The Story of SorSU

With a rich history since 1907, Sorsogon State University is built on leadership, excellence, accountability, discipline, environmental, and social responsibility of its administration, creating a resilient institution that stood the test of time. It is triumphant and ever dedicated to pursue the best quality of education to Sorsogon and beyond. The SorSU Story timeline is a display of the significant events and activities that have defined the institution from its establishment, until today.

Historical Timeline


Sorsogon Provincial Trade School

Established as Sorsogon Provincial Trade School, one of the oldest vocational schools in the Philippines (Elementary School) – organized by an American teacher by the name of Mr. Harris. During this time woodworking was offered to 18-year old students who finished primary school. 


Secondary School begins…

Sorsogon Provincial Trade School offered secondary education and phased out its elementary program.


Specialization Courses for Women

During the School Year 1950-1951, what was once an all-boys school changed when Specialization courses for women such as food trades, cosmetology, and dress making were opened, this marked girls to enroll in the School. 

May 14, 1952

Sorsogon School of Arts and Trades (SSAT)

Renamed as Sorsogon School of Arts and Trades (SSAT) by virtue of R.A. 704. Short courses expanded to include architectural drafting, building construction, electricity, and furniture and cabinet making.


SCAT introduces post-secondary programs

Post-secondary program was introduced. For the first time the school had its first superintendent and new positions were created providing for the head of vocational department, head for related subjects department, a chief clerk-collecting and disbursing officer, registrar, teacher-nurse and others

April 17,1977

Sorsogon College of Arts and Trades (SCAT) 

The Secretary of Education and Culture approved the school’s conversion into a tertiary institution to be known as Sorsogon College of Arts and Trades (SCAT). 

Late ’70s

to 90s

International Trainings

As an institution under the Bureau of Vocational Education, it had strong support from the national government and some international organizations. SCAT became the recipient of the Technical-Vocational Education Project (TVEP) programs and scholarship, such as the Philippine Australia Technical Vocational Program or the PATVEP which sent faculty members to train for a year in Australia. 

December 30,


Sorsogon State College (SSC)

From Sorsogon College of Arts and Trades became a Sorsogon State College, through R.A. No. 7666 (from House Bill No. 4210) and integrating with it three vocational high schools in the province – the Bulan Vocational High School (BVHS), Magallanes School of Fisheries (MSF) and Sorsogon National Agriculture School (SNAS).

May 31, 1994

Dr. Bonifacio H. Ativo
SSC’s Officer in Charge

Dr. Ativo was appointed by the Sorsogon State College Board of Trustees as the officer-in-charge, this is to affect the smooth transition once a President is elected. 

November 23,


Dr. Augusto R. Nieves
SSC’s First President

Dr. Nieves was appointed by the Sorsogon State College Board of Trustees as SSC’s first President, he served the College in a total of two terms from 1995-2005. 


Presidency Highlights:
Dr. Augusto R. Nieves

Under Dr. Nieves’s helm, he instituted a number of academic and administrative programs that gradually placed SSC in the map of academic excellence and high administrative performance in Bicol Region.

November 23,


Dr. Antonio E. Fuentes
SSC’s Second President

Dr. Fuentes served from 2005 to 2013. During his term as the second President of the institution, his vision included the furtherance of existing programs, empowered faculty and staff for a more efficient and effective instruction, research, extension, and production.


Presidency Highlights:
Dr. Antonio E. Fuentes

Dr. Fuentes also laid the groundwork for the eventual conversion of the institution to Sorsogon State University with internationalization, instructional niche and agri-industrial business development. Also he provided unparalleled support and assistance to board exam passers, and proactively pushed through massive infrastructure development. 

February 14,


Dr. Modesto D. Detera
SSC’s Third President

Dr. Detera succeeded as third President of the College. He steered the College into greater heights in its quest for quality and excellence. 


Presidency Highlights:
Dr. Modesto D. Detera

Dr. Detera was responsible for the offering of new programs, laying the foundations of the requirements for Universityhood. He initiated the construction of the historic/iconic University Library in the main campus; forged agreements for the establishment of the Engineering Campus in Baribag, Sorsogon City and upgraded facilities of the institution. He was credited for the strengthened research development and extension services of the College.

July 2, 2018

Dr. Helen R. Lara
SSC’s Fourth President &
University Transitory President

Dr. Lara became the fourth President of Sorsogon State College and also its first Lady President.  She is also the transitory president of the University for it was during her term that SSC was fully and officially declared as Sorsogon State University.


Presidency Highlights:
Dr. Helen R. Lara

Dr. Lara continued the works of her predecessors on the trifocal mandates of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
She re-engineered ways of actualizing plans through: policy enhancement, crafting of the University Strategic Plan and the Land Use Development and Infrastructure Plan. She was credited for the turnover of the administration and operation of the Sorsogon Community College, and the full transfer of the College of Engineering to Baribag Extension Campus. It was also during her term when the COVID-19 pandemic made headlines and changed the conduct of education in the Philippines. The College did not stop adapting to the changing times and even became the first quarantine center in the Philippines using SUC facilities for Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) – recognized by CHED.

October 11,


Republic Act 11088

“An Act converting the Sorsogon State College in the Province of Sorsogon into a State University to be known as the Sorsogon State University and appropriating funds therefor”

Granting of Sorsogon State College to a full University Status under R.A. 11088 signed by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

July 8, 2019

Sorsogon Community College

The successful absorption of Sorsogon Community College (SCC) to SSC was made to reality by virtue of Provincial Resolution No. 189-2019 – granting authority to the Governor to enter into MOA with SSC, and Provincial Resolution No. 1-48-2019 dated July 8, 2019 granting the Governor to negotiate transfer of SCC to SSC.

March 5, 2021

Engineering Campus

The official turn over and inauguration of the new Sorsogon State University Engineering Campus at the New Engineering Ground Annex, Baribag, Bibincahan, Sorsogon City.  This milestone activity was led by Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” G. Escudero.

April 14, 2021

CHED announces University Status

With full compliance to the requirements, Commission en Banc approved the conversion of Sorsogon State College into a full-fledged University.

May 8, 2021

University Declaration Ceremony

The University Declaration Ceremony was held as an official event to declare the institution as the first University of Sorsogon Province.  The event was attended by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Dr. J. Prospero “Popoy” E. De Vera III, CHED Commissioner and SorSU Board of Regents Chairperson Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag, former CHED Regional Director Dr. Freddie T. Bernal, and Rep. Evelina G. Escudero.

July 22, 2022

Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus
First University President

Dr. De Jesus was elected fifth President of the Institution and the first University President by the honorable SorSU Governing Board of Regents.

March 1, 2023 


Sorsogon State University successfully hosted the first Southeast Asian Multidisciplinary Research Expo and Extension Conference (SEAMREEC) 2023, at the Sorsogon Cultural Center, Sorsogon City. This is also the first International Multidisciplinary Research and Extension Conference held in the Province of Sorsogon.



“Pamantasang may Puso”

Dr. Geraldine F. De Jesus is the first University President of Sorsogon State University. She is at the helm of the University who advocates for a shift in the overall character of the institution as a “Pamantasang may Puso” (“University with a heart”), strengthening the chain that binds all personnel to collaborate, cooperate and build on capacities to strengthen, sustain, expand and develop students, programs and projects, processes and provide support for excellent instruction, student support services, aggressive research development & extension, internationalization initiatives and engage in viable production activities for the development of the province and beyond. 
Dr. De Jesus envisions establishing the Center for Development in Education and Engineering, Campus Research Centers, and strong networks of partners both locally and globally.


  • History of the Sorsogon Trade School, now the Sorsogon School of Arts and Trades by Mrs. Belen D. Botial (From the Archive)
  • Reminiscing the Past : Celebrating 110 Years of Shaping Minds and Reaching Greater Heights – First Official Publication of the Office of Culture and Arts (2017) / Photo Source
  • SorSU Annual Reports (1993-Present)