St. Joseph’s College of Quezon City was founded 75 years ago as St. Joseph’s Academy by Dutch Franciscan Sisters. Situated along España Extension, the school admitted its first primary school pupils in 1932 and drew children from the rapidly growing communities of New Manila, Kamuning and San Juan. Under the leadership of its first school directress, Mother Magdala Verhuizen, the academy opened the high school department the following year. During the Japanese occupation, the school was closed down, the Dutch sisters interned in Los Baños, and the buildings were used as a mini-military hospital by the Japanese army and later by the US military. SJA officially became St. Joseph ’s College of Quezon City in 1948 with the opening of the college department which offered programs in education, liberal arts, secretarial science, and music.
The 50s and the 60s were a period when the performing arts, notably drama and music, were a central and distinguishing feature of Josephine life. The annual play became a tradition that spanned almost three decades. Plays and musicals such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Pride and Prejudice, Pygmalion, Trojan Women, Fiddler on the Roof, and Camelot were staged under the direction of Zeneida Amador (HS ’49) and drew critical acclaim. Many memorable leading roles in the annual stage plays (such as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion and Roxanne in Cyrano) were played by Sonia Malasarte (HS ’60 and AB ’64). To promote excellence in education through voluntary accreditation, St. Joseph ’s College together with ten other private colleges and universities became the charter members of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU) in 1957. A milestone in the pursuit of educational excellence came in 1964 when Sonia Malasarte was awarded the Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines in the prestigious Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines annual search sponsored by the Philippine Jaycees. In 1966, Lulu Malabanan was a TOSP awardee.