, a doctor of medicine from the University of the Philippines; Miguel Sanson, a practicing attorney; Mrs. Natividad Villa – Albino, a school teacher; Felipe Ouano, Fructouso Ramos, and Hipolito Andrada, businessmen; and Dr. Jose Mirasol, a chemist and a former dean of the Cebu Junior College, then the Cebu branch of the University of the Philippines. Dr. Mirasol served as the first director of the school.
The University of Southern Philippines Foundation was first called Southern Institute at the time it was founded in 1927. The institute began by offering a complete elementary course and the first two year of secondary education. In response to public demand, the secondary course was made complete. Classes were held in the a residential house on Colon Street. With the increase in the school population, the school moved to a more spacious location on Mabini Street.
Collegiate courses were opened in 1933. With the offering of complete collegiate courses in the Arts and Sciences, Education, Commerce, Law and Southern Institute was changed to Southern College in 1937.
In 1949, the Southern College was granted the permit to open a Graduate School. Having attained university status, the name Southern College was changed to University of Southern Philippines on July 8, 1949.
In 1959, the stockholders agreed to dissolve the original stock corporation and converted USP into a non-stock, non-profit foundation.
Envisioning the eventual congestion at the Mabini Campus and noting the trend of dispersal among educational institution to the suburbs, the founder, in 1962, established the USP Lahug Campus which located in Salinas Drive.
The Lahug Campus is now the main campus of the university.
In 1989-90, the University President, Engr. Oscar Jereza, Sr. announced the decision reached by the Board of Trustees to temporarily stop operations in all level at the Mabini Campus.
By 1991-92, the university, under the leadership of the new president, Dr. Ronald R. Duterte, decided to reopen college operations phasing in the courses by year levels.
The Leadership of Dr. Ronald R. Duterte has made the USPF to become an educational institution that offers quality education and nurtures individual with highest sense of social responsibility, inculcating the core values of knowledge, integrity and industry. He is known to be the father of modern USPF.
Dr. Ronald R. Duterte passed away November 20, 2005. His death caused the entire USPF community to mourn over the lost of a kind and diplomatic leader.
On December 1, 2005 the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Alicia P. Cabatingan as the new University President. Her leadership marked the beginning of a revolutionized USPF. Her excellence and expertise in academe has propelled the USPF to be one of the leading Universities in central and southern Visayas to offer excellence in education. Accreditation of USPF programs and establishing international linkages were the main focus of Dr. Cabatingan’s leadership. Today USPF has growing population of international students.
For 68 years as a university and 90 years as an academic institution, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation has served the nation by producing professionals in different fields of specialization thereby making USPF true to its commitment.Today USPF has growing population of both local and international students. In the near future the USPF envisions to be a premiere educational institution that responds the high demands of producing globally competitive graduates. University of Southern Philippines Foundation will then become the hub for a technology-based academic institution that promotes professionalism, integrity, excellence and social responsibility.
USPF will continue to respond to the needs of the community and its clientele by innovating programs and creating avenues for quality student services.